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How the Met Gala Turned into an Art Form

What is the Met Gala?

This is an annual fund-raising event hosted in New York, USA at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gala is most notably known for its fashion theme which changes yearly, and the latest stars and celebrities in Hollywood are usually on the guest list. Anna Wintour the editor in chief of Vogue Magazine is heavily involved with running the event each year as she has been the chairwomen since 1995.

Although the event is a fundraising benefit for the costume institute (Elyssa Goodman) says “We should remember the Costume Institute’s purpose: to reinforce the role of fashion in art.” The costume institute is now a part of the Met Gala, but It was originally started in 1937 as the Museum of Costume Art. It showcases a gallery and exhibition of fashionable costumes and accessories for men and women.

The Met Gala itself started in 1948 by Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist. The event started out as a more intimate gathering, but it’s now a highly-publicised event. The attendees are usually celebrities who are trending or the A-listers. Each year the gala has a theme and designers are approached to create tailor made outfits for their clients.

Costumes that have been designed in the past correlate to art works from artists. Designers seem to re-create and incorporate famous pieces of art and paintings into the costumes.

The History of The Met Gala:

In 1972 when Diana Vreeland arrived to work at the Met Gala as a special consultant. During that time people started to perceive the gala as an art form more clearly. Vreeland worked as the editor in chief of Vogue until she left to work for the gala.

She encouraged the idea of the yearly costumes and for people to be inspired by the costume institute. During the time she arrived to work for the gala she started to glamourise and build up exhibitions with very creative displays.

Over the years she went on to create amazing exhibitions. Some of the most notable are: “The Glory of Russian Costume” and “Romantic and Glamours Hollywood Design” that exhibition featured spectacular costumes worn in films at the time. Her inspirations came from different pieces of art work and her exhibitions showcased that fashion and costumes shouldn’t be overlooked and that they are truly an art form.

Past costumes:

Ariana Grande

In 2018 Ariana Grande wore a Vera Wang dress which looked like it came straight out of a Renaissance painting. The painting was “The Last Judgment Fresco” by Michelangelo. The print of the dress was absolutely stunning.

Jared Leto

In the same year Jared Leto was dressed in a costume by Gucci that looked very similar to a painting done by Caravaggio called “Head of Goliath.”

Amber Valleta

Taking it back to the 2000’s, Amber Valleta was dressed by John Galliano and Maggie Norris. Her costume was inspired by a 18th century queen.

Since the ’70s the Met Gala and Costume Institute have been in the Works of developing into a highly recognised event. The exhibitions by Vreeland, yearly themes, and costumes the attendees wear have all contributed to solidify the Met Gala as an art form .

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