rihanna met gala 2023
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Everything you need to know about the 2024 Met Gala

09 Nov 2023 | By Hitanshi Kamdar

Fashion’s biggest night out will breathe new life into archival pieces for 2024

The Met Gala 2024, the primary fundraiser for the Anna Wintour Costume Center at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, will return next May, bringing with it all the fabulous frocks and jaw-dropping gowns that the event has become known for. Each year the party, also known as fashion’s biggest night out, is themed around that year’s headline exhibition, with fashion designers and their celebrity guests expected to dress accordingly. So what is the 2024 Met Gala theme and when will the big event take place? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Met Gala 2024 theme?

The theme for the 2024 Anna Wintour Costume Center exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and its accompanying highly anticipated Met Gala, has been announced as Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.

But, while the Met Gala is synonymous with voluminous ballgowns, the fairytale-sounding name has nothing to do with Disney princesses, but instead refers to the historic garments drawn from the Met’s private collection that will be on display. Specifically, the exhibition will focus on pieces deemed too fragile to ever be worn again but which hold archival and historical significance. Think a Charles Frederick Worth ballgown, an Elsa Schiaparelli surrealist creation, or perhaps even Marilyn Monroe’s iconic crystal-embellished dress that was damaged when Kim Kardashian wore it to the Met Gala in 2022.

Featuring around 250 pieces, the exhibition will run from 10 May to 2 September 2024. Talking about the exhibition, Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Center, explained that it would aim to relate fashion to the memory and emotions that can be imbued in clothing. 

The exhibition will be structured around 50 historic garments displayed alongside modern pieces that reference these older designs. Technology, including holograms, soundscaping, and artificial intelligence, will be interspersed throughout will contextualise the pieces and create immersive experiences. With Nick Knight of Showstudio consulting on the visuals and artist Sissel Tolas crafting scents for the exhibit, spaces that engage all the senses will take priority.

Alongside drawing on the past, the exhibition will also highlight fashion’s dependence and effect on the natural world. Shaped around three zones – land, sea, and sky – Sleeping Beauties promises to be an ode to the natural materials used in garments. The focus will be on sustainable, craft-centric, and innovative creations. 

florence pugh met gala 2023
Image: Evan Agostini/Alamy

When is the Met Gala 2024?

The Met Gala will take place, as always, on the first Monday in May – which for the 2024 event is 6 May.

Who is attending the 2024 Met Gala?

While the full list of Met Gala attendees won't be revealed until the big night, the guest list always takes the form of high-profile fashion designers and their specially invited celebrity guests. What is guaranteed, however, is that the guest list will include some seriously starry names, with previous celebrity appearances including Rihanna, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Margot Robbie and Kate Moss.

What will celebrities wear to the Met Gala?

While the exhibition itself has all the makings of a great fashion display, the Met Gala red carpet poses designers and stylists with the challenge of dipping into archival designs and collections to create statement-making looks. Perhaps a vintage Balenciaga revival or McQueen’s darkly romantic archives could grace the carpet, while guests could draw on the older Victorian influences also on display at the exhibit.

The Costume Center's Sleeping Beauties aims to infuse appreciation and reverence for fashion into the zeitgeist while highlighting how distant we’ve become from the making process in an era of fast fashion. As always, we can’t wait to see how fashion’s glitterati responds.

Read more: Gucci Cosmos exhibition opens in London