Ah, the Met Gala. Every year, on the first Monday in May, the top names in fashion and entertainment gather to celebrate how rich and hot they are, and it’s always a treat. I mean, it’s technically a fundraiser, but we’re all here for the dresses. Year after year, the world’s best designers give us some serious couture looks based on whatever the theme is, and this year was no different. The thing is, this year’s theme (Camp: Notes on Fashion) was kind of an enigma. What exactly is camp? It’s hard to describe, but it’s basically an art that celebrates all things wild, over the top, ironic, and tacky. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with tie-dye or bonfires. Essentially, the only rule for this year’s red carpet was to not be boring. Sounds simple, but some of the stars had more trouble than you’d think (*cough* Kim Kardashian), and that’s mainly who made the worst end of the list. None of these people looked bad, per se, but the worst dressed mainly just bored us. Sadly, Rihanna was not in attendance, but even she did a better job than some of these snoozes. Here’s how everyone else did, for better or for worse.
Best: Lena Waithe
If you’re just learning about camp for the first time, the back of Lena Waithe’s blazer is a good place to start. Like so many things in pop culture today, the roots of what we now think of as “camp” can be traced back to black queer and drag culture, starting in the 1960s. Cultural movements grow and shift naturally through time, but it’s important to remember and pay tribute to those who came before us. For this important statement, Lena instantly had one of the best looks of the night.
Worst: Kim Kardashian
Kim is kind of the worst at the Met Gala in general because she always looks hot, but that’s not the point. She never pushes the boundaries. This year, she just walked straight out of her Vogue cover shoot and wore that exact look to the Met Gala. Seriously, just look at this sh*t:
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For someone who does the most 364 days out of the year, I’ll never get why Kim chooses this day of all days to do less.
Best: Katy Perry
Whether you like Katy Perry or not, when it comes to camp, she understands the assignment. I mean, she’s spent 95% of her career dressed as various types of food, so this girl hasn’t met an over-the-top costume she doesn’t like. Most years at the Met Gala Katy looks like an idiot, but this year looking like an idiot was basically the theme, so she nailed it. She looks like Lumière from Beauty and the Beast had a major glow-up (pardon the pun), and I’m 100% here for it. I’m desperate to know how she went to the bathroom in this dress, or moved at all without impaling anyone, though. Beauty is pain!
Worst: Ashley Graham
For the last time, THE THEME IS CAMP. Do something crazy. The time to come in a Gucci logo dress, lookin’ like your grandma’s strawberry sucking candy, was not today. She looks gorgeous, and her body is obviously to die for, but that’s not the point. Where is the DRAMA? This was a swing and a miss.
Best: Lady Gaga
Usually Tom Sandoval is the one who takes a party theme the most seriously, but it was all about Gaga at the Met Gala. Honestly, I love all of these outfits, and I especially love the progression from “family dinner with your parents” to “night out with your girlfriends the second your parents drop you off at your friend’s.” My favorite look is probably the first one, because it reminds me of a couture comforter. But I think I’m going to start bringing a portable phone from 1987 everywhere.
Look, Halsey is gorgeous and so talented, and I don’t hate what she’s wearing—in fact, I could easily see Taylor Swift copying it for the next awards show—but wearing a large skirt does not immediately mean you have successfully done camp. Halsey looks like Jafar put her under his spell, then dressed her. Hourglass sold separately, I assume.
