Anna Wintour Apologizes for 2024 Met Gala Theme Mix-Up: ‘We Have Unleashed a Lot of Confusion Out There’

The star-studded event's theme 'Garden of Time' took inspiration from the Met's upcoming exhibit, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion."

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You’re not the only one who thought this year’s Met Gala theme was confusing.

Anna Wintour, the longtime editor-in-chief of Vogue, expressed regret over confusion regarding the theme and dress code for the star-studded event, which she has overseen since 1995, according to the New York Daily News.

Per Vogue, the theme for the evening was “The Garden of Time,” which was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of the same name. It also took inspiration from the upcoming exhibition Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

The exhibition is divided into three sub-themes—Land, Sea, and Sky—and focuses on the fragile and irreplaceable fashion pieces from the Costume Institute’s archives, highlighting their beauty and inevitable decay. 

“This exhibition broke my cardinal rule,” Wintour told the Today Show’s Jenna Bush Hager during an interview published on Monday at the 1:29 mark. “When we came up with the title Sleeping Beauties—it’s wonderful and poetic and romantic. But it actually could be many, many things.”

The fashion icon was able to count on Andrew Bolton, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute curator, to consult on what people should wear.

“I said, ‘What are we going to say to people to wear to this night?’ And he said, ‘Well, what about ‘Garden of Time?’” Wintour said. “So I fear that we have unleashed a lot of confusion out there. And for which I deeply apologize, I imagine we'll see a lot of flowers, a lot of flowers.”

“The idea of sleeping beauties is taking these masterpieces from different periods and because so many of them are very fragile, they are laid flat behind glass walls,” Wintour added.

The editor-in-chief also mentioned she helped Serena Williams pick out her 2019 Met Gala outfit where she infamously wore a yellow Atelier Versace dress with a pair of highlighter green Nike x Off-White Air Force One sneakers, according to British Vogue.

@serenawilliams did not come to play.

— Complex (@Complex) May 6, 2019
Twitter: @Complex

“I certainly suggested to Serena Williams the year that she co-chaired that she wears sneakers. And she has said to me many times, she is forever grateful for that suggestion,” Wintour told Today. “But she's the only one that could get away with it.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Wintour confirmed the rumors that chives, onions, and garlic were banned from the menu for the event’s diner, stating that she’s “not particularly fond” of those ingredients.

On the other hand, Wintour is a fan of keeping the cell phone ban in place during the Met Gala, saying, “It's often wonderful to hear after dinner, people say, ‘Oh, we had the most wonderful conversations.’ That's the idea, that life can exist without a picture on your cell phone.”

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