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The 2019 Met Gala has started with a big bash this Monday, May 6, and as the world has already started gushing over the celebrity guests and their red carpet costumes, it’s worth refreshing your memory on all the pertinent details about this incredible gathering. The Met Ball or Met Gala is the fashion world equivalent of the Oscars, Yes! an evening where designers, models, and Hollywood luminaries indulge in the year’s most over-the-top looks. It’s a long-standing event that Vogue Contributing Editor André Leon Talley knows well. ALT, the name he’s famous with has been a constant at the fete since 1974, and he explains in a very clear manner what this grand fashion affair is all about to Vogue.

What is the Met Gala?
ALT says “The Met Gala is the Super Bowl of fashion. On the first Monday in May, everyone who is anyone comes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the annual fundraising gala celebrating the Costume Institute’s magnificent new exhibition on a changing theme. It all started in 1946, and over the decades, it has become a grand affair—the party of the year. The one other constant is the red carpet fashion. There is nothing quite like it, and it is vital and exciting to be a part of that.”

Who gets invited to the Met Gala?
ALT says that its all about the world’s best achievers in all the fields including music, film, Broadway, and fashion, as well as simple supernova personalities. The list changes every year. ALT says his favorite guest was Diana Ross, “also in a full-length dress of exotic feathers. Which bird was it, I am not sure: guinea hen, turkey, or some exotic bird. It was strapless and full-skirted.”

What is the dress code for the Met Gala?
Dress codes aren’t constant. We know that it varies from person to person, ALT says “If you are Kanye West and Kim, you come in your own matching Balmain silver jacket and dress. If you are Beyoncé, you wear something that’s a big statement.”

This year’s theme is “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” based on Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp,’” and designed to touch the best of exaggerated, fun, capital-F fashions.

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