Red Carpet

Everything you need to know about the 2018 Met Gala

From the theme to the exclusive guest list!

The 2018 Met Gala is nearly upon us, so it's time to gear up for the biggest night in fashion and all the watercooler moments it inspires. Remember Rihanna's mile-long train? Sarah Jessica Parker's flaming headdress? Madonna's butt-baring mesh? Solange Knowles' satellite dish dress? Kim Kardashian's head-to-toe floral fabric? All these head-turning looks hit the Met Gala red carpet in recent years, with Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour presiding over it all.

The Met Gala is now in its 72nd year, and this year's soirée will be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 8. Though most of us aren't invited — and, if you're like us, couldn't afford to go anyway — we'll be able to scope out all the haute couture on television and online. Here's all the info you need to know about this year's festivities, including details on the theme, the TV coverage, and the guest list…

Rihanna, Madonna and Kendall Jenner step out in outrageous Met Gala outfits in 2017.
Rihanna, Madonna and Kendall Jenner step out in outrageous Met Gala outfits in 2017.

What is the Met Gala

It's officially called the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, but that's kind of a mouthful, so people just call it the Met Gala. Held the first Monday of May, the Met Gala is a black-tie fundraiser for the Costume Institute of New York City's most prestigious art museum. Because of the star-studded guest list and the high fashion on display, some people refer to the gala as the "Oscars of the East Coast."

What is the theme of this year's Met Gala?

Break out the habits and cassocks! The 2018 Met Gala's theme is "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," which is the title of the exhibition — a "dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection" — hosted at the Met Fifth Avenue and the Met Cloisters until Oct. 8.

"Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another," says head curator Andrew Bolton. "Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion."

Blake Lively arriving at the 2017 Met Gala where the theme was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons.
Blake Lively arriving at the 2017 Met Gala where the theme was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons.

How can I watch the Met Gala?

E! News will broadcast a live stream of the red carpet from 8:30am to 11am AEST. Last year, E! covered the fashion, the trends, the attendees, and the after parties both on air and online (via a concurrent Facebook Live show).

Who gets invited to the Met Gala?

Around 600 people get to attend each year's Met Gala, and most are A-listers. Last year's guests included Thandie Newton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Frank Ocean, Michael B. Jordan, Janelle Monáe, and Reese Witherspoon. But as StyleCaster reports, you can also snag an invitation by being a big-ticket donor, a corporate sponsor, a performer, a Vogue editor, or a child of Anna Wintour.

*Vogue* editor-in-chief Anna Wintour decides who is and isn't on the guest list.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour decides who is and isn't on the guest list.

How do I attend the Met Gala?

Unfortunately for us mere mortals, the Met Gala is invite-only… And crazy expensive. Tickets go for US$30,000 a pop (AU$39,853), and tables cost US$275,000 (AU$365,327). It's no wonder one publicist called the annual event "an ATM for the Met." (2019 resolutions: Win the lottery and/or become Anna's bestie.)

Take a look at the wildest looks from last year's Met Gala here!

This story was originally published on Life & Style.