It’s Met Gala Time Again — Here’s What We Know So Far

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld acknowledges the applause of his models at the end of the show he designed for the French fashion house Chanel, for the 1993-94 Fall-Winter haute couture collection in Paris, July 20, 1993. (AP)
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld acknowledges the applause of his models at the end of the show he designed for the French fashion house Chanel, for the 1993-94 Fall-Winter haute couture collection in Paris, July 20, 1993. (AP)
TT

It’s Met Gala Time Again — Here’s What We Know So Far

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld acknowledges the applause of his models at the end of the show he designed for the French fashion house Chanel, for the 1993-94 Fall-Winter haute couture collection in Paris, July 20, 1993. (AP)
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld acknowledges the applause of his models at the end of the show he designed for the French fashion house Chanel, for the 1993-94 Fall-Winter haute couture collection in Paris, July 20, 1993. (AP)

Last year, it took 275,000 bright pink roses to adorn the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Met Gala, the biggest night in fashion and one of the biggest concentrations of star power anywhere.

It remains to be seen how the museum’s Great Hall will be decorated come the first Monday in May, but one thing is not in question: those entering it will look spectacular. The theme centers on the late designer Karl Lagerfeld, who made an indelible mark on luxury fashion in his long career at Chanel, Fendi and elsewhere. It is a theme not without controversy — Lagerfeld was known for contentious remarks about everything from #MeToo to curvy bodies.

Want to know what to expect as the big day approaches? Not to worry. The Associated Press dusted off its annual guide with some key updates.

What is the Met Gala anyway?

It started in 1948 as a society midnight supper, and wasn’t even at the Met.

Fast forward 70-plus years, and the Met Gala is something totally different, one of the most photographed events in the world for its head-spinning red carpet — though the carpet isn’t always red.

We’re talking Rihanna as a bejeweled pope. Zendaya as Cinderella with a light-up gown. Katy Perry as a chandelier morphing into a hamburger. Billy Porter as an Egyptian sun god. And Lady Gaga’s 16-minute striptease. And, last year, host Blake Lively’s Versace dress — a tribute to iconic New York architecture — that changed colors in front of our eyes.

Then there’s Kim Kardashian, bringing commitment to a whole other level. (It’s reasonably safe to expect her again this year, because why wouldn’t she be coming?) One year, she wore a dress so tight, she admitted she had to take breathing lessons beforehand. Two years ago, she wore a dark bodysuit that covered even her face. But then last year she truly stole the carpet, showing up in Marilyn Monroe’s actual, rhinestone-studded “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress (borrowed from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum), changing the minute she got inside to protect it. There was controversy later over suspicions, denied by Ripley’s, that she’d caused some damage. But still — that was an entrance.

It’s important to note that the party has a purpose — last year, the evening earned $17.4 million for the Met’s Costume Institute, a self-funding department. Yes, that’s a heckuva lot for a gala. It also launches the annual spring exhibit that brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to the museum.

But it’s the carpet itself that draws the world’s eyes, with the guest list — strategically withheld until the last minute — featuring a collection of notables from movies, music, fashion, sports, politics and social media that arguably makes for the highest celebrity wattage-per-square-foot of any party in the world.

Who’s hosting this year?

This year’s five hosts are drawn from television (Emmy-winning writer, actor and producer Michaela Coel); the movies (Oscar-winning actor Penélope Cruz, who has worked with Chanel for more than 20 years); sports (recently retired tennis superstar Roger Federer); and music (Grammy-winning songstress Dua Lipa). Finally, there is Vogue’s Anna Wintour (do we need to tell you she’s in fashion?) running the whole thing as usual.

Is there always a theme?

Yes. As mentioned above, the theme is Karl Lagerfeld, and the exhibit, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” looks at “the designer’s stylistic vocabulary as expressed in aesthetic themes that appear time and again in his fashions from the 1950s to his final collection in 2019.” Once again, it has been created by the Met’s star curator, Andrew Bolton.

Does everyone follow the theme?

Not really. Some eschew it and just go for big and crazy. But expect some guests to carefully research the theme and come in perfect sync. It was hard to beat the carpet, for example, when the theme was tied to “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and Rihanna came as the pope, Zendaya channeled Joan of Arc, and Perry navigated the crowd with a set of enormous angel wings. For Lagerfeld, the clothes may be a bit more, er, down to earth.

How much do I have to pay for a Met Gala ticket?

