Met Gala to raise much-needed funds with star-studded evening

Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams will co-chair the evening.

A-listers from all industries are set to descend on the Metropolitan Museum of Art Monday evening for its annual Met Gala.

As well as signifying the opening of the museum’s spring fashion exhibit “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” the event serves as a critical fundraising benefit for an increasingly cash-strapped institution.

Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams will co-chair the evening with Kawakubo, a 74-year-old Japanese designer who created the label Comme des Garçons in 1969. Featuring works that waiver between clothing and abstract sculptures, “The Art of the In-Between” will act as the theme for the night, where celebrities traditionally try to one-up each other on the red carpet with showstopping costumes.

Taylor Swift and Idris Elba co-chaired last year’s event, along with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who continues to serve as chairwoman for the gala and has since the late 1990s.

Kawakubo is the first living fashion designer to receive a retrospective by the Met’s Costume Institute since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983.

With tickets reportedly setting gala-goers back $30,000, the event is expected to raise millions for the museum. Last year’s event raised around $13.5 million, according to reports. This year’s proceeds would ease pressures on an institution that is rumored to be struggling — in February the Met’s director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell stepped down amid reports of financial difficulties and planned layoffs.

Keira Alexander