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What Does Met Gala Theme 2024 "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" Mean?

The 2024 Met Gala theme, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," promises a mesmerizing journey through centuries of fashion history, blending iconic pieces with contemporary creations in an immersive exhibition curated to awaken the senses.


Nick Knight/ Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Evening cloak, Charles Frederick Worth, 1889. Photo: Nick Knight/ Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Vogue unveiled new details into the theme of the 2024 Met Gala, the highly anticipated fashion event hosted annually at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the first Monday in May. This gala attracts A-list celebrities from various entertainment sectors.

Titled "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," the forthcoming Costume Institute exhibition will showcase around 250 artifacts, including 15 notable items such as an 1877 Charles Frederick Worth silk satin ball gown. These pieces represent over 400 years of history.

The exhibition walk-through will encompass a diverse range of items, from a 17th-century English Elizabethan-era bodice to contemporary creations by influential figures in the modern fashion industry, such as Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Connor Ives. It will also showcase designs by iconic fashion legends like Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy.


Numerous pieces will be displayed alongside contemporary fashion works, all organized into a main exhibit and three supplementary zones: Land, Sea, and Sky. Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge, describes this arrangement as "an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion.”

Every aspect will be ingeniously brought to life using cutting-edge technology, including video animation, light projection, AI, and Pepper's ghost illusion technique, to craft an immersive sensory journey.

Nick Knight, the founder of SHOWstudio, will serve as the creative consultant for the visual presentation, while Sissel Tolaas, known for her collaborations with Balenciaga, will curate scents for the installations.


Max Hollein, the Met’s CEO, expressed to Vogue, “This innovative show will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience many facets of a work, to learn more about its history, and, ultimately, to gain a deeper appreciation of its beauty."

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held annual events to commemorate its Costume Institute.

However, the gala, as it is currently known, only began to take shape when Diana Vreeland joined the committee. As the former editor-in-chief of Vogue, Vreeland introduced the concept of themed galas, starting with a tribute to Cristóbal Balenciaga's fashion in 1973, just a year after his passing.

Over the decades, the Institute has paid homage to a diverse array of fashion eras, influences, and icons, including its most recent tribute to Karl Lagerfeld.

At last year's event, celebrities arrived adorned in tweed, pearls, and even cat costumes, paying homage to Lagerfeld's cherished pet Choupette and celebrating the esteemed designer's legacy. Lagerfeld's illustrious career spanned renowned fashion houses such as Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel, and his own eponymous label.

Dua Lipa, Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, and Roger Federer served as co-chairs alongside Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has held the role since 1995.

The "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" show is scheduled to run from May 10 to September 2, 2024, following the Met Gala red carpet event on May 6.