Let’s dissect the 2024 Met Gala theme and dress code, shall we?

zendaya at the met gala
EYNTK about the 2024 Met Gala theme and dress codeJohn Shearer - Getty Images

Yesterday [Thursday 15 February], Vogue cheekily announced its 2024 Met Gala cochairs, who are none other than *drumroll, pls*: Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, and Zendaya! As the outlet put it, “This year’s cochairs reflect a variety of career achievements, and all have distinct style histories with the Met Gala.”

Vogue also announced honorary chairs for the evening in Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, as well as the highly anticipated dress code “The Garden of Time.” With the Met Gala’s 2024 gala theme being “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” we’re especially stoked to see what stars will wear while walking the red carpet on May 6, 2024.

But you may be a bit confused about just what the theme and dress code actually means. Is the Met Gala Sleeping Beauty or garden-themed?? Enter: us with absolutely everything you need to know about it, starting with....

What does the 2024 Met Gala theme mean?

Great Q! In order to answer that, let’s turn our attention over to a press release published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art museum that said the following: “Using the natural world as a uniting visual metaphor for the transience of fashion, the show will explore cyclical themes of rebirth and renewal, breathing new life into these storied objects through creative and immersive activations designed to convey the smells, sounds, textures, and motions of garments that can no longer directly interact with the body.”

Or, as Vogue put it, “The forthcoming show has not to do with the Brothers Grimm or Disney but rather the celebration of clothing and fashion so fragile that it can’t ever be worn again – and are thus sleeping beauties in the scrupulous archives of the Costume Institute.”

If you’re still kinda sorta confused, don’t sweat it. Basically, the focal point of the exhibition will be garments that span over 400 years of history, meaning we’ll no doubt see a bunch of breathtaking archival pieces and silhouettes from iconic designers of yore.

What is the 2024 Met Gala dress code, and how does it fit into the theme?

Turns out, the two work beautifully in tandem given the official dress code for this year’s Met Gala is “The Garden of Time”—a direct reference to J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of the same title. The Met Gala theme encompasses the whole evening (and the Met’s related costume exhibit), and the dress code is a way to interpret that more specifically.

Interestingly enough, J.G. Ballard’s work at the centre of it all is a metaphor for the evolution of human history and the endless cycle of creation and destruction – a clear theme in “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” Given the book is set against the backdrop of a garden in a deserted corner of the world, tons of celebs will likely follow the dress code by wearing floral-inspired looks.

And if you need more confirmation that floral motifs will be a key component of this year’s red carpet looks, check out this cheeky vid of the 2024 cochairs going over the dress code ~vibe~.

Any intel on the actual “Sleeping Beauties” Met exhibition?

Totally! A reported 250 items drawn from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection will be displayed in honour of this year’s theme. The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO Max Hollein said the following of the presentation: “The Met’s innovative spring 2024 Costume Institute exhibition will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience the multi-sensory facets of a garment.”

“‘Sleeping Beauties’ will heighten our engagement with these masterpieces of fashion by evoking how they feel, move, sound, smell, and interact when being worn, ultimately offering a deeper appreciation of the integrity, beauty, and artistic brilliance of the works on display,” he added.

met gala fans have a favourite guest this year, and it's surprising
Getty Images

According to Vogue, contemporary designers (think Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Conner Ives) and legacy industry titans (such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy) will be included.

What’s more, Andrew Bolton, the Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, recently revealed that around 15 pieces considered too fragile to be worn again at the gala will *also* be on display, including a 17th century English Elizabethan-era bodice and a Charles Frederick Worth ballgown from 1877.

Brb, counting down the days until the first Monday in May!

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