BuzzCut: How The Met Gala Became The Meme Gala Through the Years
6 min read
fairly easy
BuzzCut is News18's new series where we break down a recent trend on the Internet and delve deep into Internet-culture to understand why it's causing a stir on the Internet.
You'd think it started with a dress, but it didn't. The Met Gala has existed since 1948 - and what is essentially a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which hosts stars, young creatives, and industry paragons has only in recent years found itself as much an Internet sensation as it is an offline event. By now, every time the Met Gala trends, bizarre interpretation of dresses, fashion accessories and sometimes people go viral soon after. The love for fashion goals and Who Wore What has become replaced by a need to compare the outfits to something else - and see if it really has a long-lasting impact on Internet culture. In some ways, if your dress has become a meme, you've made it. That's the stand-out or highlight of the night. But how did a charity fundraising event get here?

What is the Met Gala?

The Costume Institute Benefit, which is now known by its more popular name, 'The Met Gala' — began in 1948 as a midnight supper that invited guests could attend for fifty dollars a ticket. It was the brainchild of publicity doyenne Eleanor Lambert, who dubbed it the "Party of the Year," the event raised funds to support The Costume Institute and celebrated the opening of its major annual exhibition, The Met wrote about its history in 2018. Since then, the benefit has grown in size, scope, and profile, and remains the vitally important main source of funding for the department's exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements. In 1995, Anna Wintour the artistic director of Condé Nast and editor-in-chief of Vogue, and a Met Trustee—took over as co-chair and has overseen the party ever since.

The First Viral Moment

While the parties of the Met Gala and the fashion that came with it was very popular in the fashion and art world, it wasn't that common for the ordinary public to be as enthralled by it then. The celebrities who visited, their dresses were looked at, but it was treated with the same notion a New York Fashion week or…
Raka Mukherjee
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