The Met Gala Is Like a Fancy Prom -- Except In a Museum

PHOTO: Editor-In-Chief of Vogue Anna Wintour arrives to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2008 in New York City.

If you don't know what the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Benefit Gala aka The Met Gala is it's OK. I'm here to help.

The Gala is a lot like a high-school prom -- but every actor, musician, model, designer, and every sort of celebrity in between attends, and it takes place at the amazing and humongous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

But besides those details, it's basically prom.

-Everybody picks out crazy gowns that look better on camera than in person -- because who really cares what your peers think? It's about what the photos on the Internet will look like the morning after.

See Also: The 17 Best Dresses Ever From the Met Gala

-It doesn't matter if your date is gay or straight, so long as they're the most talked about person of the year.

-Sometimes 16-year-old girls get invited -- but only the pretty ones.

-The stairs at the entrance are more important than the food and band once you're inside.

If you're still lost and wondering what exactly is the Met Gala and why does it exist? Here is a quick explainer.

What is the Met Gala in a nutshell?

It is an annual event at the Met Museum in New York City that kicks off the Costume Institute spring exhibition. The Met Gala, or Met Ball as it is also called, has a theme that goes with the exhibition, and antendees usually incorporate the theme with their outfits. The event raises money for the Met's Costume Institute and in 2006 made over $4.5 million.

When did the Met Gala begin?

It began in 1948, the year the Costume Institute opened. It wasn't the spectacle that is it today though -- it was mostly fashion industry people.

What is the Costume Institute?

It used to be a permanent exhibit in the museum where thousands (like over 35,000) historical costumes and accessories were displayed. It opened in 1948 but didn't last long because of how delicate the items are. So the pieces are stored and exhibited about two times a year.

Each exhibit follows a designer or an era of fashion. There have been exhibitions on Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Prada to name a few. You probably heard about the McQueen exhibit "Savage Beauty" in 2011 following the designer's death, because it was really spectacular and worth the long lines that rivaled an Apple Store when a new iPhone is released.

When you walked out of the exhibition, which included a 3D hologram of Kate Moss in a beautiful gown evolving from a tiny moving light source, you felt like you had just traveled through the mind of a mad man, or like you stepped through a horror movie. Last year's Schiaparelli and Prada "Impossible Conversations" exhibition contrasted the two Italian women powerhouses and how one was heavily inspired by the other (ehem Prada).

What exhibition is the Met Gala unveiling this year?

"Punk: Chaos to Couture." So you can be excited/nervous about how celebrities will show up. How do you make punk glamorous? We'll find out.

Who hosts the event?

Vogue Magazine, and thus its Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, hosts the Gala.

In the early 1970s legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland was fired from the magazine and took a position as Special Consultant for the Costume Institute. She revived it and started producing the Met Gala on a much higher scale (rooms were sprayed with perfumes that matched the year's theme). The event became more extravagant, but it still wasn't the "Oscars of the East" as it is known as today.

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