If you haven’t heard by now, The Met Gala is one of the biggest - if not the biggest - social event of the year in celeb land. In fact, just being invited to attend is a privilege in itself, even for A-list celebrities.
Some iconic stars such as Britney Spears for example, Angelina Jolie, and Meryl Streep, have never even set foot inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fashion’s Biggest Night.
Now we don’t know the exact reason as to why these stars have never attended the Met Gala, but what we do know is that Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour has a very specific vision, and has a say in everything from the decor to the guest list to what each attendee wears.
So who DOES get to go? And how does it all work? The Met Gala hosts fashion tastemakers, politicians, business people, poets, activists and of course, the big name celebrities who bring in all the publicity.
At its core, the Met Gala is a fundraising event. The party and exhibit are sponsored while tickets and tables go on sale to raise money for the Museum’s Costume Institute.
According to sources, a table usually costs around $275 000 while a single ticket costs approximately $30 000.
Usually, designer brands such as Gucci, Prada, Givenchy, and the rest will buy up tables, and then invite celebrities to sit at their tables, who they will of course also dress for the occasion.
However, not just any celebrity can attend. The Met Gala is reserved for a certain calibre of star. Someone who is exceptional in their field, and is seen as a fashion icon.
Previously, there was the impression that reality stars were not worthy of attending the event (hence, we have never seen a Khloe or a Kourtney walk the steps, despite their massive influence, and even Kim was once just Kanye’s plus-one).
It seemed then, that the millennial and Gen Z audience were somewhat sidelined from the event, as they did not see their regular online ‘stars’ in attendance.
In recent years however, this rule seems to have softened, as Kylie, Kendall and the trio of ‘Instagram models’ at the time (think Haliey Bieber, Gigi and Bellah Hadid) all got invited in 2016.
This sparked a renewed interest in the Met Gala from a younger, digitally-savvy audience, and the invite list has become even more inclusive since.
This year, YouTube star Emma Chamberlain was a host at the event, a major moment in her career, having just started making home videos a little over four years ago. The previous year, fellow YouTube star and comedian Liza Koshy was also a host, receiving rave reviews in the comments section on Vogue’s YouTube page, and pulling in big viewer numbers with her relaxed and informal interviewing style. This was in stark contrast to the event’s former red carpet host Andre Leon Tally (Vogue’s former Creative Director).
With a focus on young influential stars, it makes sense then, that this year’s Met Gala co-chairs consisted of BIllie Eilish, tennis star Naomi Osaka, tween heartthrob Timothy Chamalet, and young poet and activist Amanda Gorman.
Each with their own cult fan base and massive digital influence, their presence and involvement definitely pulled in major interest into this year’s Met Gala. And it doesn’t hurt that they are all at the top of their career game - Billie being a fashion rule breaker, Naomi redefining the rules of sportsmanship, and Timothy and Amanda each successful in their own right.
It seems as the channels of being a successful celebrity begin to change these days, so too does the exclusivity of the Met Gala guest list. TikTokkers Addison Rae and Dixie D’Amelio even scored invites to the event. Does this mean the event is no longer as elitist as it used to be. Perhaps next year we’ll finally see Khloe Kardashian make an entrance...