Dissecting Met Gala 2024

There are plenty of places to be basic, the Met Gala isn’t one of them.
Zendaya wearing vintage Galliano at this year’s Met Gala. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

I don’t know how many of you remember gathering information pre-internet, but I look back now and marvel at how much knowledge we had despite how hard it was to get it. If it was fashion history you were after, there were a number of well-researched books you could read, but if you wanted to know what people wore to the Met Gala last night, you either had to wait with bated breath to see if any of the television channels you had access to had decided to report it, or wait a few weeks for a magazine to publish all the photos.

Like many now public celebrated events, the Met Gala started as a society fundraising event to maintain the Costume Institute, but in 1972, this changed thanks to the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who decided to host the gala at ‘The Metropolitan Museum of Art’, tie the annual theme to the exhibition’s topic, and open the event to actors, designers, and models. This blueprint was later taken up by creative director extraordinaire Anna Wintour, and today, millions tune in to be part of what is arguably the most fashionable event of the year. My issue is that, like much of what is currently going on in the fashion world at the moment, this year’s Met Gala seemed to be a bit lacklustre and, well, superficial.

The theme was meant to be ‘The Garden of Time’ and was derived from an evocative short story by J.G. Ballard about the evolution of history and the cycle of creation and destruction. Yes, the story has a garden in it, but I feel the attendees could have done so much more with their sartorial choices. As I pawed through outfit after outfit, hoping for the kind of visceral reaction I had when I saw Rihanna’s 2018 Maison Margiela Pope dress, I couldn’t help but get choked giggles whilst remembering the famous line uttered by Miranda Priestly (a character based on Anna Wintour) in the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ where she archly tells one of her team: ‘Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.’ The very fact that Wintour turned up to this year’s Spring Met in a flowery coat only added to my mirth.

As usual, Zendaya understood the assignment and gave us not one but two Galliano looks (one new and one vintage), Cardi B wore something on her head, and Kim Kardashian showed everyone that her waist could actually be cinched tighter; however, the reality is that when one of the best dresses of the night turns out to be nothing more than an AI-generated image of Katy Perry, you know you’re in trouble. There are plenty of places to be basic, the Met Gala isn’t one of them.

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