Best: Billy Porter
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The Category Is: Old Testament Realness. Thank you @voguemagazine / @chrisjallaire for chatting with us about tonight’s #metgala2019 look. Link in bio . . Creative Director & Stylist for all @sammyratelle for @rrrcreative Agency Styling Assistant: @ashleymarienyc Production Assistant: @estershamailova Custom Look: @theblondsny Custom Shoes: @giuseppezanotti Fine Jewelry: @oscarheyman @andreolifinejewelry @johnhardyjewelry @mordekaiofficial Billy Porter's Make-Up: @lasonyagunter Make-Up Assistant: @mikeyclifton Make-Up provided by: @patmcgrathreal Egyptian Litter & Carrier Designs by: @nicolasputvinski Carriers Make-Up: @facebygoran & @ashleyvictoriamua Mr. Porter's Carriers: @julius_anthony @taureanje @kellenstancil @thejoshdrake @lap_nyc @doniejunior ⠀ Photo by Theo Wargo @gettyimages
Much like when he wore a tuxedo gown to the Oscars this year, Billy Porter proved again that he knows how to make a f*cking statement on a red carpet. I’m sure everyone else is kicking themselves that they didn’t think t0 be carried in by a crew of gorgeous men (me at all times), and the moment only got better when he revealed the huge gold wings on his outfit. Please make sure Billy is on the invite list for every red carpet until the end of time, because he’s the only thing keeping me awake for these things.
Worst: Kris Jenner
Kris, Kris, Kris.Kris Jenner managed to look weird even given this theme, which is kind of impressive. I know we all joke that she works harder than the devil, but nobody was working hard on this outfit. But maybe that was the problem. Was she so tired of everyone calling her the devil so she decided to dress as Glinda the Good Witch? This is truly upsetting. She looks like a cross between the Tooth Fairy and the Fairy Godmother, which I guess would make her the Fairy Godmomager. Also who did her spray tan, Tan Mom?
Best: Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe is a f*cking work of art who can do wrong, and this look is only further proof of that. She completely nailed the theme, and it doesn’t feel like she’s trying nearly as hard as a lot of these stars. It probably helps that this is basically an outfit she would wear to a normal event, but whatever. We stan.
Worst: Gisele Bündchen
Did Gisele Bündchen look stunning at the Met Gala? Of course Gisele Bündchen looked stunning at the Met Gala! That’s like asking if water is wet. But it doesn’t change the fact that I am B-O-R-E-D looking at this dress.From the pleating to the belt, this screams more “mother of the bride” than “Anna Wintour’s guest at the most exclusive event in existence.” Gisele was having a grand old time twirling on the red carpet, but she could’ve twirled while wearing something a lot more exciting! The only good thing about this dress is that it was made using sustainable methods by Dior, but like, couldn’t they have made Gisele a fun dress sustainably too?
Best: Cardi B
Cardi B looked like a period incarnate, but she actually lived up to the theme. She saw the top, went over it, and then back around to the bottom and over the top again. (Sorry I’ll see myself out.) But I really liked the monochromatic look, complete with the headpiece and jewels. I don’t watch Game of Thrones, so correct me if this joke is not accurate, but: she looked like the Red Wedding come to life.
Worst: Hailey Bieber
Where do I start? The Wet Seal reject of a dress? The visible whale tail? The overly aggressive spray tan? Or the fact that even given all this, the whole look still managed to bore me? I will give Hailey one bit of credit, and that is that I am completely in awe of that ponytail. Good for the ponytail. Now just ditch everything else about the look, and then we can talk.
Best: Kacey Musgraves
Is this technically campy? Sure, maybe, I honestly don’t even know anymore and I desperately need to go to sleep, but Kacey looks so goddamn good in this Barbie outfit. She already won the Grammys this year, and if there were awards given out at the Met Gala, she probably would’ve won one of those too. God, she’s so f*cking pretty.
Images: Sean Zanni / Getty Images (2); @lenawaithe, @thecut (3), @enews (6), @betches, @theebillyporter, @alarmfashion / Instagram
This year’s Met Gala is just days away. While your favorite celebrities are busy trying to interpret this year’s Camp theme (if you’re imagining tents in the wilderness, please see yourself out), we’ve been thinking about the planning going on behind the scenes. Hosting your average fundraiser is no easy task, and the Met Gala is anything but average (Anna would never hear of it). But how the f*ck do you even go about pulling off an event as massive as the Met Gala? We at Betches have no clue, so we asked the experts at PartySlate to break down what goes into planning an epic fundraising event like the Met Gala.
