The theme for the Met Gala 2023 has been revealed

Written by the author Oscar Holland, CNN

Helpers Samantha Tse

Organizers of the annual Met Gala, one of fashion’s biggest nights, have announced next year’s theme: Celebrating Work. The late Karl Lagerfeld.
Scheduled as usual for the first Monday in May, the star-studded fundraiser will invite attendees to honor the work of the German designer, who died in 2019 at the age of 85.

The theme of the gala coincides with a major exhibition titled “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. In a press release, the Met said the show will “bring together around 150 designs that explore the designer’s stylistic language.”

Lagerfeld’s creations from his time as creative director of Fendi, Chloé and Chanel will be on display, as well as pieces from Balmain and Patou and designs for his eponymous label.

The invitation-only benefit, which typically costs upwards of $30,000 a head to attend, is the main source of funding for the Costume Institute. Under the direction of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, it raised $15 million in 2019, according to the New York Times.

The annual fundraiser is one of the most talked about red carpet events of the year. Credit: James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images

Lagerfeld was a prolific draftsman, and most of the items on display will be accompanied by corresponding drawings. The institute’s chief curator, Andrew Bolton, said he heard Lagerfeld’s design assistants – or “the hidden hands behind Karl’s brilliance”, as he put it – pay tribute at a memorial service.

“I was so amazed at how they communicated (with Lagerfeld), which was through drawings,” Bolton told CNN after the announcement.

“Every design in her life was a sketch… And when I saw the drawings, I thought, ‘These are so charming, so whimsical, so impressionistic.’ But what I didn’t realize was that they had detailed information, about a shoulder line or a sleeve length. And (his staff) knew exactly what that line meant or what that dot meant, and they could decode it.”

Bolton, who also authored an accompanying book, said the late designer would “hate a retrospective” but the exhibition will be more like an “essay” on his work.

Although the Met Gala dates back to 1948, it was only in the 1970s that the idea of ​​focusing together with the exhibition was born. Recent topics have included “China: Through the Looking Glass” in 2015, and “Camp: Notes on Fashion” four years later. Individual designers have been highlighted in the past, with previous year’s themes including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace and, most recently, Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo.

Kim Kardashian, pictured with Pete Davidson, caused a stir at last year's Met Gala by choosing the dress famously worn by Marilyn Monroe.

Kim Kardashian, pictured with Pete Davidson, caused a stir at last year’s Met Gala by choosing the dress famously worn by Marilyn Monroe. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

As the Covid-19 pandemic forced organizers to hold the last two events less than eight months apart, the last two galas were a variation on an American fashion theme: this year’s “Gilded Glamor and White Tie” and, in 2021, “America: The Lexicon of Fashion”.

Next year’s Lagerfeld exhibition will be open from early May to mid-July. Last year’s gala hosts Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have not yet been announced.

Pictured above: Karl Lagerfeld with Blake Lively at the 2011 gala, themed “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.”