The 2023 Met Gala will be taking place tonight, Monday, May 1st. This year’s dress code is “in honor of Karl” with the Costume Institute exhibition, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, celebrating the history, work, and life of the iconic German designer. Having designed for a variety of houses such as Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, and Jean Patou, attendees will have an abundance of looks to get inspiration from as they pay tribute to his legacy.
The exhibition will have museum curator Andrew Bolton revisit Lagerfeld’s vast history and work. More than 150 pieces will be on display, many of which will be accompanied by Lagerfeld’s sketches. Lagerfeld began his fashion career in 1955 as an assistant to Pierre Balmain in Paris. He went on to work for several fashion houses, including Jean Patou, Chloé, and Fendi, where he served as creative director for over 50 years. He is perhaps best known, however, for his work as creative director at Chanel, a position he held from 1983 until his death. He was known for his innovative and daring designs, his love of luxury, and his ability to blend classic and modern styles in unique and unexpected ways.
This year’s hosts are Penélope Cruz, Dua Lipa, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who has run the Gala since 1995. Although the guest list is top secret until the evening before the event, the Gala usually hosts around 600 attendees. Some of the biggest names in the fashion and artistic landscape attend regularly, and we expect to see stars such as Rihanna, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga. Designers are also known to attend with their muses, like Riccardo Tisci, the designer of Givenchy, who came with Julianne Moore, Cher and Marc Jacobs, or Nicolas Ghesquière and Emma Stone.
Also known as the Costume Institute Gala, the Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. Over the years, the Met Gala has produced several iconic fashion moments that have become a part of pop culture history. Some of the most memorable Met Gala moments were:
Rihanna’s “Yellow Brick Road” gown
In 2015, Rihanna arrived at the Met Gala wearing a yellow, fur-trimmed gown by Chinese designer Guo Pei that took two years to make. The extravagant train spanned the entire staircase, making it one of the most talked-about looks in Met Gala history.
Lady Gaga’s multiple outfit changes
In 2019, Lady Gaga arrived at the Met Gala with not one, but four different looks. The pop star began the night wearing a pink Brandon Maxwell gown and slowly stripped down to reveal three more outfits, including a black bra and underwear set, a hot pink column dress, and a glittering bra and panty set.
Beyoncé’s sheer Givenchy gown
In 2015, Beyoncé arrived at the Met Gala wearing a sheer Givenchy gown covered in strategically placed crystals. The dress was so daring that it sparked memes and inspired countless imitations.
Kim Kardashian’s “wet look” dress
In 2019, Kim Kardashian walked the Met Gala carpet wearing a custom Thierry Mugler dress that appeared to be dripping with water. The “wet look” gown took eight months to create and was one of the most memorable looks of the night.
Zendaya’s Cinderella moment
In 2019, Zendaya set foot on the Met Gala dressed as Cinderella in a light-up gown designed by Tommy Hilfiger. The dress lit up and changed colors as she made her way up the red carpet, creating a magical moment that wowed the crowd.
Blake Lively’s Statue of Liberty “transformative” dress
Last year, Blake Lively stepped foot on the Met Gala red carpet wearing a custom Atelier Versace gown that paid homage to New York City, specifically the architecture of the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty. As she reached the top of the stairs, her gown transformed from a striking copper color to the signature green of the iconic NYC statue, symbolizing the real-life Statue of Liberty’s oxidation process from copper to green.