Anna Wintour made that happen when she started hosting the event in 1995. She drew in the celebrities, giving the event some heavy "star power."
Who curates the exhibition and the event? Are they the same person?
The exhibition is curated by the Costume Institute's in-house curator, Andrew Bolton. There is a creative consultant (Nick Knight), an exhibition design consultant (Sam Gainsbury), and a production designer (Gideon Ponte) who work on the exhibition. The Benefit Gala is designed by Knight, Gainsbury, Ponte, and Raul Avila -- the producer for the décor since 2007. Since Riccardo Tisci (creative director of French fashion house Givenchy) is co-hosting this year's event, Givenchy is producing additional funding.
What happens at the event?
So everyone makes their big entrance on the famous Met staircase, which is completely covered with a red carpet. The area is closed off and tented, and the sides of the stairs are flooded with photographers yelling hilarious things nonstop from the first celebrity to show up (bad choice to show up first) to the Beyonce arrival.
The red carpet is hosted by two people and livestreamed on Vogue.com and some other sites. This year's red carpet will be hosted by model Hilary Rhoda and Vogue's ex-contributing editor William Norwich.
You can submit red carpet questions via the Twitter hashtag #MetQuestions during the livestream and hope that Rhoda or Norwich will ask them.
The event itself is always hosted by honorary co-chairs. This year it is hosted by Rooney Mara and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci (both appropriate hosts for the dark punk-themed event). Beyonce has also been added to the co-chair list. Not sure how she represents punk.
After the carpet, celebrities are escorted through the museum to an area for cocktails. Who guides them? Vogue interns of course. Then they get to walk through the exhibition before the commoners are exposed to it, and end up in a dining room for some food and music.
Who's performing this year?
Why is this a big deal?
Besides the fact that Kanye is probably wetting his pants in excitement that all his high fashion butt kissing has paid off, Kanye's baby mama (Kim Kardashian) has previously been blacklisted from the event by Wintour. We didn't doubt for a second that Kanye would veto his chance to perform in front of hundreds of super models and designers, but luckily he didn't have to. Kim has been invited and we're interested in seeing how the very pregnant celebrity will dress for the punk extravaganza.
Who pays for all of this?
So now you know what the Met Gala is. The event takes place tonight at 7pm. Vogue.com will release a recap video of the event (including the perfomance) on May 10th. Now go watch all the pretty gowns you wish you could try on.