Everything you Need to Know about the 2023 Met Gala
By: Allie Hine
Charity, Couture, and… Cats? Here’s everything you need to know about the most recent Met Gala. The event that is widely considered the most anticipated (and exclusive) fashion event of the year has been run by Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, since 1995. The Gala raises money for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and excels at doing so every year. The theme for this year’s Gala was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” celebrating the late designer, Karl Lagerfeld, who was a world-renowned designer most famously known for his work as creative director for Chanel. This year’s Costume Institute will display many of his most famous pieces, and if the Gala is as successful as it has been in recent years, will gross upwards of 17 million dollars. This year’s Met Gala will not be soon forgotten for its success, controversy, and iconic fashion.
To say that Anna Wintour is both the brains and the heart of the event would be an understatement. The first Met Gala was held in 1948, and until 1971, was held in various venues around New York City before officially laying its red carpet on The Met steps. In the early days, tickets were $50 to attend the dinner party. However, in 2023, the price of a single ticket jumped to $50,000. Not only does Wintour curate the event’s theme but all details must be approved by Anna herself. Guests, outfits, brands, cuisine, and of course the infamous seating chart all go under Anna’s careful eye. Every guest must be approved before they are even allowed to pay a small fortune to attend. However, many of the guests were not invited by Anna to purchase a ticket. More often, large brands such as Gucci, Prada, or Amazon will buy a table for the steep price of 300,000 dollars, and invite popular promoters of their brand.
The Met Gala wasn’t always known for creating some of the most iconic fashion moments in history, in fact, the popularization of the extravagant dress code didn’t come until around the time Anna Wintour took over the event. Since then, however, it has become standard for designers to use the Met Gala to show off their most extravagant and bold looks. While every year presents a unique theme for the event, the fashion often represents the brands that created them as much as it reflects the theme. This year the most shocking looks included three costumes based on Karl Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette. Jared Leto showed up in an almost mascot-like furry cat costume, while Doja Cat was bedazzled from head to toe, equipped with fangs and cat ears. A lot of the other fashion was heavily influenced by Karl’s time at Chanel which included neutral tones such as whites, blacks, and beiges as well as lots of tweed that appeared in many Chanel designs in the 90’s. We can’t forget Karl’s iconic personal style; having his long black hair in a ponytail, fingerless gloves, black sunglasses, and detachable collars. We saw many black collared dresses and shirts as a nod to his bold style.
The choice to spotlight Karl Lagerfeld for the Gala did not come without its backlash. Karl Lagerfeld was surrounded by controversy throughout his career for multiple reasons. Karl was known to have been fat-phobic, as well as having said many discriminatory things about immigrants in the US. He was also opposed to the Me Too movement and would often blame the victims of sexual assault cases. All of these controversies were well-known and would often cause problems for the brands that he represented. As a result of this, many people were shocked at Anna’s choice to celebrate his life as the theme for the Met Gala.
Despite the controversy surrounding Lagerfeld, the Met Gala continues to be the pinnacle of glamor and fashion. The gala remains one of the most successful fundraisers, as well as the most exclusive event amongst the elite. Whether for excitement, or jealousy, the Met Gala has us all watching closely to see our favorite celebrities walking down the carpet.