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Zendaya and Sleeping Beauties: Everything you need to know about this year's Met Gala

This year's Met Gala promises to be as dazzling of a spectacle as ever
This year's Met Gala promises to be as dazzling of a spectacle as ever Copyright Credit: AP Photo
Copyright Credit: AP Photo
By Theo FarrantAP
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The Met Gala, often dubbed as "fashion's biggest night out," is just around the corner. But what exactly is the event, and why does it garner so much excitement each year?

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On the first Monday in May - 6 May, that is - the worlds of film, fashion, music, sports, politics, and social media will collide to grace the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its annual Costume Institute Benefit. 

Celebrities from around the globe will gather to enjoy cocktails, dinner, and explore the latest exhibit, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion." 

So, as the excitement builds, let's dive into everything you need to know about the dazzling spectacle.

What's the point of the Met Gala?

Rihanna arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala for its 2015 edition.
Rihanna arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala for its 2015 edition.Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

It started in 1948 as a society midnight supper, attended mainly by New York's elite. It has since evolved over the years into the star-studded extravaganza we know today. 

Now one of the most photographed events globally, it is renowned for its head-spinning red carpet and often lavish celebrity outfits.

It's important to note that the Met Gala serves a purpose: it raises money for the Met’s Costume Institute. Last year, it raised nearly $22 million (€20.6m), setting a record for the self-funding department. Additionally, it launches the annual spring exhibit, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the museum.

But it’s the carpet itself that draws the world’s eyes, with the 400-strong guest list the subject of rabid speculation until the last minute - a collection of luminaries that arguably makes for the highest celebrity wattage-per-square-foot of any party in the world.

Who are the co-chairs of this year's Met Gala?

From left, Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez and Zendaya, will join Anna Wintour as co-chairs of this year's Met Gala.
From left, Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez and Zendaya, will join Anna Wintour as co-chairs of this year's Met Gala.Credit: AP Photo

Every year, the Met Gala selects four celebrities to assist Anna Wintour, who has been the lead chairperson of the Gala event since 1995, with hosting duties. 

For this year's edition, Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Hemsworth, and Bad Bunny are set to join Wintour as the co-chairs. 

All eyes will be on Zendaya, the internet's favourite fashion icon and method dresser. This will be her first Met Gala appearance since 2019 when she turned heads as Cinderella, complete with a light-up ballgown and her stylist Law Roach as her "fairy godmother".

Expect nothing short of fireworks.

What does this year's Met Gala theme mean?

Doja Cat attends Met gala celebrating the opening of the "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2023.
Doja Cat attends Met gala celebrating the opening of the "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2023.Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision

This year's  theme revolves around “sleeping beauties,” but has little to do with fairytales.

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," the title of the accompanying exhibit, refers to garments from the Costume Institute's collection that have been “in slumber” and now will be on display, some too fragile to hang upright lest they disintegrate. 

Curator Andrew Bolton picked 250 pieces spanning four centuries.

The theme is accompanied by a dress code - this year, it's “The Garden of Time.” The theme and dress code are often interpreted ... loosely. So there's a chance you may see an Aurora on the carpet, after all.

How can I get a ticket?

Wrong question. You can't just buy a ticket. The right question is: If I were famous or powerful and got invited, how much would it cost?

So if I were among the rich and famous and invited, how much would it cost?

Well, you might not pay yourself. Generally companies buy tables. A fashion label would then host its desired celebrities. Tickets have in the past cost $50,000 (€49,000) for an individual, and $300,000 (€281,000) or more for a table. 

What goes on inside?

Jeremy Pope and Olivier Rousteing attend the Met gala for the "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" exhibition opening on May 1, 2023
Jeremy Pope and Olivier Rousteing attend the Met gala for the "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" exhibition opening on May 1, 2023Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Entering the museum, guests walk past what is usually an impossibly enormous flower arrangement in the lobby, with perhaps an orchestra playing nearby, and over to cocktails. Or, they head to view the exhibit. Cocktails are about 6 pm to 8 pm, followed by dinner, but the most famous — or those who plan to make the biggest entrance — sometimes come (fashionably) later.

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When and where?

6 May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The red carpet ahead of the event will start at 6 pm ET (that's midnight Central European Time). 

Mark your calendars!

How can I watch?

You can watch the whole carpet unfold on a Vogue livestream. If you’re in New York, you can also join fans across the street, behind barricades, on Fifth Avenue or even further east on Madison.

Make sure to check back with Euronews Culture, as we'll be compiling the best fashion looks and covering all the most talked-about moments. Bring it on!

Video editor • Theo Farrant

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