The Met Gala will be ‘Reawakening Fashion’ with its 2024 theme

In partnership with TikTok, The Met’s Costume Institute will revive its “Sleeping Beauties” for the 2024 Met Gala exhibit.

It may not be a tale as old as time, but the theme of the 2024 Met Gala definitely evokes a fairytale ending. As announced during a Wednesday morning press conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the highly anticipated annual gala will return on the first Monday in May 2024, this time with the theme “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

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(Left to right) Law Roach and Zendaya attend the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes On Fashion – Arrivals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

If visions of Disney princesses ascending the steps of The Met on May 6 are dancing through your head, remember: Zendaya already gave us a glass slipper moment in 2019 (pictured above). As reported by Fashionista, the “beauties” on display won’t be fabled characters but fashions within the Costume Institute’s permanent collection, approximately 250 of which will be “reawakened” in an exhibit open to the public from May 10 to Sept. 2, 2024.

With help from sponsor TikTok and label sponsor Loewe, helmed by JW Anderson, the exhibit will be “punctuated with sleeping beauties that will be brought back to life through technology,” including holograms, magnification, video animation, light projection, AI, and even scent. As described by Fashionista, high-tech and analog will merge as “archival garments will stand within immersive experience-like rooms that animate their elements.”

“This innovative show will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience many facets of a work, to learn more about its history, and, ultimately, to gain a deeper appreciation of its beauty,” said CEO of The Met Max Hollein, in conversation with media sponsor Vogue.

Spanning over 400 years of fashion, the exhibit will reach into the realm of fairytales while aiming to create a modern fantasy. According to People magazine, “Everything from a 17th-century English Elizabethan-era bodice to 21st-century works by modern-day fashion industry tastemakers,” as well as designs from some of fashion’s most revered names will be included.

As curator Andrew Bolton explained during the announcement, the use of modern technology is an ideal way to revisit the beauty and “ephemerality” of some of the institute’s most iconic pieces. “[F]ashion is such a living art form, more than any other art form… more than painting, more than sculpture,” said Bolton. “That’s partly what drove [the theme]: How we can breathe life back into an art form that was intended to be lived in by a person and embodied?”

The 2024 Met Gala celebrity co-chairs have yet to be announced, but fashion lovers will undoubtedly have their eyes trained to see how next year’s attendees translate the theme. Will princess-like archival looks prevail, or will celebrity stylists commission fashion houses to create futuristic fairytale moments? Likely a bit of both, and more — we’ll find out on Monday, May 6.

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