The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Predictions and Postulations: Met Gala 2024

This year’s theme provides the opportunity forof elaborate interpretations ranging from surface level to abstract.
According to curator, Andrew Bolton, The Met’s exhibit will be divided into three sections of nature: the land, sea and sky.

When this year’s Met Gala theme, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” was announced, what popped into the minds of many were scenes from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” Personally, I found myself envisioning the same images of sophisticated ball gowns, ornate jewelry and delicate pinks. Upon further inspection, however, it’s become clear that the 2024 Met Gala will be more multifaceted than the headline appears.

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” will focus on elements of the natural world. Since the Met Gala’s founding in 1946 and the introduction of themes in 1973, electric publicity has surrounded the event for the 78 years that followed. With past themes such as “The World of Balenciaga,” “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” and “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the ambitiously avant-garde nature of the event has never failed to generate a conversation among fashion enthusiasts and pop culture consumers alike. 

Similar to every Met Gala theme, the phrases have their nuances. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, exhibit curator Andrew Bolton said the gala this year will be presenting around 250 rare archival designs, while highlighting sustainability in fashion and incorporating elements of the natural world. The exhibit itself will be organized around the land, sea and sky, sectioned into three zones. In Bolton’s words, this year’s theme will be “an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion.”

Vogue confirmed that there will be original pieces from Dior, YSL, Givenchy and Schiaparelli on display. The rare archival pieces from these designers are too fragile and valuable to be put on a mannequin, much less to dress attendees, but they will be showcased in glass coffins to embody the sleeping beauty subject. 

Visitors should not be surprised to see a strong presence of designs from Karl Lagerfeld, as the 2023 Met Gala was a tribute to his legacy.

Timeless designers, such as Chanel and Oscar De La Renta, are also expected to be on display for their high-value vintage collections. Many attendees are likely to be dressed in new renditions and recreations of these elegant looks once put to rest, if not the originals themselves.

As for literal interpretations of the theme, an emphasis on the sleeping element or looks emulating Aurora from the classic fairy tale should be anticipated. The Viktor & Rolf Fall 2005 show would be a highbrow execution of this. It showcases an abstract lace pillow as a headpiece connecting to a duvet coat that culminates into a chic, luxurious twist to a “just rolled out of bed” unisex look. 

Pieces from Dior Fall 2004 Couture show should also be expected as the legacy brand encapsulates a magical atmosphere resembling that of a princess by incorporating bright pinks, ruffles, lace, silks and metallic accenting altogether. Combining this with the soaring success of “Barbie at the box office, pinks of all shades will plausibly be in abundance. 

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” could also be uniquely interpreted as a reflection of sleeping beauties in art. “Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais would be an exceptional look to recreate and should not be shocking if it hit the carpet — Alberta Ferretti’s spring 2015 collection would perfectly achieve this effect.

The designs have been described by Vogue as “poetry in motion,” aligning with the goals of the gala’s curator Bolton. The pieces romantically resemble the imagery in the painting with the flowers surrounding Ophelia and the fluidity of the water she lays in, and would be an untraditional yet spot-on interpretation.

There is also likely to be an influx of outfits based on the natural aspect of the theme. With an emphasis on land, sea and sky, Iris Van Herpen’s may be on display frequently. Van Herpen’s designs bring a futuristic new wave energy that would cater toward the idea of reawakening fashion while incorporating natural elements. Both her spring and summer 2021 or her fall 2011 collections would encapsulate the theme. A lot of the designs from these showcases mimic those of deep water creatures in terms of color and shape, in addition to one dress from fall 2011 that appeared to consist solely of black snakes, drawing on another aspect of Bolton’s vision for the exhibition. 

The gala’s ceiling is rumored to be featuring “a Hitchcockian swarm of birds” according to Bolton, which leads to an expectation for a presence of bird imagery in attendees’ outfits as well. Alexander McQueen’s spring 2011 show is one stage to pull from, as it features dresses resembling the wings of black crows and skirts made of feathers, as well as a dress made entirely of butterflies already noted as part of the exhibition. 

Guo Pei is another name that may be heard frequently; the Chinese fashion designer’s fall 2019 collection is an elegant stage of pieces depicting vines, roots, birds and florals directly onto her work, adhering to the sky and land elements Bolton outlined.

There is also likely to be a heavy presence of literal interpretations of the theme, meaning a large number of archival pieces from legacy brands and princess-esque creations from timeless designers for a guaranteed chic elegance. Moreover, a large number of abstract looks mimicking various elements of nature from living creatures to vegetation can be expected, and even direct impositions of these elements fit strikingly onto the pieces themselves.

The Met Gala is scheduled to take place on the first Monday of May, which will be May 6 this year.

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SARAH SULLIVAN, Contributing Writer

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