- 26 May - 01 Jun, 2018
Met Gala 2018
Oscars of the fashion world
- 19 May - 25 May, 2018
The Costume Institute Gala is the biggest annual fundraising event on the fashion calendar. Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the benefit was first held in 1948 to encourage donations from New York's high society. In its modern incarnation, the most famous faces from the realms of fashion, film, music and art come together to raise money for the Met's Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of its latest exhibition. The night is centred on the theme of the new exhibition. This year's exhibition theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.
The Met Gala always takes place in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As usual, the night began with a cocktail hour, in which guests walked the red carpet and explored the new exhibition before sitting down to dinner. They were then treated to a surprise performance by Madonna, who opened her set with a ripping - and fitting - rendition of Like A Prayer. This year's exhibition was spread across three venues: the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the medieval galleries at the Met’s main location, and at the Cloisters.
Since 1995, the event has been chaired by US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who enlists public figures to serve as the event's co-chairs. The Met Gala 2018, which marked the affair's 70th anniversary, was co-chaired by Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Dontella Versace.
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination featured some 40 Vatican vestments and accessories spanning 15 papacies, which curator Andrew Bolton is said to have visited at least 10 times to secure pieces which have never left the Vatican's possession before. Items such as Pope Benedict XV's white silk cape embroidered with gold thread and the pointed bishop's hat of Pope Leo XIII, went on display alongside pieces by Coco Chanel, who was educated by nuns, John Galliano, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Donatella Versace, who is a sponsor of the exhibition.