It’s known as the “Oscars of the East Coast” and the party of the year for celebrity-spotting. Monday’s Met Gala, an annual fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute, has grown into a night of over-the-top looks, A-list mingling and some rule-breaking as well.

The chosen celebrities

Each year, the fashion world’s unofficial ruler, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, selects a few celebs to co-chair the event. This year, superstar Rihanna, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and designer Donatella Versace are the chosen ones.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, a co-chair at this year’s event, attends the 2015 Met Gala alongside husband George Clooney, left. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

And speaking of chosen ones, being able to afford the reported $25,000 US ticket doesn’t mean you’ll get one. Wintour approves every guest on the list, which includes a mix of star athletes, musicians, actors and social media sensations. The Kardashian-Jenner clan, Beyoncé, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez are regulars, though this year’s list is still under wraps.

Jennifer Lopez attends the 2017 Met Gala and is among the regular A-list attendees. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

The religious theme

The event’s dramatic dresses and suits are meant to get people talking but this year’s motif might just invite more chatter than usual.

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination is the theme which will dictate this year’s sartorial choices.

Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton said in a post on the museum’s website that the theme might attract controversy but that “dress is fundamental to any discussion about religion.”

Dress is fundamental to any discussion about religion.– Andrew Bolton, Met’s Costume Institute curator

“Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, dress has affirmed religious allegiances, asserted religious differences, and functioned to distinguish hierarchies as well as gender. Although some might regard fashion as a frivolous pursuit far removed from the sanctity of religion, most of the vestments worn by the secular clergy and religious orders of the Catholic Church actually have their origins in secular dress,” Bolton wrote.

China: Through the Looking Glass — which was 2015’s theme — sparked some criticism for appropriation while last year’s gala got singer Katy Perry in hot water for wearing a design by John Galliano. Galliano was convicted by a Paris court in 2011 for making anti-Semitic insults caught on tape.

Rather than risking a major mishap, some attendees tend to skip adhering to the theme altogether.

Katy Perry was criticized in 2017 by some after wearing a design to the gala by John Galliano, who was convicted in 2011 for making anti-Semitic comments caught on tape. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Breaking the gala rules

There’s no media allowed inside, no smoking and no selfies but some people are above the gala’s cardinal rules — particularly when they live on social media.

Kylie Jenner snapped a shot in the bathroom with an all-star crew last May which garnered over three million likes but others broke more than one rule and nabbed some unwanted attention.

Designer Marc Jacobs and model Bella Hadid were captured in different photos smoking in the bathroom. It prompted New York City’s health department to give a stern warning to the Met, which said in a statement steps would be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.


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