The MET Costume Institute Gala is the one place where the biggest names in fashion, the most influential industry insiders and the trendiest A-listers in Hollywood collide on the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to show off their most creatively, over-the-top, and inspiring looks.
Always celebrated on the first Monday in May, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and her carefully selected co-chairs (this year includes Lady Gaga and Serena Williams) decide who is popular, chic and daring enough to get an invitation. Word on the street is if you decline, you can pretty much call it a wrap on ever getting invited again.
Last year, Rihanna brought the house down with her papal evangelical look, but this year’s theme, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” has everyone scratching their heads on what in the world to expect. The idea of camp is based on writer and political activist, Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp,” where she explains that camp is “a love of the unnatural, of artifice and exaggeration.”
Notice that the emphasis should be on “notes” and not “essay” because not even Sontag in all her brilliance could make sense of what camp truly means. In our best and Blackest assessment, we figured out it’s the dopest, non-conforming, gender-bending, most whimsical, theatrical, letting your freak flag boldly fly style you can put together without causing small children to cry.
Even with all this freedom, according to the NY Post, there are still a bunch of rules to follow and expectations to be met. Here are five unexpected facts about tonight’s event that may shock you as much as the outfits you’re about to see.
No Cellphone = No Selfies
Wintour wants the MET Gala to be an event where attendees cherish the experience by staying in the moment. This means guests are not allowed under any circumstances to make calls, text, take photos or video with their phones, so no stunting for the ‘Gram.
This doesn’t, however, mean some celebrities haven’t done the exact opposite and sneaked around to post photos after the fact. Without saying names, it’s always fun to see who gets invited back the following year.
Smoke Free Zone
There’s no puff, puff, pass of any kind at the MET Gala, as smoking is forbidden inside the museum and that includes the restrooms. Remember, the museum houses a number of priceless works of art, which is more important than the event itself. If you absolutely must take a cigarette break, you’ll have to find your way to an outside exit, but there’s no telling on whether or not you’ll be allowed back in.
Party of One
If you’re lucky enough to get an invitation from Madam Wintour, you better come alone. Apparently, she prefers celebrities leave their spouses, and significant others at home. These A-listers are even expected to navigate themselves down the red carpet, up the famous MET stairs and inside the venue without their managers or publicists. Apparently, Wintour is really keen on people mingling and getting to meet new people rather than stay secluded within your own entourage.
However, when you’re as much of a celeb as your boo, she’s sure to make an exception.
Banned for Life
Apparently, good old, Donald Trump has attended the MET Gala plenty of times in the past, and according to the New York Times, he even proposed to his third wife, Melania Trump during the event in 2004.
However, in a 2017 interview with James Corden on The Late Late Show, Wintour spilled some major tea. When asked which former guest would not be invited back, she quickly answered, “Donald Trump.”
Don’t Ignore the Rules
This is a black-tie, elegant affair, so that means leave the jeans and sneakers at home. We’re talking to you, Kanye. If you however, chose to ignore the laws of the gala and embarrass our people (again, talking to you Kanye), trust Black Twitter is coming for you with the full strength of a Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B throw down.
Someone who always does the most in the best possible way is Rihanna, who has become the unofficial Queen of the MET Gala. We can’t wait to see how the Bajan beauty interprets the camp theme tonight (remember her giant train, cheddar cheese colored, meme-worthy pizza dress?)
Maybe she’ll take camp literally and wear an all camo design. Whatever she does, we are here for it.