Wrong question. You cannot just buy a ticket. The right question is: If I were famous or powerful and got invited, how much would it cost? Well, you might not pay yourself. Generally, companies buy tables. A fashion label would then host its desired celebrities. This year, the cost has gone up, as it does every few years due to rising expenses: It’s now $50,000 for an individual ticket, and tables start at $300,000.

This year, there will be roughly 400 guests — similar to recent years but still lower than pre-pandemic highs of 500-600. Wintour and her team still get to approve every guest.

Trying to predict? Take out your pen and jot down some of your favorite names, the buzzier the better. Newly minted Oscar winners, for example, are a good bet. Broadway is a special favorite of Wintour’s. She also loves tennis — this is not fashionable Federer’s first Met Gala. Now, cross everyone off your list except the very top. At this gala, everybody’s A-list.

How can I watch?

You can watch the whole carpet unfold on a Vogue livestream. If you’re in New York, you can also join fans across the street, behind barricades, on Fifth Avenue or even further east on Madison. Timothée Chalamet has been known to greet fans.

Do we know who’s coming? And who isn’t?

It’s secret. But reports slip out, often about who is not coming and why. You can count on various celebrity Chanel ambassadors showing up. Watch this space.

What happens inside?

Entering the museum, guests walk past what is usually an impossibly enormous flower arrangement in the lobby, with perhaps an orchestra playing nearby, and over to cocktails. Or, they head to view the exhibit. Cocktails are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but the most famous — or those who plan to make the biggest entrance — sometimes come (fashionably) later.

Around 8 p.m., guests are summoned to dinner — perhaps by a team of buglers (“Are they going to do that between every course?” actor Gary Oldman asked aloud one year).

Is it fun for everyone?

Occasionally, someone says no. Tina Fey, in a comic rant to David Letterman in 2015, described the gala as a “jerk parade” and said it included everyone you’d ever want to punch, if you had millions of arms. Amy Schumer left early in 2016 and said later she felt awkward and like it was “a punishment.”

So they never came back, right?

Wrong. Schumer was back in 2017. And then last year again.

Hey, this is the Met Gala.



Moschino Literally Shreds the Fashion Rules on First Day of Milan Fashion Week

 A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
TT

Moschino Literally Shreds the Fashion Rules on First Day of Milan Fashion Week

 A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
A model wears a creation as part of the Moschino Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)

Milan Fashion Week reserved for mostly menswear previews opened Friday with two co-ed collections, underlining that the old calendar rules no longer apply.

The week features just 20 runway shows, which should allow time for reflection on where fashion is headed. Moschino opened with a show combining menswear for next summer and women’s 2025 resort, followed by Canadian designer Dsquared2 with a full menswear and womenswear collection.

Highlights from Friday's show:

LOST AND FOUND AT MOSCHINO

Adrian Appiolaza took the rules and literally shredded them in his second season as Moschino creative director.

“The idea of freedom of expression through dressing is what I want to bring to the future of Moschino, which is tied to the original DNA,” Appiolaza said backstage. “It is not about nationality. It’s really about feeling comfortable, dressing the way you want and not the way you should.”

The Argentine designer reads our collective minds as the summer season beckons in the northern hemisphere, tapping desires to break free from the office routine and reach dream destination. Along the way, daydreams take over, and familiar objects shift.

Appiolaza creates a shimmery tank out of big paperclips. A jacket is covered in textile post-its of forgotten tasks. Another becomes the office worker’s survival jacket, with slots for pens, a note pad, credit cards, ID badge, charging cables, nothing is concealed; this later becomes an adventure jacket with field guides and a magnifying glass.

Suits and trenches are deconstructed into dresses. Then they are shredded, as if to say: Enough. The last straw: An airliner perched on a hat. Then a literal straw skirt.

There is release in safari wear, a beach pareo, skirts that work as postcards, knitwear emblazoned with a soccer ball pattern, a blazer printed with still life of an Italian table: ripe tomatoes, a Chianti bottle and bread, worn with a fraying skirt over trousers.

The collection confidently taps the fashion house’s ironic and playful DNA, with fresh and irreverent twists sure to inspire smiles. A suit shirt comes ready with an ink spot. A sparkly pizza smudge graces a tank, worn with an Italian tri-color skirt emblazoned with soccer balls. Men’s brimmed hats are worn in triplicate, as if resized and multiplied by a fashion copy machine.

“They are all explorers, these characters, on a journey of self-discovery,” Appiolaza said.