Met Gala 2018: Everything you need to know about fashion’s biggest party



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Entertainment Editor Cara Kelly and Digital Editor Maeve McDermott talk about the hottest fashion at the 2017 Met Gala.
USA TODAY

It’s the event where President Trump proposed to Melania, and Taylor Swift danced her way into a romance with Tom Hiddleston. The night that provoked Jay-Z, Beyonce and Solange’s infamous elevator fight, a party with enough starpower to inspire Sandra Bullock’s fictional heist in this summer’s forthcoming movie Ocean’s 8.

The occasion, of course, is the Met Gala, the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute which corresponds with the opening of a new fashion-centered exhibit.

Traditionally held on the first Monday in May, the evening brings together the biggest names in entertainment, fashion and politics for one night of revelry in New York, which this year unfolds on May 7.

Historically, guests are supposed to dress to match the year’s exhibit, often courting controversy when they deviate from the theme. This year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” seems ripe for eyebrow-raising choices from its celebrity attendees. 

Before the stars descend on the Met’s steps, learn more about the annual event.

What is the Met Gala?

Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit informally called the Met Gala or the Met Ball, is a black-tie fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute, with last year’s gala raising over $12 million for the Met. The event also celebrates the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.

The Costume Institute is housed in the museum’s Anna Wintour Costume Center, named after the Vogue editor-in-chief. Wintour has served as the Met Gala co-chair nearly every year since 1995.

This year’s theme

The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition, from which the Met Gala gets its sartorial theme, will be “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” exploring the intersections of fashion with the practices and traditions of Catholicism. The exhibit, which will feature papal robes and accessories from the Vatican alongside designs from names including Coco Chanel and John Galliano, will be the largest in the Costume Institute’s history, spanning three of the museum’s spaces: the medieval galleries, the Anna Wintour Costume Center and the Met Cloisters uptown.

As far as celebrity fashions go, the suggested dress code for the event is “Sunday best,” a wink at the event’s holy theme.

The celebrity hosts 

Every year since Wintour took the reins in 1995, the event has also featured honorary hosts from the worlds of entertainment and fashion.

Along with Wintour, this year’s co-chairs are Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Donatella Versace, with Clooney making an appearance on the May cover of Vogue ahead of the gala.

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The star-studded guest list

Only Hollywood’s biggest award shows boast guest lists that rival that of the invitation-only Met Gala. Wintour has final say over every attendee, and celebrities from A-list entertainers to political heavyweights mingle together at the event.

Two famous names who skipped last year’s Met Gala, Beyoncé and Kanye West, may reappear on the carpet Monday night. The stars who attended the 2017 gala included Selena Gomez, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Priyanka Chopra, Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Madonna and hundreds more, with an estimated 550 people on last year’s guest list.

The Ocean’s 8 connection 

Ocean’s 8 is an all-female re-imagining of the Ocean’s 11 franchise starring Sandra Bullock, Rihanna and Cate Blanchett, who concoct a plot to infiltrate the Met Gala and steal a diamond necklace from Anne Hathaway’s actress character. With Rihanna co-chairing the event, expect to see at least some of the cast unite on the Met Gala carpet.

Revisit the 2017 Met Gala: Best dressed

Disastrous duds: The Met Gala 2017 looks that missed the mark

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