Pop Culture dictionary

Met Gala

[ met gal-uh ]

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala hosted by the Costume Institute of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (which is often called the Met, for short).

It is known for being an exclusive red carpet event attended by celebrities often wearing over-the-top fashions by famous designers. The looks are based on an annual theme related to the world of fashion.

The Costume Institute is the branch of the Met devoted to fashion. The gala, which celebrates the spring exhibition, helps to fund the Institute’s exhibitions and its acquisitions of new items.

The Met Gala is officially called the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit. It is sometimes referred to as the “party of the year.”

When is the Met Gala?

The 2021 Met Gala is scheduled for Monday, May 3. The 2022 Met Gala is expected to be held on Monday, May 2, 2022.

The Met Gala is traditionally held on the first Monday in May each year.

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Where does Met Gala come from?

The word Met is popularly used as a short way of referring to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A gala is a festive celebration, especially a fancy one (the word is commonly used for fancy dress fundraising parties like the Met Gala).

The Met Gala was first held in 1948 as a dinner event to raise money for the Costume Institute. Its establishment is credited to New York Dress Institute founder and previous Costume Institute head Eleanor Lambert, who also established New York Fashion Week.

Since then, the Met Gala has grown to become one of the most well-known fashion industry events outside of fashion weeks and runway shows. The tradition of giving the event an annual theme was introduced in the 1970s.

Examples of Met Gala

Thankyou @Versace for my sick outfit tonight at met gala !
@zaynmalik, May 2, 2016
OMG. OMG. OMG. RIHANNA IS HOSTING NEXT YEAR’S MET GALA. OMG. OMG. OMG.
@theferocity, November 8, 2017
Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, found inspiration for the Met Gala 2020 theme and exhibition in the 1992 Sally Potter film Orlando, which was based on Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same name.
Susan Devaney, Vogue, May 20, 2020
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Who uses Met Gala?

Did you know … ?

  • The 2021 Met Gala theme is “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”
  • Previous Met Gala themes include “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” (2016).
  • In 2015, the organizers of the Met Gala instituted a “no selfies” policy that was intended to prohibit attendants from posting selfies while at the event.

What are other words used in discussion of the Met Gala?

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Met Gala like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Met Gala that will help our users expand their word mastery.