Met Gala 2024 Dress Code, Explained: ‘The Garden of Time’ and What Guests Will Wear


This year’s Met Gala will take place on Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in celebration of the Costume Institute’s new exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” At the helm of celebrity co-chairs Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny and Chris Hemsworth, along with Anna Wintour, the star-studded guest list is encouraged to adhere to this year’s theme, “The Garden of Time,” which was inspired by the exhibition.

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” Exhibit

According to The Metropolitan Museum, the exhibit will showcase approximately 250 rare items, with many too fragile to be worn again. It was inspired by recent conversations in fashion around the manipulation of archival clothing.

With the aid of sensory stimulation technology including video animation, light projection, AI and CGI, many of the garments will be displayed digitally to preserve their integrity. The exhibition will also feature computer-generated imagery, X-rays, video animation, light projection and soundscapes.

The exhibition and benefit are sponsored by TikTok, and supported by Loewe.

Inspiration for Met Gala 2024’s “The Garden of Time” Theme

This year’s theme, “The Garden of Time,” was inspired by the 1962 short story by J.G. Ballard, which explores the concept of preservation using flowers as a symbol of beauty, youth and innocence. In this piece, a couple is challenged with the task of halting an angry mob as they try and ransack their boarded estate. To keep the angry villagers at bay, the husband resorts to his magical garden and frantically plucks one flower after another, turning back the same hour of time until all the plants have been ripped from the ground and the mob breaks through.

What to Expect From the 2024 Met Gala Red Carpet Dress Code?

Using Ballard’s poignant writing and the expertly curated exhibit as guidance, viewers can expect to see celebrities arrive at this year’s gala in looks that reflect either the beauty of the natural world or the history of design.

Those who choose to focus on the “garden” half of “The Garden of Time” might use floral prints, motifs and colorways to explore the theme, with three-dimensional designs that play with the garment’s structure and silhouette through flower-shaped designs and large flower-adornments. Those who choose to highlight the “time” portion might use archival fashions to convey the theme.

What Was Last Year’s Met Gala Theme?

At last year’s Met Gala, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” guests were instructed to dress “in honor of Karl.” A number of stars graced the gala’s red carpet in looks from Lagerfeld’s time at Chanel, Fendi and Chloé, personalized iterations of the designer’s own black-and-white wardrobe and kitschy tributes to Lagerfeld’s beloved cat Choupette.

Jared Leto at the 2023 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023, in New York.

Christopher Polk/WWD

The Met Gala will be available to livestream across several digital platforms on Monday May 6 beginning at 6 p.m. ET.



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