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On the Met Gala

OpinionAnnually, on the first Monday of May, the fashion superpowers gather to cast judgment upon a museum that highlights their history. The name of this museum of the MET is The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and they host a gala every year to raise funds for their costume department. This year, its theme is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” and it is inspired by the theme of the exhibition at this particular museum.

It all started in 1948 by Elanor Lambert, the founder of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The event began as a fundraiser for the costume institute, serving as an annual funding for their exhibitions, acquisitions, and maintenance. Since then, the focus has turned towards fashion instead of fundraising . On the exhibit’s debut (that will stay open for only a few months afterward), the theme of the exhibition serves as an inspiration for the theme of the MET that year. The MET gala is one of the most profitable fundraisers in New York City annually; Forbes reported the MET gala has raised more than $175 million, which makes sense considering the outstanding $75,000 ticket price for general admission.

The MET gala is important for a variety of reasons. First off, the MET gala gives advertisements for designers, directors, and brands. This is the equivalent of a fashion designer’s report card. Secondly, it brings attention to the MET and specifically to its costume institute. Lastly, it shows which celebrities are favored by the art and entertainment industry. This will give insight on who is favored by said industry.

The MET gala today is far different then how it was in the past, an example being that general admission ticket prices used to be 50 dollars! The gala wasn’t held at the MET early on, instead being hosted in venues such as Central Park, the Rainbow Room, and the Waldorf Astoria. The MET gala is important in fashion, celebrity, and cultural history.

The MET gala is not only a place of shared passion for fashion but a place of controversy. A notable example in recent years is Madonna’s butt-cutout dress. They also habitually ban people for saying controversial comments. Donald Trump is one of the high profile figures banned from the MET gala for his “unsavory” public statements about certain ethnic groups and his association with certain groups that also display unwanted misconduct. Actress and writer Tina Fey is banned for saying “If you had a million arms and all the people you would punch in the whole world, they’re all there… It is so unbelievable. Clearly, I’ll never go again,” in reference to the event. Actress Gweneth Paltrow is banned as well for saying “…seems like it’s the best thing in the world… You always think, ‘Oh my god, it’s gonna be so glamorous and amazing’ and you’re going to see all these people and then you get there and it’s so hot and it’s so crowded and everyone’s pushing you. I think we’re all a bit old to dress up punk.” There are many more people banned from the MET gala, such as Demi Lavato and Jameela Jamil. (all cited from Dario AS)

The MET gala is also known to love Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, who has gone on record to make some fatphobic comments, one of which being, “You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly,”. He was still the theme of the 2023 MET gala though.

The MET gala is full of icons and history. It is filled with the richest people in entertainment and fashion, we all love their elaborate fashion. We don’t all love the people invited, going, or the theme, but that is entertainment.

~ Analise Tessema, Opinion

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