2023 Met Gala theme revealed: Exhibit to honor designer who said ‘fashion is not art’


The first Monday of May may be months and months away, but the 2023 Met Gala theme has finally been revealed.

Fashion’s hottest night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will entail an exhibition by the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld.

The New York City staple’s Costume Institute will present “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” come next year. The benefit, known as the Met Gala, will take place on May 1. 

The Met wrote in a press release that the event will consist of about 150 designs that “explore the artistic methodology and stylistic vocabulary of Karl Lagerfeld’s designs through recurring themes across more than 65 years, from the 1950s to his final collection in 2019.”

However, as Vogue noted, Lagerfeld often said fashion did not belong in a museum, but was meant for wearing.

“Karl never tired of telling me that fashion did not belong in a museum,” Costume Institute’s Wendy Yu Curator in Charge, Andrew Bolton, told the magazine. When we worked on the Chanel show together he was incredibly generous in what he lent, but he was completely disinterested in the exhibition itself! He would say ‘fashion is not art — fashion belongs on the street, on women’s bodies, on men’s bodies.’”

The snazzy and swanky bash will bring together wealth, fashion, A-list stars, viral moments and designers for one night only in 2023.

German Chanel's designer and art director of Chanel fashion house Karl Lagerfeld poses with top model Ines de la Fressange on March 13, 1987 prior to the preparation of 1987-88 Autumn-Winter ready-to-Wear collection shows. AFP PHOTO PIERRE GUILLAUD (Photo credit should read PIERRE GUILLAUD/AFP via Getty Images)
Karl Lagerfeld poses with model Ines de la Fressange on March 13, 1987, before a Chanel runway show.
AFP via Getty Images

Products from Lagerfeld’s tenures as creative director of Fendi, Chloé and Chanel will be displayed.

Items from his gigs at Balmain and Patou as well as creations from his own namesake label will also be shown.

Many of the late German designer’s sketches will be presented in the show as well.

Designer Karl Lagerfeld walks the runway during the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 4, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
The German fashion creator passed away in 2019 at the age of 85.
Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Anna Wintour (L) and Karl Lagerfeld attend the red carpet premiere of the Magnum Ice Cream Film Series during the Tribeca Film Festival at IAC Building on April 21, 2011 in New York City. Created and directed by Lagerfeld and starring Rachel Bilson, the films mark the introduction of globally renowned Magnum ice cream in the United States (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Magnum Ice Cream)
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld attend the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2011 in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin

Bolton noted how “fascinated” he was by how the controversial creator would communicate with his design assistants simply by drawings.

“Every single design in his life was a sketch,” Bolton told CNN recently. “And when I saw the drawings, I thought, ‘These are so charming, so whimsical, so impressionistic.’”

“But what I didn’t realize was that they contained really precise information — about a shoulder line or the length of a sleeve. And his staff knew exactly what this line meant or what that dot meant, and they could decode it,” Bolton went on.

Lagerfeld also helmed Fendi during his career.
Lagerfeld also helmed Fendi during his career.
picture alliance via Getty Image
Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld seen in 2015.
Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld seen in 2015.
WireImage

The Lagerfeld exhibition will be open from the beginning of May until mid-July next year.

Lagerfeld died in February 2019 at the age of 85 in Paris. The artist was known for his personal look — which included sunglasses, starched collar, platinum white hair and a seemingly permanent scowl.

Lagerfeld and Wintour in 1993.
Lagerfeld and Wintour in 1993.
Getty Images
In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel as its chief artistic director fashion designer.
In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel as its chief artistic director fashion designer.
Sygma via Getty Images

This year’s Met Gala theme encompassed the idea of “Gilded Glamour” and had been postponed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda were the co-chairs and hosts for 2022’s party.