Everything you need to know about next week's Met Gala

The Met Gala returned on the first Monday in May with the annual celebration of the Costume Institute's upcoming exhibition, which, for 2024, is entitled 'Sleeping Beauty: Reawakening Fashion'. Guests meanwhile dressed to the theme of 'The Garden of Time', which is inspired by the J.G. Ballard short story of the same name.

The exhibition will feature 250 historically significant pieces which are referred to as the 'sleeping beauties' – pieces far too fragile ever to be worn again. There will be original designs from the likes of Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Hubert de Givenchy.

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ANGELA WEISS - Getty Images

"Fashion is one of the most emotional artistic forms because of its connection to the body," said Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. "It is imbued with memory and emotions, and we relate to it very much via our senses. One thing I hope this show will activate is that sensorial appreciation of fashion."

met gala 2024 theme
ANGELA WEISS - Getty Images

The connection to 'The Garden of Time' is that the story touches on a similar theme to the exhibition – the evolution of human history and the endless cycle of creation and destruction.

Below, we round up everything you need to know about the 2024 Met Gala. From the theme and hosts, here are all the details from the biggest night in fashion.

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala, which is also known as the Costume Institute Benefit or the Met Ball, is a charity event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City each spring – and always makes for one of the most exciting celebrity-fashion events of the year.

the 2021 met gala
Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid at the 2021 Met GalaJohn Shearer - Getty Images

Often dubbed the 'Oscars of fashion', the event draws in the biggest A-list names, who dress according to a set theme, usually in bespoke creations from the world's most impactful fashion designers. In previous years, guests have dressed to the themes of 'punk', 'camp' and 'heavenly bodies', while there have also been events that have paid tribute to specific designers, including Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld and Rei Kawakubo.

The ball raises millions for the Costume Institute at the Met – which holds an annual accompanying exhibition – through the sale of tickets, which are bought by designers and brands. Tickets cost around $35,000 each, with tables ranging from $200,000 to $300,000.

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Law Roach and Zendaya at the Met Gala in 2019Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images

What is the 2024 Met Gala theme?

The theme of the exhibition, 'Sleeping Beauty: Reawakening Fashion', will not only celebrate fashion history by presenting some of the most beautiful archival designs ever made, but it will also nod to the natural world, and how it has been used in certain materials and has inspired design. Through this, the exhibition will also focus on the need for sustainability in fashion and look at the evolution of human history and the endless cycle of creation and destruction. This is why the dressing theme is 'The Garden of Time'.

“It is very much an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion," Bolton said, explaining that the exhibition will be designed around three zones: land, sea and sky. Each will symbolise the material used within it to create the garments.

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Historical garments are displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of ArtANGELA WEISS - Getty Images

There will be around 250 items on display in the museum, many of which have never been seen before. One of the most fragile of these is an Elizabethan bodice and a silk satin ball gown from 1877 by the American couturier Charles Frederick Worth.

According to a press release, the Met will also use video animation, light projection, soundscaping, artificial intelligence, and CGI to "weave a contextual fabric of understanding around each piece".

What was last year's Met Gala theme?

The full title of the spring 2023 exhibition theme was 'Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty' and was a celebration of the prolific designer who passed away in 2019, aged 85. He was one of the most celebrated fashion designers of all time and has headed up some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, including Fendi, Chanel and his own namesake label, all three of which he acted as creative director for until his death.

The exhibition paid tribute to his genius, while the accompanying gala saw hundreds of his close friends and collaborators – from Nicole Kidman to Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen – on the red carpet, inspired by some of his most iconic designs, celebrating his life's work through what they chose to wear on the night.

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Dua Lipa at the 2023 Met Gala celebrating Karl LagerfeldMike Coppola - Getty Images

Others chose to work with the fashion houses that Lagerfeld was so closely associated with; Margot Robbie were custom Chanel, Allison Williams wore a dress by Patou, Kate Moss wore Fendi, and Cara Delevingne wore a design by Karl Lagerfeld Couture.

Head here to catch up on every single look from last year's Met Gala.

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Nicole Kidman at the 2023 Met GalaTheo Wargo - Getty Images

Who hosted the 2024 Met Gala?

Each year, there are multiple A-listers who play host for the evening, and this year's line up is incredibly stylish with Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Hemsworth and Bad Bunny playing co-chairs for the evening. The night's sponsors were TikTok and Loewe, meaning we were treated to an array of designs by Jonathan Anderson, who dressed everyone from Ariana Grande to Greta Lee, Taylor Russell and Ambika Mod.

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Jennifer Lopez was one of the 2024 Met Gala co-hostsTaylor Hill - Getty Images

How did guests interpret the 2024 Met Gala theme?

Given the obvious references to the natural world, we saw plenty of floral motifs in this year's red-carpet looks (Demi Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Ayo Edebiri), while many guests strayed towards the darker end of the spectrum (Zendaya, Lana del Rey, Cardi B), embracing the sense of transience made evident in the theme (read more about that here).

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Zendaya at the 2024 Met GalaGilbert Flores - Getty Images

Other clever interpretations nodding to the theme of time included Tyla's hourglass-themed sand dress and Mindy Kaling's 'Melting Flower of Time' gown by the Indian couturier Gaurav Gupta. The likes of Nicole Kidman, Kendall Jenner and Iris Law looked to the archives and stepped out in vintage or vintage-inspired fashion, while there were fairy-tale takes on the 'Sleeping Beauty' theme from Phoebe Dynevor, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Elle Fanning.

Catch up on all the red-carpet looks from the 2024 Met Gala here, plus see our edit of the 10 best dressed from the night here.

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