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The Met Gala has come around again and for those initiated amongst us, it is basically the fashion world's answer to the Oscars.
The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and last year it was pushed back to September. But this year it is back at its traditional time on the first Monday in May.
Correctly known as the Costume Institute Benefit, The Met Gala is the glittering soirée thrown by Vogue editor Anna Wintour to rake in cash for the museum's costume department.
Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York, it's a chance for fashion designers and A-list celebrities to come together for the opening of the museum's annual fashion exhibition.
Cost of tickets
Tickets cost around US$35,000 each, or around US$300,000 for a table, so that's no small change. And even if you have the money to spend, you have to be invited to go.
"Anna's meticulous in her detail. Every detail is thought out and orchestrated. She has a vision, she knows how to execute her vision — and the guests just fall into that. Within that vision there is a brilliancy of truly knowing how to bring the right people together," Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who worked at Vogue for 11 years and was Wintour's lead on the Met Gala nine times, told Page Six.
"Anna has such an unbelievably strategic way of getting the right people in the right room at the same time... It's like a chess game and she knows how to play it," she added.
The theme each year is set by the annual clothing exhibition from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
According to Vogue, this year the theme, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, is based on the second installation of a two-part exhibit that centres on the tenets of American style and prizes the anonymous and unsung heroes of US design.
The first part of the exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, formed the theme for last year's gala.
"We've been exploring untold stories and focusing on designers who have been almost written out of fashion history because they weren't commercially successful or they had a short career span, but at the time had a big impact on American fashion," exhibition head curator Andrew Bolton told Vogue.
What the stars will be wearing
The official invitation stated "Gilded Glamour" as the dress code of the event, referring to a period of innovation and cultural revolution in the US from around 1870 to 1900. So think corsets, busty frontages, frills and big skirts – basically period pieces of the sort you'd see in Bridgerton or The Gilded Age.
Vivienne Westwood frocks will likely be prominent on the red carpet, as she is one modern designer who has updated the regency look with a punk twist for the modern age.
Each year Anna Wintour chooses a number of co-chairs to host the event with her, Tom Ford and Instagram's Adam Mosseri.
This year Blake Lively and her hubby Ryan Reynolds, award-winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and actress Regina King have the honour.
Given the meticulous detail that goes into planning the Met Gala, it is little surprise that there are a number of rules that even the top celebs must abide by when attending the event, especially if they want to be invited back.
The first is a ban on phones – specifically for taking photos (so no selfies) and posting on social media (I mean, how gauche). It was reported in 2015 that guests received a notice reminding them that: "the use of phones for photography and social media will not be permitted inside the gala."
In 2018, the Met Gala brought in a rule of no under 18s allowed. A spokesperson for the event confirmed that the decision had been made because "it's not an appropriate event for people under 18".
There is also no smoking allowed in the gallery – an understandable rule for a building housing pieces of art.
And if you think a celeb can sit next to who they want or at least move around on the table to which they've been assigned, think again.
"A lot of thought goes into who sits next to who, if they sat together last year, if they've sat next to each other at other events, so much goes into it, it's shocking," Vogue's Sylvana Ward Durrett says. She also reveals that spouses are never seated together.
"The whole point of these things is to meet new people and to be interested in what others are doing. What's the point if you come here to hang out with your husband?" she adds.
The final rule is around the menu. No one wants smelly breath, food in their teeth or food that's messy to eat (hello bruschetta), so some of the ingredients banned are onions, garlic and parsley.
Who will be there this year
With only 400 invitations for everyone in the fashion, music, acting and general celebrity world, the Met Gala is a hotly sought-out invitation.
While the actual guest list is top secret, regular attendees include Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, who we assume will be there with beau Ben Affleck this year (yay Bennifer), Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, Beyoncé and Madonna.
Other big names expected to attend this year include Taylor Swift and Zendaya.
While Kim Kardashian has been a number of times, not all members of the Kardashian clan have scored an invitation. According to in-the-know US gossip site Page Six, Kourtney and Khloé have been invited for the first time this year.
The 2022 Met Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 3 at 8am AEST. Vogue will live stream the event across Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
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