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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Met Gala: Iconic from 1948 to present day

By Belle Nhan | Staff Writer

Earlier this month, the most awaited fashion spectacle, the Met Gala was held in New York City, with over 100 guests and countless unique looks decorating the iconic red carpet.
Also known as the Costume Institute Gala, the event is usually held on the first Monday of May. This year’s theme was “Gilded Glamour.” The Costume Institute’s newest exhibition’s title is “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” connecting with last year’s theme but in a more historical perspective.
Overtime, the Gala became well known as a “cultural phenomenon,” accordinging to Architectural Digest. The general public are able to participate in the event through “rating” the looks that appear on the carpet. The event is an influential symbol of fashion and is one of the biggest events that occurs in the Western entertainment industry.
Many of the attendees use the Gala as a platform to express their opinions on politics or on the environment, such as Billie Ellish who wore a dress made from all recycled material and created a statement about the fashion industry taking steps towards eco-friendly alternatives.
Guests often work with renowned brands to design custom-made looks. Some of the newest brands seen on the carpet are Miu Miu and Chirstopher Kane.
One of the most expensive outfits was worn by Kim Kardashian, which originally belonged to Marylin Monroe. Kardashian had to lose approximately 16 pounds in order to fit in the dress, demonstrating the lengths that attendees are willing to go for the perfect appearance on the carpet.
An iconic trend that occurred for five consecutive years was actress Blake Lively’s outfits matching the carpet. Although Lively was not able to match her outfit to the carpet this year, it is still one of the most extravagant dresses seen at the Met.
Past exhibitions featured legendary designers like Alexander Mcqueen or highlighted various aspects of American fashion from technology to punk rock.
The first Gala was organized by the founder of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and fashion publicist, Eleanor Lambert, in 1948. The event began shortly after the Costume Institute merged with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Nancy Chilton, Chief External Relations Officer for the Costume Institute explained, “Since then, the benefit has grown in size, scope, and profile, and remains the vitally important main source of funding for the department’s exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements.”
In the beginning, the Gala was not held in the Museum, but rather at other venues, such as New York’s Central Park. At this time, the number of guests were often small groups of the most elite figures in society.
In 1955, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour, became co-chair and oversaw the event ever since. Under Wintour’s leadership, the event has invited a variety of guests such as singers, models, and social media influencers.
Wintour has the final say on who gets to attend the invite-only Gala. According to Wionews, tickets cost close to $35,000 and tables range from $200,000-$300,000.
The event incorporates fundraising for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, and this year, they raised almost $17.4 million, according to ABC10 news San Diego. Overall, Wintour was able to raise approximately $176 million for the institution.
Wintour told the Washington Post,”There’s many reasons why we feel so passionately and so strongly that this [event] is important and it’s a symbol, I think, for the creativity of fashion and having fun with fashion, but far by far the most important reason is the fundraising, the attention that it brings to the exhibition and to the museum.”

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Met Gala: Iconic from 1948 to present day