Tuesday, 1 November 2016

DO IT FOR THE FASHION, IF NOTHING ELSE

(FUN)DRAISING

BY: MAYA DONKERS

Oh, Met Gala *insert dreams*. The universal 'we' all wait in anticipation for the red carpet fashions, celebrities, and Instagram photos that accompany the grand opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit.

Although it often goes unacknowledged amidst all the media buzz, the Met Gala (or Met Ball) is in fact a fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute in New York City.

Fashion drools. Source.

So, why a black tie extravaganza? 


The Costume Institute is the only one of the Met's curatorial departments that has to fund itself! Unofficially, the festivities in New York on the first Monday of May, have been called many things, including “the party of the year,” and an "A.T.M. for the Met,” by publicist Paul Wilmot.

A scene from the exhibition "China: Through the Looking Glass". Source.

And - what makes it the "party of the year"? 


Anna Wintour, the editor of American Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, took over as chairwoman in 1999. Since then, she has been instrumental in transforming the philanthropic event into a "celebrity power cocktail".

Madonna making an entrance at the exhibition "Punk: Chaos to Couture". Source.

Then... How much does it cost?


According to the New York Times, tickets last year were $30,000 apiece, and tables were $275,000 (more than $12.5 million was raised). The party and exhibit are sponsored, so all the money raised from ticket sales goes to the Costume Institute. Not everyone has to pay for a ticket as brands often invite celebrities to be their guests and Anna Wintour also invites up-and-coming designers who might not be able to afford a ticket.

Anna Wintour at the 2014 Met Gala. Source.
That is some serious fundraising. Dream job anyone?

Also, check out the Netflix documentary, The First Monday in May, for an in-depth look at the exhibition planning and design that goes into the Met Gala!

Source: 

Friedman, Vanessa. 2016. "'What is the Met Gala, and Who Gets to Go?" The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/fashion/what-is-the-met-gala-and-who-gets-to-go.html.

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