If I was to ask you what the Met Gala is, would you know? Don’t worry if the answer is no. In fact, you are not alone. Many people, although know or at least have heard of the famous gala, have no clue what it is for, or why it is held.
Once a small event where a ticket would cost you only $50, the event has now morphed into New York’s biggest spectacle since it’s opening in 1946. It is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute based in New York. The opening of the gala marks the grand opening of the Costume’s Institute’s annual fashion exhibit, with each year celebrating a different theme. The theme of the Costume Institute’s exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress of the night. Most recently, the 2016 Met Gala’s theme was Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. It focused on the contradiction between handmade couture and machine-made fashion and how the distinction can sometimes become blurred. The history of New York’s society, cultural and fashion worlds went fashion-forward and futuristic for the biggest red carpet night of the year.
In its seventieth year, the museum’s magical, dazzling event attracts the biggest names in business, from fashion attendees such as Karl Lagerfeld and Oliver Rousteing, to film starts like Nicole Kidman and Kate Hudson. With the Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, chairing the event since 1995, it is one of the most exclusive social events and one of the biggest fundraising nights in the city.
With this year’s theme being Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, a variety of different approaches were taken by attendees in order to impress the world. Many of the outfits that were worn on the night featured a bold, silver, robotic statement, with many of those on the red carpet wearing long gowns with intricate silver embellishments. For example, Kim Kardashian West wore a fully embellished and mirrored Balmain gown alongside her husband, Kanye West, in a Balmain mirrored jacket. Similarly, Taylor Swift donned a reptile-print, side-cut out, Louis Vuitton halter dress paired with lace-up black heels. Although looking stunning with her statement bleached bob and wine lip colour, technology seemed a distant thought- at least Katy Perry brought her Tamagotchi with her!
Arguably the most impressive of this year’s gala was Claire Dane’s glow-in-the-dark gown upstaging the red carpet robot army that every other person had adopted. The actress made a show-stopping entrance in a sky-blue gown created by Zac Posen. The one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn, creation was crafted from fibre optics which allowed the dress to light up in the dark. The high-tech garment featured a voluminous skirt, and due to the size of the dress, Danes and Posen had to make an alternate travel arrangement as an ordinary car was simply not big enough.
The stylish ground for high fashion and for high tech has an enormous effect on the industry as it confirms the future of fashion (pun not intended). It is an event dedicated to fashion that is innovative, ground-breaking and simply extraordinary.