The theme of the gala coincides with the major exhibition “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. In a press release, the Met said the show will bring together around 150 designs that will “explore the designer’s stylistic language.”
Items on display will include creations from Lagerfeld’s time as creative director of Fendi, Chloe and Chanel, as well as pieces from his stints at Balmain and Patou and designs from his namesake label.
The annual fundraiser is one of the most talked about red carpet events of the year. Credit: James Devane/GC Image/Getty Images
Lagerfeld was a prolific sketcher, and most of the items on display will be accompanied by related drawings. The institute’s chief curator, Andrew Bolton, said he was inspired by hearing Lagerfeld’s design assistants – or “hidden hands behind Karl’s brilliance” – paid tribute at the memorial service.
“I was fascinated by how he communicated (with Lagerfeld), which was through drawings,” Bolton told CNN shortly after the announcement.
“Every design in his life was a sketch… and when I looked at the drawings I thought, ‘These are so charming, so whimsical, so influential.’ But I didn’t realize they had really accurate information — about the shoulder line or the length of the sleeve. And (his staff) knew what this line meant or what that point meant and they could decode it.”
Bolton, who is also writing an accompanying book, said the late designer “would have hated retrospectives” but that the exhibition would be like an “essay” about his work.
Although the Met Gala dates back to 1948, the idea of centering it around an accompanying exhibition only emerged in the 1970s. Recent themes include “China: Through the Looking Glass” in 2015 and “Camp: Notes on Fashion” four years later. Individual designers have been spotlighted in the past with previous year’s themes, including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace and, most recently, Comme des Garçons founder Ray Kawakubo.
Kim Kardashian, pictured with Pete Davidson, caused a stir by choosing a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe at last year’s Met Gala. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Next year’s Lagerfeld exhibition will be open to the public from early May to mid-July. The gala’s co-chairs, which last year included Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, have yet to be announced.
Top picture: Karl Lagerfeld pictured with Blake Lively at the 2011 festival, themed “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.”