Met Gala 2023: 5 weird rules guests must follow at annual fashion spectacle
The 2023 Met Gala is only days away, with the theme of the event dedicated to late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The fashion soirée is set to return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 1 May 2023, in celebration of the Costume Institute’s upcoming exhibition “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”.
According to Vogue, which first revealed the controversial theme last year, the annual fashion event will also pay homage to the designer through the dress code: “In honour of Karl”.
Along with the publication’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, there will be four co-chairs of the event: Dua Lipa, Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, and Roger Federer. Held at the museum’s Costume Institute, each guest invited to attend the event is carefully chosen by Wintour.
Whenever the Met Gala is held, there are certain guidelines that guests will be expected to follow should they want to stay in Wintour's good books.
From an age restriction to a ban on selfies, here are five of the unexpected rules put in place at the Met Gala.
One would think that all who attend an event as glitzy as the Met Gala would be forgiven for taking the odd photograph to capture special moments of the occasion.
However, in 2015, it was reported that use of social media had been banned from the event, in order to clamp down on celebrities spending the majority of the evening on their phones.
“The use of phones for photography and social media will not be permitted inside the gala,” a notice sent to all guests stated.
The apparent ban at the Met Gala has been flouted by numerous guests in the past, with beauty mogul and reality TV star star Kylie Jenner taking a large bathroom selfie at the event in 2017.
No under 18s allowed
In 2018, it was revealed that the Met Gala had decreed a new age restriction.
This meant that high-profile individuals under the age of 18 were no longer allowed to attend the event.
“I can't go, because I'm not old enough,” then 16-year-old model and dancer Maddie Ziegler told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 when asked whether she would be present on the coveted Met Gala red carpet.
While it was initially suspected that the new age restriction had been introduced due to the 2018 Met Gala theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”, a spokesperson for the event confirmed that the decision had been made because “it's not an appropriate event for people under 18”.
No smoking inside the museum
In 2017, celebrities including Bella Hadid, Dakota Johnson and Marc Jacobs were pictured smoking cigarettes in the bathroom at the Met Gala.
That same year, it was reported that board members and donors had expressed their dismay over guests smoking at the event, with one saying it was “disrespectful to the art collection”.
this year's met gala theme was smoking in the bathroom pic.twitter.com/b83rjR3qlZ
— i am eviscerated (@veedagger) May 2, 2017
According to Page Six, following the complaints, guests at the 2018 Met Gala were informed that it was “illegal to smoke in the museum”.
It was allegedly mentioned on the event's invitations that smoking at the event was strictly banned.
In 2003, a ban on smoking indoors in New York City in locations including office buildings, bars and theatres was enforced by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg.
No onion breath
Following the Met Gala red carpet, guests at the event are treated to a cocktail hour and a formal dinner.
According to The New York Post, certain food items are purposely omitted from the menu at the request of Wintour herself.
A former Vogue employee told the publication that parsley is banned to avoid the risk of the herb getting stuck in people's teeth.
Neither onion or garlic is served at the event, so as to avoid any bouts of bad breath, whilst bruschetta isn't offered to guests in case of any food spillages on extravagant ensembles.
In 2016, model Karlie Kloss had her floor-length Met Gala gown cut into a mini dress for the after-party following a red wine spill on the white fabric.
Strict seating arrangements
Wintour is very particular about where her Met Gala guests sit on the night of the event.
In the 2016 documentary The First Monday in May, which details the degree of planning that goes into the occasion, the director of special projects at Vogue, Sylvana Ward Durrett, explained that a lot of “power-brokering” goes into the seating plan.
“A lot of thought goes into who sits next to who, if they sat together last year, if they've sat next to each other at other events, so much goes into it, it's shocking,” Ward Durrett said.
According to Ward Durrett, spouses are never seated next to each other.
“The whole point of these things is to meet new people, and to be interested in what others are doing. What's the point if you come here to hang out with your husband?” she added.