The first Monday in May has arrived once again, and with it comes the annual Met Gala. This year, the chic affair will pay tribute to late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, with hosts Dua Lipa, Penélope Cruz, Roger Federer and Michaela Coel leading the way. The accompanying exhibition, titled “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” will feature 150 looks designed by Lagerfeld, curated by Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s Curator in Charge, as well as longtime Lagerfeld collaborator Amanda Harlech, who is serving as the exhibition’s creative consultant.
The theme for this year’s Met Gala is “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” with the latter phrase referencing the talented artist’s incredible line drawings. While Lagerfeld has long been synonymous with Chanel, this year will celebrate the iconoclast’s work from throughout his distinguished career, which included stints at multiple other labels. The dress code is simply “in honor of Karl,” and stars could pull any of the thousands of pieces the designer had a hand in creating for various houses.
When the famed designer died in 2019 at the age of 85 following a battle with pancreatic cancer, the fashion world lost one of its most revered figures. Vogue head honcho Anna Wintour, who has served as the chair of the Met ball since 1995 and was a close friend of Lagerfeld’s, said of him when presenting him with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2015: “More than anyone I know, he represents the soul of fashion: restless, forward-looking and voraciously attentive to our changing culture.”
Wintour and Bolton choose the exhibit theme and the pieces displayed each year, and are bringing in Harlech to assist this time around. Ultimately, however, everything about the charity event is left to Wintour’s discretion — including the guest list, decorations, and even what attendees wear.
The Met Gala has honored a number of designers in the past, beginning with Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. Since Wintour took over as chair of the event, there have been balls celebrating Christian Dior (1996), Gianni Versace (1997), Paul Poiret