Selecting the Co-Chairs & Committee Members
Every year, the Met Gala is held on the first Monday in May, and the next year’s planning begins the first Tuesday in May. Yikes, talk about no days off. Much like the beginnings of any large-scale event, one of the first steps is for the host to curate her event team. Hand-selected by Vogue’s infamous editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, this year’s co-chairs are Harry Styles, Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Plus, 183 Hollywood stars will serve on this year’s committee, including Blake Lively (her new bump pristinely dressed, no doubt), Lupita Nyong’o, Katy Perry, and Bradley Cooper (who can’t seem to stay away from Lady Gaga—not that we’re mad about it).
Picking the Theme
We’ve loved all of the past Met Gala themes. “China: Through the Looking Glass” had us bowing down to Beyoncé and her fierce sheer gown, while “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” brought us Kim Kardashian in liquid gold Versace. Again, this year’s theme is Camp, and Alessandro Michele told the New York Times, “Camp really means the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture; it is not kitsch.” We live for a red carpet just like every other betch, but we’re most excited to see how the team at Vogue carries the theme throughout the evening, from the red carpet welcome to the dinner party decor.
Curating the Guest List
Year after year, the Met Gala is invitation only—and no, you’re not invited. Whether you pay for your ticket (at $30,000 a head, somebody tell Billy McFarland) or are invited by a designer or Queen Anna herself, you can’t get in the doors unless you’re on the list.
“Creating guest lists for high-profile events and fundraisers can become stressful,” says PartySlate Co-Founder and CEO, Julie Roth Novack. “You want to be strategic and get the right mix of people in the room.”
To no one’s surprise, Anna Wintour selects and approves every last detail of the evening, including the guest list. And we’re pretty sure she’s unconcerned with who may or may not be offended by her choices. Many guests are Met Gala vets, while a handful of newbies are added each year.
Preparing for Red Carpet Arrivals
Skinny arms and thigh-high slits are always on display as guests arrive at the Met Gala. But Novack points out that the red carpet is so much more than a photo op. “The gowns and attire at the Met Gala are also decor, just like the florals or lighting or draping,” she says. “The red carpet is one of the most important parts of the event, because it’s the first time spectators are introduced to interpretations of the theme.” The planning team also has to prioritize media and press placement to capture the entrances; details are incredibly secretive leading up to the event, but from the moment the first celebrities step out of their limos, Vogue wants that international buzz.
Creating the Seating Chart
Keeping the peace between Selena and Justin is just the start of the Met Gala seating chart drama. According to Eaddy Kiernan, who organized last year’s Met Gala, the names for the guest list come together in December—and then the seating chart calculations begin. (Your wedding has nothing on this seating chart, sorry.) The final seating chart is never finalized until about a month out from the event, and even then there are always small tweaks to be made. The team at Vogue considers everything from who will have good conversations during dinner to which tables should be placed closest to the front and back of the room. Still, there can be drama, like when Lena Dunham got offended when Odell Beckham Junior sat next to her all night and still didn’t want to bang her. Guests have even gone so far as to storm out of the dinner if they’re displeased with their seats. Hey, Anna: if you ever need seat fillers, we don’t have plans on Monday.
Selecting the Menu
Similar to the design and decor, a fundraiser’s food, wine, and cocktails should always be aligned with the theme of the night. While it’s still unclear exactly what Camp means, we bet it will be seamlessly integrated into the dinner menu, wine selection, and cocktail options. Wintour has been known to ban certain ingredients; don’t expect anything that could stain gowns or teeth. Cuisine is often one of the most memorable elements of an event, so it’s important to make thoughtful decisions, and always choose dishes that are creative, yet universally enjoyed. And in the case of the Met Gala, under 300 calories per serving.
Prioritizing Fundraising Efforts
Let’s not forget: the Met Gala is a fundraiser. The goal (after social media engagement, of course) is to motivate celebrities, guests, and spectators to reach deep into their silk-lined pockets and raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. While some people make donations, many guests don’t actually pay for tickets, so the event is also an important marketing tool to bring in outside funds for the cause. “Charities that create these fabulous experiences always see a return in recurring fundraising,” says Novack, emphasizing the importance of donors who commit to a cause year after year. “A fundraiser like the Met Gala might cost a lot to host, but without a fabulous party, you won’t see the same return.” Last year, the event raised $13.5 million.
