Everything to know about the 2024 Met Gala: Theme, hosts, guest list and more

By Kerry McDermott

Naomi Campbell at the 2019 Met Gala. Photo: Theo Wargo

Just days ahead of the hotly-anticipated event, Vogue rounds up everything there is to know

Fashion’s biggest night out is fast approaching, and red-carpet watchers can expect a vintage fantasia at the 2024 Met Gala. As ever, the gala will celebrate the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spring exhibition, which this year will centre around 50 historically significant pieces that are far too fragile to ever be worn again. With the theme of Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion, the exhibition will see items ranging from a 17th-century Elizabethan-era English bodice through to 21st-century acquisitions by designers including Conner Ives and Stella McCartney go on display at the museum. Vintage is an increasingly popular choice on the first Monday in May (last year’s celebration of Karl Lagerfeld really delivered on this front), and this year’s theme denotes a historical mood that is likely to further inspire A-list guests to dip into the archives for their Met Gala looks.


Below, everything you need to know about the 2024 Met Gala.

When is the Met Gala 2024?

The 2024 Met Gala will take place on Monday 6 May in New York. The event has taken place on the first Monday in May every year since 2005, apart from in 2020, when the Met Gala was cancelled, and in 2021, when it was held in September, as a result of the pandemic.

What is the Met Gala 2024 theme?

The spring 2024 exhibit is entitled ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’. The exhibition will be structured around approximately 50 beautiful and historically significant pieces from the collection that are far too fragile ever to be worn again. “These are the ‘Sleeping Beauties’ of the title,” Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu curator in charge of The Costume Institute, explained. Cutting-edge curation and technology will give a deeper understanding of these fragile pieces – an illusion technique known as Pepper’s ghost will be used to revive some looks, while video animation, light projection, soundscaping, AI, CGI and other forms of sensory stimulation will provide a deeper context to each piece, according to Vogue’s Luke Leitch.

“Fashion is one of the most emotional artistic forms because of its connection to the body,” Bolton continued. “It is imbued with memory and emotions, and we relate to it very much via our senses. One thing I hope this show will activate is that sensorial appreciation of fashion.” The exhibition will be open to the public the day after the Met Gala, and will run until 2 September 2024.

Who are the co-chairs of the Met Gala 2024?

On 15 February it was announced that Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Hemsworth and Bad Bunny will join Anna Wintour as co-chairs of the 2024 Met Gala, while Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew are honorary chairs.

All eyes will be on Zendaya’s look: not only is she the internet’s favourite fashion girl and method dresser, she hasn’t attended the Met Gala since 2019, when she memorably attended as Cinderella, complete with light-up ballgown and stylist Law Roach as her “fairy godmother”. Expect fireworks. Or tennis balls.

Photo: Getty Images

What is the dress code for the Met Gala 2024?

The dress code will be ‘The Garden in Time’, inspired by a short story of the same name by JG Ballard, who is perhaps best known for his novel Empire of the Sun, which was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1987.

Written in 1962, The Garden in Time follows the handsome sophisticate Count Axel and his wife, the majestic Countess, who live in a remote villa in some unnamed paradise that overlooks an abundant garden of crystalline flowers with translucent leaves, twinkling glass-like stems and crystals at the heart of every pistil. But, as with most things Ballard put his name to, there is a dystopian undercurrent to the tale, and this Eden is at risk of invasion by a furious and fast-encroaching mob. To avoid seizure, the Count is forced to pluck time-reversing flowers from his garden until there are none left. The story ends with the Count and his Countess entangled in thorny belladonna plants in a decimated and derelict estate.

What is the Met Gala?

Organised and presided over by Anna Wintour since 1995, the Met Gala has become a much-loved annual celebration of fashion. A fundraiser for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, it has traditionally been timed to mark the opening of its annual fashion exhibition. Year after year, the event raises eight-figure sums.

What was the theme of the Met Gala 2023?

The Met Gala 2023 theme was ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’, in tribute to the legendary designer who died in 2019. As in previous years, Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton was in charge of the exhibition – which he said was not a “traditional retrospective” – while Amanda Harlech, who worked closely with Lagerfeld, served as the show’s creative consultant. Fittingly, the Met Gala dress code was ‘In Honour of Karl’ – with many guests drawing inspiration from the creative director’s tenures at Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, Patou and his own eponymous brand.

In 2022, the Met Gala theme was ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’. The exhibition saw Andrew Bolton focus on inclusivity in fashion and celebrate the unsung heroes of US design. It followed on from the 2021 theme, which was ‘In America: The Lexicon Of Fashion’.

Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala in 2022. Photo: SSean Zanni/Getty Images

What happens at the Met Gala?

In short: it’s a secret. For this reason, guests must abide by the no phone (and, therefore, no social media) policy. However, the rules were famously broken by a cluster of celebrities smoking and taking selfies in the bathroom in 2017. The event usually involves a high-profile performer (like Rihanna), and guests always explore the exhibition before sitting down together for dinner.

How many people attend the Met Gala?

The event usually hosts around 600 attendees, although a smaller number attended the 2021 Met Gala.

Who is invited to the Met Gala?

The 2023 guest list included everyone from Rihanna, Lizzo, Kim Kardashian and Billie Eilish, to Michelle Yeoh, Anne Hathaway and Erykah Badu. As always, designers attended with muses, like Jeremy Scott and his close friend, cult model Devon Aoki; Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli; and Jeremy Pope and Olivier Rousteing.

Who hosted the Met Gala 2023?

The 2023 hosts were Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa and Vogue’s Anna Wintour.

Can I watch the Met Gala?

Fashion fans were able to follow all the action on Vogue’s livestream in 2023. Ahead of the 2024 Met Gala, catch up on the red-carpet action from last year on Vogue’s YouTube channel.

What looks did we see in 2023?

Presented with the theme of Lagerfeld’s illustrious design career, attendees either explored his extensive archives, or paid homage with referential designs. Some highlights to note include: Rihanna in a Valentino haute couture cape and gown, which nodded to the Chanel bride; Kim Kardashian draped in pearls by way of Schiaparelli, and Olivia Wilde in a violin Chloé dress that referenced Karl’s spring/summer 1983 collection at the brand. And we can’t forget Doja Cat, Jared Leto and Lil Nas X’s odes to Karl’s beloved pet cat, Choupette.

What are some of the best looks of all time?

Over the years, the Met Gala has delivered viral looks that are still being discussed today. Rihanna’s dramatic Guo Pei couture cape and gown in 2015 springs to mind here. What about Lady Gaga’s 16-minute entrance while wearing transformative Brandon Maxwell in 2019? Divine. Another outstanding moment was Billie Eilish’s peach Oscar de la Renta tulle dress in 2021.

Originally published on British Vogue.