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Anna Wintour Explains This Year's Met Gala Theme: "We've Unleashed a Lot of Confusion"

On TODAY the fashion editor revealed she's breaking her "cardinal rule" for this year's mega-event!

By Chris Phelan

The 2024 Met Gala is finally here, and this year's event has a fascinating, yet arguably confusing, theme.

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It's "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," a nod to the brilliant costumes of yesteryear that, although they've been preserved, have seen better days. Exhibits will feature garments laid flat in glass cases. (That's how fragile they've become over time.) Of course, the exhibits play second fiddle to what stars will wear on the red carpet. 

Anna Wintour explains the 2024 Met Gala "Sleepy Beauties" theme

Speaking with Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY ahead of the May 6 event, Vogue editor-in-chief – and overseer of the Met Gala since 1995 – Anna Wintour confessed that she is going against one of her cardinal rules of fashion regarding the updated dress code for 2024! As it turns out, Anna and curator Andrew Bolton may have accidentally caused confusion for any A-lister attending.

"Well, this exhibition broke my cardinal rule," Anna explained. "We came up with the title Sleeping Beauties and it's wonderful and poetic and romantic, but it actually could be many, many things."

Past Met Gala themes, such as 2021's "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," have served as clear guidelines for any star looking to turn heads at the event. Wintour has always strived to keep things simple and straightforward to anyone attending. After all, nobody wants to show up violating the dress code.

"We’re to expect a range of fashion on display, which dates back to a 17th-century English Elizabethan-era bodice, that embodies the beauty of the natural world—its fragility and its inevitable decay," Vogue reports. "More modern, less delicate pieces imbued with the same spirit as the spotlit fashions will be showcased alongside them, and broken up into three sub-themes: Land, Sea, and Sky. The second part of understanding this year’s dress code of 'The Garden of Time,' is to know a bit about its inspiration: a short story of the same title written by J.G. Ballard in 1962."

Anna Wintour apologizes for a murky Met Gala dress code

Anna Wintour poses on the carpet of the 2024 Hope Rising Benefit

The official dress code is listed as "Garden of Time," which could be interpreted differently than "Sleeping Beauties." Anna acknowledged this as much.

"I feel we've unleashed a lot of confusion out there for which I deeply apologize," she confessed.

Don't worry; murky fashion guidelines shouldn't stop the near-endless parade of jaw-dropping fashion. So, what should we expect to see on the Met Gala red carpet? Fortunately, when you've been in charge for as long as Wintour has, you have a knack for accurately predicting the evening's fashion trends. The 2024 event is no exception:

"I imagine we'll see a lot of flowers," she quipped.

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