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5 things you didn't know about the Met Gala

The Met Gala, often dubbed as "fashion's biggest night out," is a pinnacle of iconic style, celebrity status, and art.

Things you didn't know about the Met Gala.Charles Sykes/AP Images

While many watch it for the stunning outfits and star-studded red carpet, there's much more to this event than just fashion. Here are five interesting facts about the Met Gala:

The Met Gala began in 1948 as a way to raise money for the newly-founded Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

It was originally a midnight dinner and not the theatrical exhibition of fashion it is known for today. Over the decades, it has transformed into a grand scale fundraiser, hosting the biggest names in fashion, film, and music.

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The event is officially known as the Costume Institute Gala. It's called the Met Gala because it is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and serves as the opening celebration for the annual fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute.

The name "Met Gala" itself has become a shorthand that emphasizes the event's high-profile nature and its association with the Met Museum.

Each year, the Met Gala has a theme that corresponds with the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit, and attendees are expected to choose their attire to match the theme of the year.

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Themes over the years have ranged from specific eras, like the 2004 "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century," to celebrations of designers, such as 2011’s "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty."

The Met Gala is notorious for its exclusivity. Attendance is by invitation only, and guest lists are tightly controlled by Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has chaired the Gala since 1995.

The list often includes a carefully curated mix of celebrities, designers, and influential figures in the fashion industry.

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While the Met Gala is a spectacular display of fashion and celebrity, its primary purpose is fundraising. The gala is the main source of annual funding for the Costume Institute's exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements.

Each year, the event raises eight-figure sums, which are crucial for the Institute’s operations and exhibitions.

The Met Gala not only celebrates fashion as an art form but also ensures the continual evolution and appreciation of the Costume Institute's remarkable collection.

This glamorous night, filled with intricate themes and high-profile guests, significantly impacts the fashion industry and art culture worldwide, making it much more than just a regular red carpet event.

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