The gala’s theme coincides with a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, titled “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” In a press release, the Met said the show will bring together around 150 designs that “explore the designer’s stylistic language.”
Items on display will include creations from Lagerfeld’s time as creative director of Fendi, Chloé and Chanel, as well as pieces from his stints at Balmain and Patou and designs from his eponymous label.
The annual fundraiser is among the most talked-about red carpet events of the year. Credit: James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images
Lagerfeld was a prolific sketcher, and most of the items going on display will be accompanied by corresponding drawings. The Institute’s head curator, Andrew Bolton, said he had been inspired by hearing Lagerfeld’s design assistants — or the “hidden hands behind Karl’s brilliance,” as he put it — pay tribute at a memorial service.
“I was so fascinated by how they communicated (with Lagerfeld), which was by drawings,” Bolton told CNN shortly after the announcement.
“Every single design in his life was a sketch … And when I saw the drawings, I thought, ‘These are so charming, so whimsical, so impressionistic.’ But what I didn’t realize was that they contained really precise information — about a shoulder line or the length of a sleeve. And (his staff) knew exactly what this line meant or what that dot meant, and they could decode it.”
Bolton, who is also authoring an accompanying book, said the late designer “would have hated a retrospective” but that the exhibition will be more akin to an “essay” about his work.
Though the Met Gala dates back to 1948, the idea of centering it around an accompanying exhibition only emerged in the 1970s. Recent themes have included “China: Through the Looking Glass,” in 2015, and “Camp: Notes on Fashion” four years later. Individual designers have been spotlighted in the past, with previous year’s themes including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace and, most recently, Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo.
Kim Kardashian, pictured with Pete Davidson, caused a stir at last year’s Met Gala by opting for a dress famously worn by Marilyn Monroe. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Read More: Met Gala 2023 theme revealed