Don’t Forget the After-Parties
So, Anna Wintour and her team don’t have a ton to do with this last point, but after-parties are an iconic part of the Met Gala. The fun doesn’t stop on the stairs of the Met, and guests often change outfits before heading to their next destinations. “Only Vogue publishes the full event details—or at least the ones they want us to see—but bathroom shots and after party photos will surface on social media throughout the night,” says Novack. After-parties continue to be a big trend in the event industry, even at the Met Gala.
And that’s pretty much everything you could ever need to know about the Met Gala. Oh wait, we’re sure you’re wondering how you can score an invite, right? Contrary to popular belief, you can go even if you’re not famous, and we broke down how here.
In case you haven’t noticed all the articles about the most iconic Met Gala looks, the biggest night in fashion is tonight. For those of us who are outside the elite fashion world, we mostly think of the Met Gala as that one weekend in spring where celebrities play rich person Halloween. Year after year, we’re all forced to sadly scroll through our Insta feeds and silently judge A-Listers in outfits that look straight out of The Hunger Games, but like, what if you wanted to go? As you can probably guess, getting a ticket to the Met Gala is about as easy as understanding a Kanye West speech—impossible unless you’re Kim Kardashian. But for those of us determined (read: desperate) enough to try and get an invite, here are some tactics you can use to become one of the privileged few who gets to show up the museum dressed as a big meatball and have everyone call you high fashion.
1. Kill Somebody For Anna Wintour
It goes without saying that in order to get into the Met Gala, you have to first get in with Anna Wintour. According to an anonymous socialite who has been “attending the event for years” (10 bucks says it’s Kris Jenner), “Anna is extremely restrictive on who can buy a ticket.” So restrictive, in fact, that even the 100 member Friends Of The Costume Institute (aka people who give Anna Wintour a shitload of money) often can’t get tickets because “Anna decides they can’t go. Period.” So if you thought maybe you could just wait for that direct deposit to hit and slide Anna a $20, you’re sorely mistaken. No, if you want to get into the Met Gala you’re going to have to do something big to prove to Anna that you are here for the right reasons. Might I suggest figuring out who Anna’s greatest enemy is and taking them out in a late night sting operation? Once you present Anna with the head of the girl who stole her boyfriend in 8th grade (we all have one), Anna will see that you are loyal and overlook your non-celeb status. Maybe she’ll even give you an important job like holding Rihanna’s flask or making sure Kendall Jenner doesn’t go rogue and start offering Pepsi to the security guards. Just don’t expect her to acknowledge you publicly or anything because that shit is not happening.
2. Become A Muse
Are you approximately 10 feet tall and weigh anywhere from 0-15 pounds? Then congratulations! You qualify to be the muse of a famous fashion house, which is one of the most legit ways to get into the Met Gala. Going as the invited guest of one of the major fashion houses comes with some major perks (aka you don’t have to pay for a ticket), but there’s also one major downside: you have to wear what they tell you. This means you could either show up slaying like Zendaya, or show up looking like Katy Perry, who has apparently been cast in The Handmaid’s Tale. Either way, there will be pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
3. Own A Multimillion-Dollar Company
If all else fails, you could always pull a Corinne and own your own multi-million dollar company. Just make sure it’s profitable enough to shell out $500,000 per table, plus whatever it costs to sponsor the event. These coveted tickets usually go to companies like Apple, Warner Bros, and Yahoo, so you’d better put on your black turtleneck and start ignoring your biological child ASAP because you basically have to be Steve Jobs to get one of these seats. So yeah, your idea for an app that texts you whenever you’re near a good happy hour special probably won’t be good enough. You’ll have to think bigger. Once you do invent the New Internet or whatever, you’ll be allowed to select who sits at your table, just so long as they meet Anna Wintour’s approval. In the Met Gala documentary The First Monday In May (streaming on Netflix if you want to watch models for 90 minutes and feel really bad about yourself), you actually see a Vogue staffer rejecting Calvin Klein’s request to have Josh Hartnett at their table by saying “What has he done lately? Nothing.”
