Met Gala tonight. The most anticipated night in fashion of the whole year. And just a reminder that we are live chatting during the arrivals tonight at The Squawk starting at 630pm. 


The look we’re all waiting to see? Rihanna, always, but she’s been managing expectations, saying that her outfit tonight will be “chill” and, of course, Zendaya. Zendaya is one of the co-chairs. She’s just coming off the most triumphant press tour for Challengers which followed a triumphant press tour for Dune: Part 2. According to Law Roach in an interview with the New York Times on Friday he hadn’t yet seen Zendaya’s dress at that point and that they were only fitting on Saturday. 


You know the rumour that Anna approves every outfit for the Met Gala, and especially for the co-chairs? I would like to believe that Zendaya and Law don’t have to abide by that rule, if it even exists. Because what could Anna Wintour f-cking teach them? 

Speaking of Anna, though, if you want more Met Gala homework, Chantal Fernandez’s piece for The Cut about the “Costume Drama” behind the Costume Institute Gala is a must-read. It’s about the institutional and corporate politics behind this event and why it may be losing its impact and relevance. The speculation here is that Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion and the Garden of Time theme of this year’s event was not the original idea for 2024. Originally, allegedly, Anna and Andrew Bolton, head of the Costume Institute, wanted it to be about John Galliano who’s been the creative director of Maison Margiela for the last decade after his fall from grace in 2011 which precipitated his departure from Dior when his antisemitic outbursts were exposed. 


The intent to go back-to-back with last year’s theme Karl Lagerfeld (also a history of racism and misogyny) and John Galliano resulted in strong opposition so Anna and Andrew swapped him out for Sleeping Beauties instead which is why this year’s theme is kinda basic. Florals in spring is what we might see on the Oscar red carpet. At the Met Gala we want the potential for something more risky, fun, provocative, controversial even. But they had evidently left themselves little time to find an alternative plan when their initial proposal had to be scuppered. 

Anyway, there’s a lot to unpack from Chantal Fernandez’s report in The Cut and we’ll do it throughout our Met Gala coverage tomorrow but for now, with this bit of information in mind, let’s go back to Zendaya as she attended Anna’s traditional pre-Met Gala dinner last night with Law and you will note, she’s wearing archival Galliano 1998. 


Does this dress remind you of another though? Because my mind goes to one of the all-time great Oscar dresses. It was Cate Blanchett, Oscars 1999. 

Zendaya attends Anna Wintour's pre-Met Gala  dinner in NYC, May 5, 2024/Cate Blanchett at the 71st Annual Academy Awards March, 1999

With one look Zendaya and Law are straddling both the original and current themes of the Met Gala which, no doubt, would have pleased Anna. As for the Galliano issue – I mean, this is hardly new. 


Cate Blanchett was back in Galliano (for Margiela) in 2015 at the Oscars. Amal Clooney wore Galliano (also for Margiela) to the Met Gala in 2015. As mentioned above, he’s been at Margiela now for a decade. Business is booming at Margiela and the house’s recent couture show, designed by Galliano, in January was called the “best in years”. The fashion community, and the people who participate in it, encouraged in part no doubt by Anna Wintour, have long re-embraced John Galliano. Which is also what has happened with Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga more recently. 

So as Chantal Fernandez writes in The Cut, there could be an opportunity at the Met Gala to ask “uncomfortable questions about who gets to be forgiven in fashion, and who decides”. If, that is, they really want to be introspective in a productive way. As much as they claim that’s the motivation of the Costume Institute though, and the museum overall, is this really their purpose? 


Also attached – tonight’s other co-chairs: Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and Chris Hemsworth.