Next Year's Met Gala Theme Was Just Announced

It's "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," but don't expect a Disney princess retrospective.



After this year's homage to Karl Lagerfeld, the 2024 Met Gala is turning its focus away from personality and toward the hard work and preservation that goes into keeping historical fashion intact. Titled "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," the exhibit will bring together 250 items drawn from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection that are normally too delicate or fragile to be on display. According to Vogue, the term "Sleeping Beauties" isn't in reference to Disney's Princess Aurora, but to the pieces that stay in storage because there's no practical way to display or wear them.

“This innovative show will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience many facets of a work, to learn more about its history, and, ultimately, to gain a deeper appreciation of its beauty," Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, said.

Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, explained that there will be "50 historically significant and aesthetically beautiful pieces from the collection that are far too fragile ever to be worn again" on display in new, innovative ways, including through CGI, light projection, soundscaping, and video animation.

The pieces will span 400 years of fashion history, from a 17th-century English Elizabethan-era bodice to 21st-century creations by designers including Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Conner Ives.

“These are the ‘Sleeping Beauties’ of the title,” Bolton said.

<p>Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue</p>

Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Related: See Every Amazing Look from the 2023 Met Gala

“Fashion is one of the most emotional artistic forms because of its connection to the body. It is imbued with memory and emotions, and we relate to it very much via our senses," Bolton added. "One thing I hope this show will activate is that sensorial appreciation of fashion.”

The more modern pieces will be on display alongside the historic pieces that inspired them, Vogue adds.

Bolton also explained that the exhibit will span three main “zones” — Land, Sea, and Sky — to connect nature and the clothes: “It is very much an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion."

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” will bow on the first Monday in May, which falls on May 6, 2024. The exhibit will open to the public on May 10 and run through Sept. 2, 2024. 

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