The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known
as the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It
marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion
exhibit. Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume
Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the tone for the formal
dress of the night, since guests are expected to choose their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit. Each year the event also has honorary celebrity event day chairpersons.
The Costume Institute Gala is a major fundraising benefit that serves as an opening celebration for the Institute’s annual fashion
exhibit. Following the event, the exhibition runs for several months.
Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and a chair of the event since 1995
(excluding 1996 and 1998), oversees both the benefit committee and the
guest list, with Vogue staffers helping assemble the list of invitees.
According to Cathy Horyn of The New York Times, the gathering rivals the
West Coast’s Vanity Fair Oscar Party, which is said to have more “star
power” but less fashion
panache. In 2014, the individual tickets cost $25,000 for those outside
the official guest list, after prices were raised $10,000 from the
prior year to increase the exclusivity of the event.The annual guest
list includes only 650–700 people.