The Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is the biggest event on the fashion fundraising calendar. Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the benefit was first held in 1948 to encourage donations from New York’s high society. In its modern incarnation, the most famous faces from the realms of fashion, film, music and art come together to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of its latest exhibition. The night is centred on the theme of the new exhibition, with previous themes encompassing everything from Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, to Manus x Machina, Punk: Chaos to Couture and China: Through the Looking Glass. This year’s exhibition theme is Camp: Notes On Fashion.
Since 1995, the event has been chaired by US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who enlists public figures to serve as her co-chairs. Past hosts have included Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Amal Clooney and Rihanna. The Met Gala 2019, which marks the event’s 71st anniversary, was co-chaired by Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles and Serena Williams.
Forty-eight per cent of the guest list comprised actors, including Emily Blunt, who wore a custom Michael Kors look comprising 510,000 sequins; Tracee Ellis Ross, who was transformed into a literal work of art by Jeremy Scott; and Rachel Brosnahan, who wore an Erdem dress that was an acidic tribute to cross-dressing and Italian aristocracy. Fashion, meanwhile, represented 32 per cent of the 2019 committee, as Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Miuccia Prada, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Clare Waight Keller all bought tables.
Colloquially and affectionately referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” the Met Gala 2019 is a pinnacle of iconic style. A fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the event welcomes celebrity stars, young creatives, and industry paragons alike. And the excitement doesn’t stop there—the gala also signifies the highly anticipated grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition: “Camp: Notes on Fashion” opening on May 9, 2019.