met gala 2023 red carpet

Inside Look: What It Takes To Plan the Met Gala.

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Posted on May 3, 2023

We will say this again: In-person events are back! The fashion industry celebrated in style with the highly-anticipated Met Gala 2023, making a huge comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Met Gala is a celebration of creativity, artistry, and fashion. After more than a year of virtual events, returning to in-person gatherings and fashion shows is a breath of fresh air. 

Held on May 1st, this year’s event paid tribute to the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld with the theme “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” The gala event showcased the best of the fashion industry, with Hollywood celebrities, political figures, and fashion icons coming together to honor Lagerfeld’s legacy. 

jeremy pope at met gala 2023
Source: Guardian/Getty Images

Planning fashion shows and high-profile in-person events requires much time, effort, and attention to detail. In this article, we take an inside look at what it takes to plan the Met Gala 2023. Have you ever wondered what it takes to design such a gala party? Keep reading. 

1. Theme selection

The first step in planning the Met Gala is selecting the theme. The theme is the foundation for the entire event, shaping everything from the decor to the dress code. The selection process for the Met Gala involves a team of curators and designers who work closely with the museum’s director to identify a relevant and engaging topic. Once the theme is selected, the team begins the event planning process, which includes designing the event, including the guest list, decor, and outfit designs.

theme selection for met gala

 The theme for the Met Gala 2023 presented an exciting opportunity for designers to showcase their work and pay homage to Lagerfeld’s legacy. The dress code for the event is expected to be black and white, which was one of Lagerfeld’s signature looks. The dress code undoubtedly inspired many designers to create stunning black-and-white designs for the event.

2. Guest List

The guest list for the Met Gala is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the fashion industry. The event is invitation-only, with a mix of Hollywood celebrities, fashion icons, and political figures in attendance. The guest list for the Met Gala 2023 is curated and exclusively picked by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The curation process involves various factors, including the theme, cultural relevance, and personal relationships. The co-chairs, Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka, were tasked with selecting individuals who represent the theme and could add value to the event through their contributions to fashion and culture.

guest list curation for met gala 2023

Unexpectedly, a little uninvited guest made an appearance on the red carpet- a cockroach! Although she wasn’t on the guest list, photographer Kevin Mazur snapped a photo of the insect and even posed with it for Variety magazine’s Twitter feed, giving the creepy crawler its 15 minutes of fame.

Source: Variety/Twitter

3. Event design

event design for fashion shows

Once the guest list is finalized, the event space is designed. Unlike other fashion shows, the Met Gala is known for its elaborate and immersive decor, with each year’s theme inspiring a unique design aesthetic. The seating arrangement for the Met Gala 2023 was circular, with the co-chairs seated at the center of the room. This allowed for a more intimate experience, with guests being able to interact with one another throughout the night. 

4. Event decor

event decor for fashion shows

The decor for the 2023 event was inspired by Lagerfeld’s love of black and white, with bold graphic designs adorning the walls and ceilings of the event space. Carefully selected to create a sense of drama and intrigue, with subtle nods to Lagerfeld’s signature style throughout. In addition to the set, the lighting design for the Met Gala 2023 was carefully planned to create a dynamic atmosphere. The lighting changed throughout the night, highlighting different areas of the room and adding to the overall experience.

5. Ticket management

Fashion shows like the Met Gala are for the crème de la crème of the industry.

ticketing for met gala

The event tickets are renowned for their high prices, starting at $30,000 and going up to $300,000 per table. Guests are expected to make substantial donations to the Costume Institute in addition to the ticket cost. The grand total funds raised at the event have exceeded $15 million in past years. 

6. Logistics and security

Finally, there’s the logistics and security of the event. The Met Gala is a massive undertaking, requiring a team of professionals to coordinate everything from transportation to catering. Security is also a significant concern, with high-profile guests and valuable fashion pieces needing protection.

logistics and security for fashion shows

According to reports, the Met Gala 2023 had a budget of around $30 million, with a team of over 1,000 people working to make the event successful.

Some key takeaways for event planners.

Sylvana Durrett, a Met Gala veteran, shares the wisdom she’s gleaned from planning fashion shows like the Met Gala for 8 years. Let her insights guide you on what it takes to make this annual celebration of art and fashion a resounding success!

  • Attention to detail is critical. Every aspect of the event must be carefully planned and executed to ensure that it meets the high expectations of attendees.
  • Collaboration and communication are essential. Planning the Met Gala requires input from a diverse group of people, from fashion designers to event producers to lighting designers. Effective communication and collaboration are essential in bringing all of these elements together.
  • Flexibility is key. Even the most meticulously planned events and fashion shows can encounter unexpected challenges like weather or technical difficulties. You must be able to adapt and make quick decisions to ensure that the event runs smoothly.
  • Creativity is essential. The Met Gala is known for its innovative themes and over-the-top fashion. Be creative and innovative to ensure that the event continues to be fresh and exciting year after year.
  • Attention to guest experience is critical. You must consider the guest experience at every stage of the event, from arrival to departure. Everything from the seating chart to the food and beverage offerings must be carefully planned to create a memorable and enjoyable experience for attendees.
  • Sustainability is increasingly important. The fashion industry has come under increased scrutiny in recent years for its environmental impact. Event planners must be mindful of this when planning fashion shows like the Met Gala. Incorporating sustainable practices into the event, such as using eco-friendly materials or reducing waste, can help reduce the event’s impact on the environment.


The Met Gala 2023 was a true celebration of fashion and creativity, paying homage to the legacy of the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld. The meticulous planning and attention to detail that went into the event are a testament to the effort and dedication of the event planners and their team. From selecting the theme, curating the guest list, and designing the decor, every aspect of the Met Gala was carefully considered to create a memorable and immersive experience.

As an event planner and professional, you can learn a great deal from the Met Gala 2023 planning process. Particularly the importance of incorporating a cohesive theme throughout every aspect of the event and paying attention to even the smallest of details. These will create an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression on guests.

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