Met Gala under Discussion: Cringe or Fashion

The Voice of Fashion at Met Gala

The speaker: Olesya @o.smetanova
The annual event of the fashion world is followed all over the world, bringing it to the top of May's hot topics on social media. And the buzz after the Metropolitan red carpet exits stands for a long time to come. Together with the speaker Olesya we examine why the Met Gala is always on heat and what is going on there.
Incredible decorations, red carpets, unique exhibitions, a meticulously compiled guest list, and a charity dinner are all about the Met Gala. The Costume Institute's annual event has been held for more than 70 years on the first Monday in May, leading up to a major fashion show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The evening opens with a cocktail party: guests step out onto the red carpet, take pictures, and chat with each other. Afterward, there's a tour of the exhibition, followed by a secular dinner. The highlight of the Gala is the costumes, and if you see a celebrity posting a photo dressed as a hamburger or six guys carrying a stellar with a celebrity on it through the streets of New York, rest assured, they are at 1000 5th Ave. Preparations for the Met Gala begin almost a year in advance. First, the theme is chosen; it is always unique, but a certain pattern can still be noticed. The concept can be in honor of a brand or a designer, as with Charles James in 2014, Alexander McQueen in 2011, Chanel in 2005. Also, the guests' task could be to display the history of humanity as Fashion in an Age of Technology in 2016, Dangerous Liaisons in 2004. Or the institute may dedicate an event to the fashion of a country, such as AngloMania in 2006 and China in 2015.
Theoretically, you can buy a ticket to the Met Gala, and you just have to give a year's supply of kidneys. The price goes up to $275,000 per table, and all proceeds go to the Costume Institute. It is also possible to get to the event for free, but to do this you have to be a category A celebrity. That said, even if they should open their wallet and hide their Jewish nature, a donation is a good form. And in this regard, guests should take a cue from iconic Lady Gaga, who came in 2019 with a pink cart full of champagne. She understood the assignment.

Anna Wintour has been the chairman of the Institute since 1995. Her word in the organization of the Met Gala is decisive and firm. She strictly controls the guest lists and can both put a person on them and cross them off without explaining the reason. But it is Andrew Bolton, the permanent curator of the Costume Institute, who is to be thanked for making the Met Gala look like an annual gathering of anime villains. He also chooses all the artifacts and personally oversees their arrangement in the exhibition halls. "We always try to choose a topic that seems relevant and anticipate a big trend and the birth of a new cultural phenomenon," Bolton explains.
Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton
Usually both the Gala and the exhibition have a common theme, but the second part of the exhibition, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, is due to open in May 2022, but the theme of the outfits will differ. Guests at the party of the year should dress in the style of Gilded Glamour, playing with the colors of clothing or silhouettes that were popular in the 1870s and 1900s. The names of the Gala's hosts also became known: actress Blake Lively and her husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, actress Regina King, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, designer Tom Ford, and Instagram head Adam Mosseri. For this event, celebrities are willing to do a lot: spend a lot of money, lose weight, turn a blind eye to an uncomfortable style if it looks great, and even learn to breathe in a special way. If you think that's an exaggeration, you're wrong. So Kim Kardashian wowed everyone at the Met Gala 2019 with her wet dress with transparent beads imitating drops. The most interesting thing is that Kim could not put the dress on herself; she needed the help of three (!) people. Besides, she could not sit in it, and she had to walk very slowly. According to Kardashian, the evening turned into torture, she has never been in so much pain.
Diverse tastes provoke controversy. For instance, J.Lo wore a dress that covered her body slightly and highlighted her hips in 2015. You most likely barely remember the color of the dress, but you can definitely tell that it was bold. That same year, the yellow plume of Rihanna's dress graced the covers of glossy magazines and also became a cause for memes. In the eyes of Internet users, the hype dress became a fried egg dish in the eyes of Internet users, which was evaluated by Wintour herself in a video about her favorite outfits from the event. Let's be honest: Everyone with even a slight interest in fashion discusses the images of the Costume Institute's event. Today, the Met Gala still engages the public, but most of the Internet comments say that the gala has turned from a gorgeous fashion event into a tasteless masquerade. The previous year, instead of a standing ovation, the Met Gala was met with a mixed reaction. Singer Kim Petras shocked everyone when she showed up in a dress with a horse's head sticking out of it. Twitter was filled with jokes about how people with the sexual identity of non-paranormous animals were finally able to make a statement. Kim Kardashian showed up in a body-covering black suit. Users debated at length whether she looked like a female alien or a dementor. Few escaped criticism after the 2021 ball.
Here began the speculation that the absurdity of the event would soon reach its peak, and the prestige of the event would be in question. However, the Met Gala has always been served with the sauce of fine art. Think of the Untouchables scene where the artist's nosebleed went straight to the canvas and he started asking for a few thousand for it. That's what art is: sometimes obscure and absurd, like Katy Perry's 2019 chandelier costume, but with a backstory of its own, like grandma's plaid mantle at A$AP Rocky's Gala last year, which girl Sarah handed over to an antique store, and was bought back and remade by designer Erl.

For observers, the Met Gala is another celebration on the other side of the screen through which one can follow high fashion and get a glimpse into the coveted world of designers, influencers, and top personalities. Fashion is beauty, and that, in turn, is subjective. In the eyes of some users, Celine Dion cosplayed a dandelion in 2019, rather than showing a couture look. In 2018, the theme of the Gala was related to Catholicism, which raised a wave of condemnation. It was considered blasphemous even though the concept was supported by the Catholic Church and Cardinal Timothy Dolan was at the event itself. And that's... fine.

The task of the Institute is to reflect the growth and changes of the fashion world, which is repeating itself. Yesterday, the combination of socks and sandals was ridiculous, but today it's flashing at Fashion Week. It's also crucial to remember that the Gala is just a show, behind which is a fundraiser for the Institute, and thereby for history. It's the publicity in the form of jokes, analysis, critiques, and reactions to the outfits that makes the Met Gala one of the biggest sources of funding. And what to conceal: sometimes we ourselves don't mind dressing extravagantly for a trip to the grocery store or coming to a quiet family dinner wearing bright garments and makeup. Clothing is an art that helps us to represent ourselves and, in the case of the Met Gala, to introduce themed couture pieces that reflect the image of a whole stratum of people or a country.
Lady Gaga with a cart
Celine Dion, Met Gala 2019
Katy Perry in a chandelier dress
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