Met Gala 2019: All that you need to know about the biggest fashion event of the year

by Anjori Grover Vasesi

07-May-2019  |  7 mins read

The only Monday minus the blues… Presenting the Met Monday 2019

The annual celebration of fashion and art’s cohesive intersections in the company of the world’s most influential faces from the world of fashion, art and culture, took place on May 6th in 2019, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Discover all that you need to know – from the theme, to the concept, to the best looks – below…

WHAT IS MET GALA?

As is known, the first Monday of every May, is the Met Gala Day – The Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art which is one of the biggest event on the fashion fundraising calendar.

It raised an incredible $12 million in 2017, and over $13 million in 2018.

WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?

Falling on May 6, this year, the event marks the benefits 71st anniversary.

Debuting way back in 1948, by its Founder, publicist Eleanor Lambert, the benefit was incepted on the idea to encourage donations from New York’s high society. Over the years, the event has come to associate itself with some of the most famous faces from the fashion, film, music and art scenes, who are invited to come together to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and inaugurate its latest exhibition.

THE CONCEPT: THEMES, EXHIBITONS, ET AL

The night revolves around the theme of the new exhibition, which is new every year. Previous themes featured Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination in 2018, Manus x Machina in 2017, and Punk: Chaos to Couture and China: Through the Looking Glass in 2016.

This year’s theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion.

The 2019 exhibition explores Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”, which defines camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”, rather than hiking, sleeping bags, boots and tents. The work examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion, and theorizes different ways in which the concept could be construed for the Met.

“Love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration… style at the expense of content… the triumph of the epicene style”

– from Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”

Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, told Hamish Bowles that he found Sontag’s writings so timely with what is going on culturally and politically that, he felt it would have a lot of cultural resonance.

Hence the theme.

On display from May 9 to September 8, 2019, the exhibition will be presented in The Met Fifth Avenue’s Iris and B Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, which has been made possible by Gucci.

The exhibition will feature close to 250 pieces of fine art and fashion objects, which trace the origins of the subject from the 17th century, specifically in the court of Versailles, to the present will explore the origins of camp’s exuberant aesthetic. “Basically, we go from sun kings to drag queens,” American Vogue editor Anna Wintour said during a press conference in February.

Bolton will be including a Roman sculpture of a young Hercules from the museum’s collection in the exhibition to illustrate the beau ideal of the classical pose — contrapposto, hand on hip — that became the default aristocratic stance in Versailles, as practiced by the king himself in a 1701 swagger portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud. The portrait depicts him in magnificent camp coronation robes, calves accentuated by white silk stockings and white shoes with high red heels.

Bolton will additionally include a rare extant pair of these shoes, from the collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, in the exhibition.

The works of designers such as Virgil Abloh, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo, Mugler, Bob Mackie, Karl Lagerfeld, and more will be featured in the exhibit. Fresh off the Couture Week runways, meme-worthy Viktor & Rolf slogan couture gowns will also be on display.

Select looks from Moschino’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Gucci’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection and Off-White’s Pre-Fall 2018 assortment, among other noteworthy designers will feature within the walls of the Met to aid in the proceedings.

WHO HOSTS THE MET GALA?

Since 1995, the invite-only event is helmed by Vogue’s Anna Wintour who controls the extremely-exclusive guest list. Joining her, the Met Gala 2019 was co-chaired by Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles and Serena Williams.

Past hosts have included Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Amal Clooney, Donatella Versace and Rihanna.

THE 2019 COMMITTEE

There are about 183 committee members, which include Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, Katy Perry, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Kerry Washington, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Lena Waithe, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, and iconic drag queen RuPaul, among others.

Designers include Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Miuccia Prada, Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, and Bob Mackie.

Philanthropists such as Annette de la Renta, Wendi Murdoch, and Sean and Alexandra Parker; and Athletes like Venus Williams, Cam Newton, and Nnamdi Asomugha, who’ll attend with wife Kerry Washington, are also in the a part of the 2019 committee .

Tickets for the Met, are sold for around $35,000 with tables going for upwards of $300,000, wherein the Met ball serves as a fundraiser for the Anna Wintour Costume Center, curated by Andrew Bolton.

Scroll through the gallery to view some of the best looks – in line with the theme Camp: Notes on Fashion from The Met Gala 2019.

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