What Is the Met Gala Anyway?

For the fashion world, the Met Gala is one of the most important days of the year, but if you don't totally get what the night is all about, allow us to fill you in.

Every year on the first Monday of May, the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds a fundraising gala for its Costume Institute, dubbed the Met Gala. The Costume Institute spotlights a different theme or designer every year, and that focus becomes the theme of the red carpet, where celebrities are encouraged to dress accordingly.

This year's Met Gala theme is Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, so expect to see a lot of Kawakubo's iconic work on May 1. Unlike at award shows, the red carpet of the Met Gala is the only part of the evening that the public can see, since the dinner inside is private. This makes the red carpet an event in itself, to the point where it's even been dubbed the Oscars of fashion. Everyone from Rihanna to Kate Upton wears the most extravagant and out-there looks available, and Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor in chief and the event's co-chair, actually signs off on everyone's outfit beforehand, so you know it won't be boring.

If you're still looking for more background on the Met Gala, let Vogue's Hamish Bowles give you a quick history of the Met Gala in the video below.



You can still dress like a Met Gala attendee even if you won't be on the red carpet this year. Check out some shoppable Met Gala–worthy looks.