Met Gala 2017 Rei KawakuboComme des Garçons Art of the InBetween
Met Gala 2017: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-BetweenPhotographed by Corey Tenold

A Look Back at Stunning Met Gala Interiors Over the Years

Every year, event planner Raul Ávila is given a daunting task: to transform the Metropolitan Museum of Art into an otherworldly spectacle for the annual Met Gala. For 2019’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” he created a 25-foot tall, flamboyant flamingo centerpiece comprised of 30,000 flowers. In 2018, he erected a rose recreation of a papal crown for “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” And those are just examples of floral formations: In 2007, for “Poiret: King of Fashion,” he filled a gilded birdcage with live peacocks. Minor chaos ensued when one escaped. “Everyone at the museum was chasing after her to get her back into the cage,” he recalled.

Each event brings an adventure: in 2013, Avila and his team flew in a chandelier from London and rigged it with razor blades for that year’s punk-themed bash, and “Heavenly Bodies” saw the Met’s grand staircase alight with thousands of candles. Then there are the table settings: 2019, for example, saw tablescapes with bamboo flatware, feather lampshades, floral plates, and shocking pink tablecloths.

2023’s soirée, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”—and its sure-to-be fantastical decor—will take place on May 1. So until then, take a spin through the Met Gala interiors throughout the years, from 2005's Chanel-themed soiree to the most recent affair in 2022.

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Punk: Chaos to Couture
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