The Met Gala is the ultimate red carpet event for fashion. Held in New York this week it has been a well documented fashion event with models and celebrities wearing standout dresses to grab the media spotlight.
In contrast to the fashion in the early years, this year showed many celebs in show stopping ‘barely there’ outfits, which leads you to wonder; how much is this event to do with fashion and how much is it now to do with personal publicity?
To give you a brief history, the Met Gala was established in 1946 and was formally known as the Costume Institute Gala. It’s an annual fundraising event raising millions of dollars for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York with the gala marking the opening of the museum’s annual fashion exhibition. Chaired since 1995 by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, this exclusive event caters for a limited 700 attendees, each paying a whopping $25,000 per ticket.
The dress code theme for each year’s gala matches the theme of the exhibition and for 2015 it was “China: Through the Looking Glass.” Each year, designers create stand out red carpet outfits for the coveted Vogue best dressed accolade, making each year a more photographed and critiqued event. It has become a stark contrast to the more conservative outfits seen in the early 40’s, 50’s and 60’s which leads me to think how our perceptions have changed.
There is no denying the Met Gala is a guaranteed headline-generator, and unlike celebrities attending movie premiers or award ceremonies as part of their job to promote their film, the Met Gala has become the ultimate location for designer publicity and celebrity self promotion.
This year it appeared that the mission of the female celebrity heavyweights was to gain as much column inches as possible for their career and fans, each one outshining their counterparts for the title of best dressed.
By revealing more flesh this year it seemed to have worked as Kim Kardashian and J-Lo’s bottom shot taken by Kanye West gathered a whopping 1.3 million likes on Instagram and Beyoncé’s figure hugging sheer dress with perfectly positioned adornments got instant press coverage around the globe. Then of course there was Rhianna’s attention grabbing yellow cape by Couturier Guo Pei which some critiques said made her look like a cracked egg!
Regardless of the type of press coverage, the Met Gala has certainly become the place ‘to be seen’, and if it raises awareness of the Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and raises money for a good cause, then in my eyes, fashion event or publicity stunt it’s win win all round.