Here's What The New Met Gala Theme Actually Means, Because It's A Bit Confusing

Attention, fellow peasants! The 2024 Met Gala theme has been revealed.

closeup of floral gowns
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Of course, the Met Gala exists as the fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Its Spring 2024 exhibit was announced earlier today to be..."Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion."

closeup of dresses on mannequins
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Now, the dress code hasn't formally been set, but it's usually along a similar theme to the Met's exhibit (e.g. last year's exhibit was "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty," and the dress code was "In Honor of Karl").

Closeup of Kim Kardashian
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So, what does "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" actually mean? Well, not fairy tales, for starters. Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, explained to Vogue that the exhibit will be centered on 50 important and beautiful pieces from the Met's permanent collection. The thing is, they're too fragile to actually be worn again: “These are the ‘Sleeping Beauties’ of the title,” he said.

closeup of a gown on display
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It was inspired by an 1877 silk satin ballgown from Charles Frederick Worth. Many of these pieces will be exhibited alongside more contemporary items, showing design evolution. In total, around 250 items will be shown, spanning 400 years of history — much of which hasn't been seen in public before.

Bolton working with designers and showing a garment
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Bolton further told Vogue that the exhibit will be structured around three zones of "Land, Sea, and Sky" and further devices such as AI and CGI will be used to display the garments. “It is very much an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion," he added, noting the emphasis on sustainability and innovation in the contemporary pieces. Max Hollein, the Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, said to Vogue, "This innovative show will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience many facets of a work, to learn more about its history, and, ultimately, to gain a deeper appreciation of its beauty."

closeup of a floral garment
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Subsequently, it's likely that we'll see guests wear contemporary pieces based on archival garments — like this 2001 Alexander McQueen dress that was part of the exhibit reveal:

Closeup of an Alexander McQueen gown
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Another clear example is Christian Dior's 1949 Junon ball gown, which is set to appear at the exhibition. Natalie Portman and Miley Cyrus have both worn homages to it, in 2023 and 2009 respectively. I would be far from surprised if I saw another take on the dress next year.

Closeup of Natalie Portman
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This is just my own take, but I find it noteworthy that next year's exhibit will be around preserving and celebrating fragile items when Kim Kardashian incited a huge hubbub for wearing Marilyn Monroe's actual "birthday dress" to the Met last year. Just my two cents!

Garments on mannequins
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As for who the famous hosts will be, we'll just have to see!