The Met Gala, an event fashionistas regard as the night of the year, but is it a true showcase of fashion or more a case of showing-off?
For those that don’t know, because let’s be honest this is an A-list event, the Met Gala is basically the fashion equivalent of the Oscars, attended by models, designers and many Hollywood stars. Since its beginning in 1946, the event occurs every first Monday in May, as a fundraising gala, hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year’s gala celebrated the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, with Japanese designer, “Rei Kawakubo - Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”. “Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” said Costume Institute curator in charge Andrew Bolton. Katy Perry acted as co-host and walking the red carpet were celebrities such as Celine Dion, Natasha Poly, Frank Ocean and Kate Hudson.
Many would view this black-tie event as an over-indulgent evening meant purely for the entertainment of the A-list celebrities attending. Tickets alone for the event add up to a shocking £30,000, and the event itself is massively publicised (for reasons other than the fashion). Before the event, celebrities have been pampered and preened, to hide their imperfections and not only this but by the best of hairdressers and make-up artists. Arguably this gives not only a wrong but also an unrealistic image for other women. After the gala, celebrities are hugely judged on their outfit choice online and in magazines internationally, who looked the best and who made the biggest fashion mistake. It is an important event of the year, but with the invite list being so exclusive, the Met Gala could be making fashion something only enjoyable for the elite and famous.
This leads to question how far fashion must rely upon its audience and their reaction. The idea of the Met Gala is to showcase designers such as Versace and Christian Dior, that is its purpose. I think that the focus of the event is the fashion and whilst the notion of body image is extremely important, here it should be overlooked. The strong focus on self-image is an issue in the media, particularly in the fashion industry, however this year’s gala particularly has been credited for the wide variety of body types and lack of body shaming. Year upon year people look to this event as a showcase of art and fashion, and whilst celebrities can endorse the products and to a degree can only involve the more privileged, the Met Gala and results after the event is something that can be shared with fashion-lovers all over the world. Celebrities are simply there to promote. Many designers, new collections and new trends are showcased on the red carpet, and fashion is something to be celebrated at this event. It must also be remembered that this event is a fundraiser, which year upon year raises money for the Costume Institute of the museum. The sheer fact that this event has been going for so many years that by now, it has become tradition and I believe this tradition should be continued to be honoured. I for one will continue to watch and wait patiently for my invite.