Every year on the first Monday in May fashion fans come together for the annual invitation-only fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The annual evening is a celebration of the museum’s upcoming exhibition and arguably the biggest night of the year in fashion, so as soon as the Costume Institute announced the theme of the 2024 Met Gala: “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” social media predictably began the countdown to the big night and began speculating about what exactly this seemingly vague theme could represent.
It’s true. The 2024 theme initially feels more vague than past themes which include: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” (2023), “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” (2022), “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” (2021), “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), and “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), but the more you know about “Sleeping Beauties” the cohesive the upcoming event feels.
Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, said: “Fashion is one of the most emotional artistic forms because of its connection to the body. It is imbued with memory and emotions, and we relate to it very much via our senses. One thing I hope this show will activate is that sensorial appreciation of fashion.”
So what does the “Sleeping Beauties” theme mean? Read on for all of the details we have so far for the 2024 Met Gala and the extravagant exhibit that will open to the public a few days after.
What is the Met Gala 2024 theme?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’ spring 2024 exhibit will be entitled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” Approximately 250 items drawn from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection—some very rarely seen in public before—will be displayed in an entirely new way. The pieces displayed will represent over 400 years of fashion history and will include at least 15 archival items deemed too fragile ever to be worn again. These exceptionally rare garments are the “sleeping beauties” of the Costume Institute’s collection.
Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, said: “The Met’s innovative spring 2024 Costume Institute exhibition will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience the multisensory facets of a garment.” He added: “‘Sleeping Beauties’ will heighten our engagement with these masterpieces of fashion by evoking how they feel, move, sound, smell, and interact when being worn, ultimately offering a deeper appreciation of the integrity, beauty, and artistic brilliance of the works on display.”
When is the 2024 Met Gala?
The 2024 Met Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, 2023. As usual, it will be held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and will include a star-studded red carpet taking place on the museum’s iconic front steps.
Who is attending the 2024 Met Gala?
The exclusive event’s guest list is never revealed before the gala, but you can expect to see a ton of your fave celebrity faces on the museum’s red carpet.
When will the “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” exhibit run?
The Costume Institute’s spring 2024 “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” exhibit will be on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from May 10 until September 2, 2024.
More on the xxhibit…
With a focus on sustainability, the “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” exhibit will be categorized into three zones: land, sea, and sky. Each of these zones will include garments comprised of materials that can be traced back to their respective category, with the aim of highlighting the relationship between fashion and the environment.
The core exhibit will span 400 years of history and will feature original pieces: from a 17th century English Elizabethan-era bodice to 21st century acquisitions by designers including including Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, Connor Ives, and Alexander McQueen. Other pieces featured in the exhibit will include designs by Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy.
On the importance of this year’s exhibit, Andrew Bolton, head curator of The Costume Institute, said, “Fashion is one of the most emotional artistic forms because of its connection to the body. It is imbued with memory and emotions, and we relate to it very much via our senses. One thing I hope this show will activate is that sensorial appreciation of fashion.”
The history of the annual Met Gala
The Costume Institute houses a collection of more than 35,000 costumes and accessories spanning five continents and just as many centuries, and is the only curatorial department at the famed Met in NYC that has to finance its own activities. The annual gala is its biggest fundraiser. Click here to read THE STORY OF: The Annual Met Gala for a little context on the fashion industry’s most important party.