The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art revealed its theme for the spring 2024 exhibit — and in turn the accompanying Met Gala — as “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” which will look at how fashion and the natural world interact, the latest theme that celebrities and fashion icons will try to visualize at the star-studded annual gala.


2023Last year’s theme was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” and gala attendees dressed to honor the late designer who worked with brands like Chanel and Fendi; but the theme was controversial because, when he was alive, Lagerfeld had reportedly spoken out against gay men adopting children, sexual assault survivors and the #MeToo movement.

2022“Gilded Glamour” was a theme that challenged celebrity attendees to honor fashion’s role throughout American history, leading to many wearing vintage designs — including Kim Kardashian, who stunned the red carpet in the dress that Marilyn Monroe wore while singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

2021Similar to 2022, this year’s theme — “American Independence” — was also meant to honor American fashion, and many did so donning red, white and blue looks; the accompanying exhibit was about 70% young American designers, Vanity Fair reported, and the guest list was heavy on Gen Z attendees.

2019“Camp: Notes on Fashion” was this year’s gala and exhibit theme, and it led to celebrities attempting to achieve the “intentional over-the-top” and slightly off look, as the New York Times called it — including Cardi B, who wore a dress that took 2,000 hours to create, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

2018“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” was a theme that asked guests to wear their “Sunday Best” — and some took an approach criticized as sacreligious, like Rihanna, who donned a pope hat, and Greta Gerwig, who arrived dressed as a nun.

News Peg

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the exhibition’s theme Tuesday, saying in a post on Instagram that it will bring to life 250 garments and accessories, connecting them visually through nature images as “a metaphor for the impermanence of fashion.” The pieces will span 400 years of history, according to Vogue, and will have a sustainability angle as it attempts to “enlighten our understanding of the natural world through the fashioning of dress and textiles.” The exhibit will also feature what the Met is calling “sleeping beauties,” or garments that aren’t able to go on mannequins anymore “due to their extreme fragility.”

Key Background

The Met Gala, which typically occurs the first Monday in May and is a benefit for the museum’s Costume Institute, is recognized as one of the biggest events in fashion. The gala began in 1948 as a simple fundraiser, but now raises millions of dollars to keep the Costume Institute going. When Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour took over the gala in 1995, the party became what it is now — a who’s who event featuring big names in fashion, entertainment and politics. Last year, there were about 400 attendees, and tickets went for $50,000, or $300,000 for a table.

Surprising Fact

This year’s exhibit is sponsored in part by TikTok. Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Institute, told the New York Times that while TikTok doesn’t have a direct tie to the theme, the platform’s involvement could allow the exhibit to “reach a huge audience” that otherwise might not be aware of the museum. It’s also sponsored by Loewe, a Spanish luxury fashion brand.

Further Reading

Vogue“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” Is The Costume Institute’s Spring 2024 ExhibitionAP NewsWhy is Karl Lagerfeld, the Met Gala theme, controversial?MORE FROM FORBESWhat To Know About This Year’s Met Gala: The Theme, The Co-Chairs And Who’s Attending

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