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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Fibonacci

From Camp to Couture: A Retrospective of Met Gala Themes Over the Years


Met Gala Themes Over the Years

Met Gala Themes Over the Years: A Look Back at Many First Mondays in May

Introduction

On May 6, actors, models, designers, athletes, politicians, and the world’s top tastemakers will attend the 2024 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The theme? “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”—which will unearth some of the rarest, and most beautiful, pieces in the Costume Institute’s permanent collection.

The Met Gala theme is an important one. It dictates the dress code, the decor, and most importantly, the larger purpose of the night itself. The gala is not just a major star-studded fundraising event but a grand display of art as fashion and fashion as art, showcasing cultural significance.

Yearly Themes

2023: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”

2023’s Met Gala honored Karl Lagerfeld, exploring 150 pieces from his iconic career.

2022: “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”

An exploration of American fashion history through designs and stories.

2021: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”

Celebrating American designers and diversity in fashion.

2020: “About Time: Fashion and Duration”

A retrospective look at a century-and-a-half of fashion.

2019: “Camp: Notes on Fashion”

Drawing on Susan Sontag’s essay, the theme was a celebration of camp and excess in fashion.

2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”

An exhibition showcasing holy items from the Vatican and the intersection of fashion and religion.

2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”

A tribute to the innovative designs of Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons.

2016: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”

Exploring the handmade and machine-made fashion in the age of technology.

2015: “China: Through the Looking Glass”

Celebrating China’s influence on Western fashion with a theme of imperial elegance.

2014: “Charles James: Beyond Fashion”

A tribute to the lesser-known but influential designer Charles James.

Decades of Themes

  1. 2013: “Punk: Chaos to Couture”

  2. 2012: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”

  3. 2011: “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”

  4. 2010: “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity”

  5. 2009: “The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion”

  6. 2008: “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy”

  7. 2007: “Poiret: King of Fashion”

  8. 2006: “AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion”

  9. 2005: “The House of Chanel”

  10. 2004: “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century”

  11. 2003: “Goddess: The Classical Mode”

  12. 2001: “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years”

  13. 1999: “Rock Style”

  14. 1998: “Cubism and Fashion”

  15. 1997: “Gianni Versace”

  16. 1996: “Christian Dior”

  17. 1995: “Haute Couture”

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