The event was started by publicist Eleanor Lambert in 1948
The Met Gala (or Met Ball, either one works) used to be attended by New York's top socialites rather than designers and Hollywood stars. But by the time Wintour got involved in 1995, the event was changing to a more star-studded fashion event. And, as reported by the Times, starting in 2003, celebs were joining Wintour with cohosting duties.
Anna Wintour captains the Met Ball ship
You can buy a ticket for $25,000, but only if Wintour approves. The Vogue editor ultimately decides who gets to go and who's denied entry to the year's most exclusive event.
Anna Wintour is into theatre
And since the event is in New York, it's fitting that a lot of the guests are theatre people. Of course, the Hollywood name stars get all the attention, but Broadway favorites of Wintour also manage to find their way inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It's business, not pleasure
According to the New York Times, most of the tickets are purchased by fashion companies like Burberry, Chanel and Versace. And it's the designer's chance to take the spotlight as their chosen celebrities showcase their style.
Most of the tickets are bought by fashion companies
The fashion companies then invite celebrities. Wintour is, of course, on hand to suggest some fitting Hollywood names if a designer is in need.
No agents, managers or publicists allowed
Celebs for the evening are basically there to be seen, meaning they aren't doing a lot of talking. And they certainly aren't doing the interview circuit like a normal red carpet. Exclusivity is the name of the game, not camera time, so celebs arrive without their normal entourages.
After the red carpet, the shoulder-rubbing begins
According to The Wall Street Journal reporter, Marshall Heyman, once the carpet is over, guests are greeted by the hosts, who include Jennifer Lawrence, Gong Li, Marissa Mayer, Silas Chou, Wendi Murdoch and, of course, Wintour herself. Then they are led around some of the exhibits where a reception is held ahead of a sit-down dinner.
Not a lot of dancing
Traditionally, back in the day, the Met Ball also included a dancing event. These days the dresses are probably too tight and include too much fabric to make that kind of party feasible. According to reports, there's a lot of chatting but not any grooving.
This fun tidbit comes from Heyman again, who shares that there isn't any food at the reception. And the gorgeous foods that are served at the dinner mostly go untouched. Again, whether it's because everyone is too focused on fitting into their dresses or because the anticipation of the evening is too much, it's unclear. But Heyman clearly thinks it's the latter.
The celebs wait until the after-parties to get sloppy
Luckily, there is a light at the end of this party tunnel. Just because the celebs don't let loose during the actual Gala, doesn't mean they don't enjoy the evening. Following the event, the Hollywood stars head to after-parties where they let lose.