The 2024 Met Gala Theme Is Goth-Coded—You Just Didn’t Realize It

The 2024 Met Gala Theme Is Goth-Coded—You Just Didn’t Realize It

Emma Chamberlain, Rebecca Ferguson, Bad Bunny, Zendaya, Gwendoline Christine at the Met Gala 2024.Image: Adobe; Getty. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster

The Met Gala arrivals have begun, and word immediately started sprinkling in about how people are wearing black to a garden-themed party. Now my question is, who said it’s a garden-themed party? The dress code for the evening is “Garden of Time,” celebrating the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, titled, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” Let’s talk about the Met Gala’s goth theme.

Back in 2023, Andrew Bolton, head curator at the Costume Institute, told Vogue that the exhibit centers around fifteen “historically significant and aesthetically beautiful” garments that are too delicate to be reworn. “These are the ‘Sleeping Beauties’ of the title,” he said.

Now. Who said it’s a garden party? It’s a theme about dusting the cobwebs off the pieces in your grandma’s attic or exploring a haunted mansion and seeing a 15th Century portrait that looks eerily just like you. The theme, in fact, is all spiderwebs and spook. We see this in the number of Margiela guests coming up the steps.

Zendaya, one of the co-chairs of the 2024 Met Gala, arrives at the Met.

Zendaya, one of the Met Gala’s co-chairs this year, wore custom Maison Margiela, designed by John Galliano, styled by Law Roach. The stripes on her tail and the eeriness of the look really evoke a Lewis Caroll-esque, Absolem-like vibe.

Bad Bunny attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating

Bad Bunny also wore Margiela. He wore a tailored suit with destroyed, frayed pinstripes, henchman-like gloves, and a fabric bouquet of flowers made of the same suiting material.

Gwendoline Christie attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating

Gwendoline Christine came down the runway in a red velvet Margiela gown with an organza cape, and a teased, cloudy updo.

It’s not that they’re dressed as villains or that they are all subverting the theme. The theme itself is kind of macabre. It feels, actually, like a long time coming for the Costume Institute to have an exhibition all around clothes that are meant to exist in archives and never worn again. That’s what the Costume Institute exists to preserve. This conversation, in my opinion, really opened wide when Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday Mr. President dress to the Met Gala. She allegedly lost a lot of weight to fit into it, only for the 10ish minutes she wore it on the carpet to cause serious damage to the garment. I have to wonder what Andrew Bolton might’ve thought about the move, but perhaps this theme is his way of saying so.


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