NYU, What Would you Wear to the Met Gala?

The Met Gala, also known as the Costume Institute Gala, is the most iconic black-tie extravaganza in the world. The event takes place on the first Monday of every May and is a major fundraiser for the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Each year has a particular theme that reflects the subject of the show. Recent years’ themes include "Comme des Garçons," "Fashion in the Age of Technology" and "China: Through the Looking Glass." This event is invite-only (tickets can be up to $50,000 and even if you can pay, you are not guaranteed a spot) and no guests are allowed, making it one of the most exclusive events in the fashion world to attend. Participants are highly encouraged to dress boldly, uniquely and according to the current year’s theme.

This year’s Met Gala will take place May 7, and the theme is causing quite a controversy. Anna Wintour, who runs the Gala, has decided on the theme, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." This year, the event will be hosted by a select group of A-listers: Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace. Although conservative Catholics may see this as an appropriation of Catholic religious symbolism, the theme is meant to be more of an appreciation of how medieval Catholic art has influenced and inspired major fashion designers throughout time.

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We asked NYU students what they would wear to this year’s Met Gala if they had the highly-coveted invite. Because the theme is based on the Catholic religion, most guys said that they would choose to dress in full-out religious garb, dressing like Jesus with a full beard and sandals. Others said that they would dress like a priest or a reverend, wearing all black and carrying a bible. As for girls, most would opt for flowing and veiled gowns inspired by the Virgin Mary and saints featured in Medieval artwork.

The designers that NYU students mentioned most were Gucci, Versace and Prada. One student did mention Dolce & Gabbana because of its reputation for religious symbolism in its designs, but Gucci was definitely the most popular designer referenced, probably for its bold and statement-making collections — a reflection of the very kind of style the Met celebrates. It should be interesting to see how the biggest celebrities choose to interpret this theme here in New York City on May 7.

Written by: Elizabeth Brill