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The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

AdDRESSing the Met Gala

Since it was founded in 1948, the Met Gala has taken off all around the globe and has become one of the most prestigious events attended by A-listers, designers, models, and fashion connoisseurs. 

The Met Gala is a charity event that raises money for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which marks the opening of its annual fashion exhibition. Every year, the Gala raises up to eight-figure sums ranging anywhere from $10 million to $99 million.

Each year, the Met Gala has a theme that goes hand in hand with the theme of the Institutes exhibits on display. The theme is chosen by the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine and chairperson of the Gala since 1995, Anna Wintour. Recent exhibits that have made waves amongst the fashion industry have been themes such as Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination in 2018 that celebrated the combination of fashion and religion, 2019’s Camp: Notes on Fashion that celebrated not sticking to the fashion status quo, and In America: An Anthology of Fashion in 2022 with the dress code of “Gilded Glamour.” 

“My favorite Met Gala theme of all time has to be 2018’s Heavenly Bodies, because I feel like it had such great potential,” said Marshfield High School alumni and 2022 graduate Emma Conde. “It was open-ended enough to create some really interesting variety, but not so open-ended that people didn’t understand the theme. From this theme came some of the greatest Met Gala looks of all time, in my opinion.”

With each theme comes fashion looks that correlate with the theme, but then there’s some outfits of the attendees that completely miss the mark or just appear bland without any thought behind them. One main example of outfits that are just complete misses are the well known basic black and white tuxes. The Met Gala is an opportunity to express creativity, not terribly simplistic outfit choices. 

“I think if you look good, you look good, but also you look like you’re going to a funeral,” Conde exclaimed. “You’re at the Met Gala, do something! Even if it is a basic suit, add something. Add something like a hot pink shoe, or a little head piece, or whatever. It’s a gala, don’t show up wearing a plain suit; that’s boring.”

Whether it be a more toned down outfit or the outfit of an extremist, the Met Gala fashion looks over the decades always prove to amaze the nation in one way or another. The 2019 camp theme was a perfect open-ended theme that provided an opportunity for attendees to truly express themselves and what “camp” means to them. 

The New York Times wrote, “In 1964, Susan Sontag defined camp as an aesthetic ‘sensibility’ that is plain to see but hard for most of us to explain: an intentional over-the-top-ness, a slightly (or extremely) ‘off’ quality, bad taste as a vehicle for good art.” 

Despite this theme being in 2019, Actor, Jared Leto, continues to use this extremist ideal for most of his Met outfits. For example, in 2023 when the theme was Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, Leto went in a full costume catsuit with a removable head to emulate Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette.

“I loved it, honestly I thought it was so funny,” Conde said. “[When] inviting Jared Leto to the Met Gala you know what you’re gonna get, and you know it’s not gonna be good, so having him show up in a catsuit was one of the funniest things he could do, and somehow one of the most predictable things he could do.”

One question on people’s minds is the looks that are gonna be seen at this year’s gala with the theme, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion. Each theme seems to provoke a sense of style and fashion that goes deeper than the literal meaning of what the theme is trying to represent.

“Obviously, in my mind the theme, ‘Sleeping Beauties’ is kind of less literal on the sleeping,” Conde said. “It’s the kind of looks and eras that have been lost to time. So I think if they look deeper into the meaning and go back into vintage dresses and see it that type of way and find really unique, beautiful articles of clothing to wear, I think this year’s theme will be really cool!” 

Though these themes over time have remained iconic and remembered amongst the masses, controversy still arises when debating the suitability of them. When it came to the Heavenly Bodies theme in 2018, some referred to it as a type of “disrespectful appropriation,” because of its religious centralization. Last year’s theme that paid homage to German fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, who died previously in 2019, faced some controversy due to discriminatory statements that Lagerfeld had expressed over the years, making people and critics debate whether or not it was an appropriate theme for the Met.

Looks themselves have also faced controversy, like in 2022 when Kim Kardashian shocked the public by wearing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress, designed by Jean Louis. It was argued that the dress was too much of a national treasure of fashion for someone to wear again and potentially ruin. In 2021 activist and politician, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, wore a custom dress with the phrase “Tax the Rich” written on the back of it. This political statement caused backlash due to being displayed at the Met Gala, which is mostly attended by the upper-class society. On the other side of that, people wearing seemingly underwhelming or cheaper outfits to this high class gala is also frowned upon. One example of this is when Kanye West wore a $43 Dickies jacket at the 2019 Met.

Over the years the variety and diversity of the gala attendants has been abundant. However, in recent years, the looser restrictions have caused a commotion in the media. 

“The inclusion of influencers at the Met Gala has been criticized over the years, as some have called out internet stars as not being on par with what they consider more traditional celebrities,” said Time Magazine in a 2023 article. “A 2019 tweet with over 140,000 likes reads: ‘Met Gala is actually losing its exclusivity… I don’t know how they can have these boring YouTubers and D list celebrities walking around like it’s The Kids Choice Awards.’”

Emma Chamberlain is one example of an influencer that has attended the Met Gala. She has attended three times now after being invited by Vogue to be a red carpet correspondent who interviews the guests. 

“I think Emma Chamberlain is a really good example of an influencer that should be invited, because she is a fashion based influencer who pushes boundaries, changes up her look and her style, and she looks incredible at the Met Gala,” Conde remarked. “I haven’t seen another influencer do that; every time another influencer shows up like Addison Rae, or James Charles, or whatever, they look mid, they don’t get the theme, they look like they don’t belong there, and they honestly don’t, they’re not famous enough to be there.”

With all of the popular looks that the Met Gala has produced, the real praise goes to the designers. Some of the most iconic designers that have been designing Met looks for the past years include, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jabos, Prada, and Versace. 

This type of high end fashion isn’t just seen at the Gala though. It can be seen at premieres, fashion shows, other charity events, and award shows like the Emmys, Grammy’s, Oscars, and Golden Globes. 

Though some believe that the Met Gala supports fast fashion due to the one-wear use of designs, the reality is that the Met promotes sustainability and hopes for designers to use materials that are friendly to the environment. 


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About the Contributor
Olivia Conde
Olivia Conde, Copy Editor + Website Manager
Junior Olivia Conde is a third year member, Copy Editor, and Website Manager of the Marshfield Times. She enjoys playing various video games and hanging out with friends. She often plays tennis and is a member of the Marshfield tennis team even though she doesn’t like to run. She hopes to achieve straight A’s to help her chances of getting into good colleges. The colleges she dreams of attending are Ivy’s such as Harvard or Yale to study to be a Lawyer or maybe something else depending on her mood. She is the Vice-President of Z-Club as well as a member of NHS and enjoys doing community service. She watches shows and movies in her free time and bothers her friends when she’s bored. Her inspiration is her older sisters and strives to be like them.  
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