Here’s everything you need to know, before the stars walk up the famous stairs of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fashion’s most anticipated event takes place this Monday, and if you’re not an industry insider, you might have already wondered what the Met Gala is really about, and why there’s the yearly hype around it.

Other than the ceremony being as glamorous as it gets – seriously, nothing beats the Met Ball when it comes to showstopping outfits worthy of unforgettable photos (remember Rihanna posing on the stairs with her extremely long yellow Emilio Pucci gown? Yeah, us too) – it is also a huge night for fashion fundraising. Let us explain.

What is the Met Gala and when does it happen?

A few paragraphs in and you’ve probably noticed we’ve already called it Met Gala and Met Ball – but fear not, it all means the same. Although the night is most commonly known by the latter, the event is formally known as the Costume Institute Gala.

Happening every first Monday of May, the gala is a fundraiser dedicated to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute – formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, in homage to the American Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the museum’s gala since 1995.

Who chairs the event?

Other than Anna Wintour, each year the event brings honorary chair members. Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace were the first designers chosen to co-chair the night, in 1995.

Since then, among many designers and fashion insiders, the gala has also made room for celebrities (and even royalty) to participate: Caroline Princess of Hanover was a chair of the 2005 Met Gala, Beyoncé was a chair member in 2013, and this year will see Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams co-chairing the event.

Why does it have a theme?

Basically, the Met Gala also marks the opening night of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit, the theme of the exhibition sets the tone for the event and invitees have to dress accordingly.

Last year we saw celebrities incorporate lots of metal and even technology into their Met Gala 2016 looks due to the theme: Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology.

The showstopper of the night was Claire Danes’ dress that lit-up beautifully in the dark:

What is this years theme?

The Met Gala theme for 2017 is (drum roll, please): Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons.

Rei Kawakubo is the fashion designer of the avant-garde Japanese label Comme des Garçons, that took the fashion world by storm with her boundary-pushing designs. Rei will be the first living designer since Yves Saint Laurent, in 1983, to be celebrated as a theme of the event.

What to expect?

This theme might be one of the most daring in years. It will certainly, be hard for stars to interpret it and somehow show their personal sense of style. Although it sounds like a shame for people not to dress in Rei’s actual label, it’s most likely that most celebrities won’t. We’ve already made our Met Gala 2017 dresses predictions, and think that only risk-takers will really shine – we’re looking at you Rih Rih and Solange.

Other than sumptuous outfits and loads of photographers trying to get an unforgettable shot, expect lots of body guards and fluffers. Yep, fluffers, aka people running around to make the dresses look picture perfect. It takes a village, people!

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