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The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes

"Party of the year"

Text: Stephanie Boey


Image: Getty Images

Did you know that the Met Gala was founded by the same person who started New York Fashion Week?

The first Monday of May is usually met with excitement in the air. It's the day the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art holds their annual gala night to celebrate their Costume Institute's yearly exhibit. A quick history lesson: The Met Gala was established in 1948 by the same person who launched New York Fashion Week, fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert in order to raise money for the then newly-founded Costume Institute. Branding it as "party of the year", it was attended by New York's finest elite and the creme de la creme of the fashion industry. It's said that the early days of the Met Gala was held at several of New York's most character-defining locations, like Central Park, the Waldorf-Astoria and the Rainbow Room.

It wasn't until the early '70s when Diana Vreeland of Vogue joined as a special consultant and transformed The Met Gala to what we recognise today. Vreeland's first moves was to relocate the gala into the museum and to invite co-chairs, which would then influence the theme of the exhibitions. Some of the early co-chairs included fashion brands like Balenciaga and Saint Laurent

Trust us to dive deep into the archives to hunt for as many throwback themes as we could find, plus the most extravagant outfits The Met Gala has seen. Which is your favourite year? 

1973 — The World of Balenciaga

1974 — Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 1)
Cher

1975 — American Women of Style

1976 — The Glory of Russian Costume

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 2)
Christina Ford and Imelda Marcos

1977 — Vanity Fair: A Treasure Trove

1978 — Diaghilev: Costumes and Designs of the Ballets Russes

1979 — Fashions of the Habsburg Era: Austria-Hungary

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 3)
Bernard Foucher and Margaux Hemingway

1980 — The Manchu Dragon: Costumes of China, the Chi'ng Dynasty

1981 — The Eighteenth-Century Woman

1982 — La Belle Époque

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 16)
Raquel Welch

1983 — Yves Saint Laurent: 25 Years of Design

 

1984 — Man and the Horse

1985 — Costumes of Royal India

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 20)
Bob Mackie and Cher

 

1986 — Dance

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 21)
Linda Carter and Blaine Trump

1987 — In Style: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Costume Institute

1988 — From Queen to Empress: Victorian Dress

The Met Gala: A visual history of the many, memorable themes (фото 22)
Diane von Furstenberg


1989 - The Age of Napoleon: Costume from Revolution to Empire

1990 — Théâtre de la Mode–Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture

1992 — Fashion and History: A Dialogue

1993 — Diana Vreeland: Immoderate Stylepr

1994 — Orientalism: Visions of the East in western dress

1995 — Haute Couture

1996 — Christian Dior

1997 — Gianni Versace

1998 — Cubism and Fashion

1999 — Rock Style

2001 — Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years

2003 — Goddess: The Classical Mode

2004 — Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century

2005 — The House of Chanel

2006 — AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion

2007 — Poiret: King of Fashion

2008 — Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

2009 — The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion

2010 — American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity

2011 — Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

2012 — Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

2013 — Punk: Chaos to Couture

 

2014 — Charles James: Beyond Fashion

2015 — China: Through the Looking Glass

 

2016 — Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

2017 — Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between


2018 — Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination


2019 — Camp: Notes on Fashion


 

 

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