Met Gala Awakens the “Art of Fashion”

Arguably the most star-studded fashion event of the year, the Met Gala, was especially lustrous with celebrities showing off, in many cases literally, their finest feathers on May 6.

The 2024 iteration of the secretive, and yet highly publicized, fund-raiser for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, took place in New York City’s iconic art museum, “The Met.” The annual event was first launched in 1948, and always has a thought-provoking theme. This year’s theme, or “dress code” was “The Garden of Time”, a riff on a 1962 short-story by J.G. Ballard of the same name. The story concerns a count who needs to buy time as an angry mob approaches his castle with bad intent.  Cutting a rose from his garden has the effect of slowing down time, and the count continues to cut roses from his garden until there are none left. Apropos to the evening’s theme, this year’s exhibit of the Costume Institute is entitled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

Many of the approximately 250 fashion pieces adhered to the garden theme, featuring flowers, leaves, stems, floral colors and other imaginings. However, perhaps no other dress evoked the re-awakening of the Sleeping Beauty story better than the outfit worn by Kendell Jenner. The 25-year-old dress had only ever appeared in public at the 1999 Givenchy Haute Couture collection presented by the late and beloved designer Alexander McQueen, and on a mannequin, not a living model. Then the dress was let out to pasture in the Givenchy archive, until Jenner discovered and fell in love with the piece.

Due to the costume’s age and perfect condition, Jenner was not permitted to make any alterations. Imagine the shock and joy when she became the first living being to put it on, and it fit perfectly! Truly a moment that evoked a reawakening of a “sleeping beauty,” considering the dress is absolutely gorgeous.

The wearable artwork is covered in a plethora of more than 100,000 black and brass beads and sequins. The bodice is sleeveless and trimmed with a crocheted spiky gold flower border and collar with delicate gold fringes gently lying over the length of the otherwise bare arms down to the hips. The lower skirt begins a few inches below the bodice, exposing just the perfect amount of tummy, hips, and a daring amount of derriere.  The skirt plunges to the floor in a tight, leg-hugging, sleek, V-shaped drape, making a romantic, gold-trimmed, constrained circle on the floor.

This year’s hosts of the Gala included Jennifer Lopez, Chris Hemsworth, Bad Bunny and Zendaya. The event is organized by the fashion magazine Vogue, and its editor in chief, and chair of the Gala Anna Wintour, who has been doing this since 1995. The guest list is kept secret until the greats of the film, fashion, sports, music, and many other industries arrive at the great steps covered in red carpet leading up to “fashion’s greatest night.”

Rachel Thornbee

When it comes to politics and deal making in the streets of Brooklyn, Rachel is on top of it. With a degree in political science and another in business leadership, Rachel can discuss the inner workings of the system with the best of them. We are excited to have Rachel joining Gowanus Lounge, reporting on the great goals and challenges of Brooklyn's political infrastructure. Contact Rachel at rachelthornbee(at)