Anna Wintour apologises for ‘confusion’ over 2024 Met Gala theme

The theme of the 2024 Met Gala is ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’

Amber Raiken
New York
Monday 06 May 2024 18:06 BST
Related: You cannot break THIS RULE at the Met Gala.

Anna Wintour has apologised for any “confusion” over the theme of this year’s Met Gala.

The Vogue editor spoke candidly about this year’s fashion extravaganza during an interview with Today, which aired hours before this year’s Met Gala. During her conversation with Jenna Bush Hager, Wintour explained the complications with the theme of the 2024 event, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” and the inspiration behind its dress code, “The Garden of Time.”

“This exhibition broke my cardinal rule,” she said. “When we came up with the title ‘Sleeping Beauties,’ it’s wonderful and poetic and romantic, but actually, it could be many, many things.”

The editor-in-chief of Vogue recalled that when establishing the theme, she turned to curator in charge of The Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, for advice on what celebrities could wear. She also acknowledged that amid those conversations about outfits, the public was then confused about that dress code.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute gala exhibit, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" (Associated Press)

“I said, ‘What are we gonna say to people to wear to this night?’ And he said, ‘Well, what about ‘Garden of Time?’” she explained. “So, I fear that we’ve unleashed a lot of confusion out there, and for which I deeply apologise.”

She then shared how she believes people will follow the dress code at the gala, adding: “I imagine we’ll see a lot of flowers.” When Bush Hager asked her if she’d be wearing flowers, Wintour simply responded: “Possibly.”

During her conversation with Bush Hager, the 74-year-old editor further detailed the theme of the event, infamously held the first Monday in May, which this year falls on 6 May.

In November, Vogue first announced the theme of The Costume Institute’s 2024 exhibition as “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” The reveal was met with a myriad of confused individuals online, predicting a display of designer jammies on the red carpet for the famed opening as well as a parade of princesses on the museum steps thinking “Sleeping Beauties” was a reference to the classic Disney animation. Yet, neither are correct.

Law Roach and Zendaya attend The 2019 Met Gala in a Disney princess-style gown (Getty Images for The Met Museum)

According to Bolton, the entire exhibit is centered around 50 historical garments, latent and so fragile they can never be worn again – the “sleeping beauties” of the exhibit. The main motivating piece was a Charles Frederick Worth original, an 1877 silk satin ball gown. Each delicate piece, some no longer in their true form, will be reimagined inside innovative casings made to bring the garments back to life.

“The idea of ‘Sleeping Beauties’ is taking these masterpieces from different periods, and because so many of them are very fragile, they are laid flat behind glass walls,” Wintour said.

A dress from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute gala exhibit, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" (Associated Press)

Regarding what to wear, Met Gala guests must follow a dress code that resembles fleeting beauty. Of course, attendees can embrace the obvious by wearing florals — or even real life flowers — to represent an actual garden. For this option, Vogue recommended looking at the “Sleeping Beauties” exhibition itself, which has a black evening coat by Charles Frederick Worth from 1889 on display. Another motif in the Met Gala’s “The Garden of Time” dress code is time, or the passing of it. Attendees could consider wearing items featuring clocks, such as Moschino’s grandfather clock gown from Fall 2022.

​​​​The co-chairs for tonight’s fashion extravaganza include Zendaya, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, and Bad Bunny, while Vogue’s red-carpet hosts will be La La Anthony, Gwendoline Christie, and Ashley Graham, alongside special correspondent Emma Chamberlain. Additionally, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Kendall Jenner, Uma Thurman, Sarah Paulson, Cara Delevingne, and Olivia Rodrigo are rumoured to be at the gala, according to a 13 April Page Six report.

Click here to follow along with live updates of the 2024 Met Gala.

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