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All About The MET Gala 2024 and Costume Institute's Sleeping Beauties Exhibition

Met Gala 2024
Fashion on display at the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.BY GARY GERSHOFF/WIREIMAGE.

The Met Gala is a big deal in the fashion and art world. Every year, it brings together famous people, fancy clothes, and creative ideas. The anticipation surrounding the Met Gala 2024 is palpable as fashion enthusiasts eagerly await one of the most prestigious events in the industry. This year's theme, The Garden of Time, promises to transport attendees into a realm where fashion intertwines with the cyclical nature of existence. The theme was inspired by the 1962 short story by J.G. Ballard, which explores the concept of preservation using flowers as a symbol of beauty, youth and innocence. However, the excitement doesn't end with the gala itself. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has unveiled details about its spring 2024 exhibition, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion, which will run from 10, May to 2, September, 2024.

Zendaya Met Gala 2024
Getty Images

The Met Gala 2024 Dress Code

As whispers and anticipation swirl around the upcoming Met Gala, slated for the spring of 2024, all eyes are fixed on the tantalizing theme: "The Garden of Time." At the helm of celebrity co-chairs Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny and Chris Hemsworth, along with Anna Wintour. Since its inception, the Met Gala has captured imaginations and headlines with its daring themes and breathtaking exhibitions. From "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" to "Camp: Notes on Fashion," each theme has sparked discussions, inspired designers, and provided a canvas for attendees to express themselves in the most extravagant and thought-provoking ways.

Heavenly Bodies

Met gala 2024
Heavenly Bodies

The Garden of Time invites contemplation of the temporal nature of fashion, art, and existence itself. It beckons attendees to explore the cyclical rhythms of history, the ephemeral nature of trends, and the timeless allure of beauty. Much like a garden, which blooms and withers with the passage of seasons, fashion and art evolve in a perpetual dance with time. This theme promises to be a tapestry woven with threads of nostalgia, innovation, and reflection.

Photo: Getty Images

In the lead-up to the event, reports suggest that the gala will feature immersive installations inspired by the concept of time's passage, with designers drawing from a myriad of influences spanning centuries and cultures. Expectations run high for sartorial displays that pay homage to bygone eras, celebrate contemporary innovation, and offer tantalizing glimpses into the future of style. People who want to emphasize the "garden" part of "The Garden of Time" might use flower patterns, shapes, and colors in their outfits. They might also add 3D elements like flower-shaped designs or big flower decorations to their clothes. Those who focus on the "time" part might use old-fashioned styles from the past to show the theme. From elaborate period costumes to avant-garde couture, the red carpet promises to be a veritable garden of sartorial delights.

Yet, beyond the glamour and glitz, "The Garden of Time" invites deeper introspection. In an era marked by rapid change and uncertainty, this theme serves as a poignant reminder of the immutable passage of time. It prompts us to consider our place within the grand tapestry of history and to reflect on the legacy we leave behind.

About the exhibition

With Andrew Bolton spearheading the exhibition and Nick Knight serving as the Creative Consultant, alongside contributions from SHOWstudio and other collaborators, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion promises to be a groundbreaking showcase of fashion's timeless allure. As visitors embark on this sensory journey, they will gain a newfound appreciation for the artistry, beauty, and historical significance embedded within each garment. This exhibition is set to showcase approximately 250 garments and accessories from The Met's collection, all interconnected by the theme of nature. Through a captivating blend of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, Sleeping Beauties aims to revive the sensory experiences associated with these masterpieces. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with the exhibits on a deeper level, from smelling the aromatic histories of hats adorned with floral motifs to experiencing the illusionary effect of the hobble skirt through Pepper's ghost technique.

Met Gala 2024
The Costume Institute Conservation Lab in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Petit.

What's more? On 6, May 6, the Met Gala will be co-chaired by an illustrious lineup including Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Wintour, and Zendaya. The gala not only serves as a glamorous affair but also plays a crucial role in funding The Costume Institute's annual endeavours. Following the gala, the centrepiece unveiled in the Great Hall will remain on display to the public on May 7, allowing a broader audience to partake in the splendour of the event.

The exhibition itself promises to be a transformative experience, thanks to the generous support from TikTok, LOEWE, and Condé Nast. Max Hollein, the Museum's Director and CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the innovative showcase, which seeks to push the boundaries of imagination and offer a multisensory journey through the world of fashion. The exhibition's layout will feature self-contained galleries organized around themes inspired by nature, including earth, air, and water. Each gallery will present a unique perspective on the relationship between fashion and the natural world, inviting visitors to explore historical garments alongside contemporary creations.

Notable highlights of the exhibition include a garden-themed gallery showcasing hats adorned with flowers, an interactive display of a 1913–14 evening dress employing Pepper's ghost illusion, and examples of Charles James's iconic Butterfly ball gown, both pristine and in a state of delicate decay. Visitors will also have the opportunity to interact with select pieces through 3-D printed maquettes and interactive embossed wallpaper, further enhancing their sensory experience.

As the countdown to the Met Gala begins, anticipation reaches a fever pitch. "The Garden of Time" beckons, promising an evening of opulence, innovation, and inspiration—a celebration of the timeless allure of fashion and the eternal beauty of the human spirit.


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