When normal people think of the month of May they think of springtime, school being let out, everyone being anxious for the hot summer months and finally being able to drink iced coffee without getting weird looks. But if you’re a fashion fanatic May means one thing, the Met Gala.
The Met Gala falls on the first Monday of May and it’s the most fashionable event of the year. The gala takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and kicks off the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. This year’s gala falls on May 7.
The gala, formally known as the Costume Institute Gala, has a theme every year that relates to the fashion exhibit or they honor a designer. This year’s gala theme is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” The gala is co-chaired by Amal Clooney, Donatella Versace and Rihanna, who slays every Met Gala.
The theme is a very big deal because it will influence how celebrities and designers will dress. There have been critiques in the past about people not dressing to the theme, which can be seen as disrespectful. If anything the night is an opportunity for stars to dress more daring and more avant-garde than ever before.
Like last year the gala honored Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons, but only a handful of people wore Kawakubo’s designs. And two years before that the theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass” and only a few people wore Chinese designers. You can always count on Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker to not only stick to the theme but go all out.
Some themes though get a greater response like to 2016 theme “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” and 2013 theme, “Punk: Chaos to Couture.” A huge deal of stars dressed to the theme and slayed the red carpet.
I predict this year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies” will have a great response on the red carpet. It’ll be easy for celebs to be inspired by the theme and dress in baroque churchly fashions.
The exhibit itself focuses on how religion and the church influenced fashion. It will feature over 50 pieces from the Sistine Chapel, some which have never left the Vatican before now. There will be over 150 fashion ensembles from major designer houses like Chanel, Versace and Dolce & Gabanna to name a few.
It’ll be interesting to see the vanity side of religious inspiration and the sacred side of religion fashion under the same roof.
The Met Gala helps raise money for the museum and the Costume Institute so they can put on these lavish fashion exhibits and help preserve the pieces properly.”China: Through the Looking Glass” was the most visited Costume Institute exhibit ever with 815,992 visitors. It’s the Met’s fifth most visited exhibited overall. The second most-visited Costume Institute exhibit was the 2011 exhibit, “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.” The McQueen exhibit brought in a total of 661,509 visitors. McQueen committed suicide a little over a year before the exhibit.
The wing in the Met that houses the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit is named after Anna Wintour, the legendary Vogue editor-in-chief. Wintour has been the Met Gala chair since 1995. The Anna Wintour Costume Center was opened in 2014 by the First Lady at the time Michelle Obama.
The “Heavenly Bodies” exhibit will open to the public on May 10 and will be open until October 8.