I mean, they ain’t wrong.
4. Be Rich And Desperate
Those who are wealthy enough to afford a ticket but not famous enough to merit an invite can still potentially get in by taking an A-Lister’s hand-me-downs. For example, Beyoncé didn’t go to the Met Gala this year because she’s pregnant with the twin messiahs, so her ticket was up for grabs. According to Cameron Silver, the Fashion Director of H by Halston, “I’ve known of society names who couldn’t get a ticket and are prepped to go if there’s a last-minute seat that becomes available. They have their look ready even if they aren’t certain whether or not they will actually have a seat days before the event.” And if you’re thinking it would require a Bachelor-contestant level of shamelessness to actually pull this off, you’re not wrong. After getting over the fact that you’re basically attending the social event of the season on a tourist visa, your shamelessness will be put to the test once again when you are forced to walk the red carpet despite the fact that nobody knows who tf you are. “Everyone walks the red carpet,” Silver told Page Six, “but less well known guests hear crickets because no one is paying attention. It is one of the most demeaning things to walk those stairs as a non-celebrity.” Honestly, that entire situation sounds like a Hot Cheeto-induced stress dream. I think I’d rather just stay home and judge famous people from the safety of my own couch than show up as a secondhand guest to an A-list event and walk a silent red carpet just so that I can eat the same hors d’oeuvres as Jaden Smith. But yeah, if you’re rich AF and have no problem spending thousands of dollars preparing for an event that you were not invited to, then you can totally spend the first Monday in May sitting by the phone hoping Anna Wintour will call and tell you Kerry Washington got a rash.
5. But Seriously Don’t Fuck With Anna Wintour
One of the most surefire ways to not get into the Met Gala (apart from being just like, a regular person) is to get on Anna Wintour’s bad side. Celebs who have been banned from the event include supermodel Coco Rocha (probably for accusing gala co-chair Katy Perry of stealing Rocha’s 2016 Met Gala look for the VMAs), Tim Gunn (for talking shit about Anna being carried down the stairs at a fashion show in 2006), and Rachel Zoe who made the huge mistake of saying she was “more influential than Wintour” in an interview. Bad move, Rachel. No amount of Bravo TV stardom will save you from the fact that Anna Wintour is petty AF and has a loooooong memory. I mean, the woman’s been editor of Vogue for what, 200 years? 300? Honestly, I heard a rumor she once banned Marie Antoinette from the Marc Jacobs after party because she was overheard shit talking the cake.
After what feels like a full minute since the last one, NYFW has arrived! This is the week when the fashion industry’s top designers, models and photographers gather to celebrate the latest trends in clothing and accessories. It’s basically the best week of the year, which is amazing because there are officially now only two weeks of the year that aren’t fashion week. That made us curious, what exactly does the industry do when it’s not celebrating itself in a trendy world capital? We launched an investigation and talked to the top names in fashion to find out.
“There are thousands of photographs taken at every fashion week, which means the bulk of time in between fashion weeks is spent scrolling through pictures and clapping for each of the models as if they were still walking down the runway. This is an important ritual that can take up to 18 hours per day.” — Anna Wintour
“Coping with the fact that it’s not fashion week is something that no designer should have to do alone. That’s why we all gather in between the London, Paris, New York and Milan events to hold hands and watch Michael Kors weep uncontrollably.” — Kate Spade
“Just because the fashion industry acknowledges that sometimes it’s not fashion week, doesn’t mean we have to accept it. We hope to eventually live in a world where every day is fashion day. That’s actually my greatest wish, followed by world peace.” — Kendall Jenner
“After a full day, the fact that it’s not fashion week gets to be pretty exhausting. That’s why in the ’80s Calvin Klein began the tradition of hosting fake fashion weeks in his apartment so people didn’t go insane. He’s credited with saving the industry by many in the inner circle.” — Heidi Klum
“Not fashion week? I don’t understand the question.” — Marc Jacobs