What is the Met Gala? All your questions answered, from how to watch to the controversial theme

By: Meaghan Wray

Every year, celebrities, royals and public figures alike descend on New York City for the fashion party of the year, the Met Gala, which is as much a fundraiser for the Costume Institute as it is a fashion show! It's one of the most unique red carpets thanks to extravagant themes that are creatively brought to life by designers and celebrities like Celine Dion, Kim Kardashian and Sarah Jessica Parker, and this year is its 70th anniversary. Being such a coveted event, what happens inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art is held tightly under wraps - no public guest list, no cell phones, no selfies and no televising - but there are ways to catch a glimpse.

So how can you get in on the scoop? Here, we answer all your burning questions about the over-the-top soiree on the first Monday in May, from where to watch to who you can expect to see on the red carpet.

When can I watch it?

The gala takes place each year on the first Monday in May, which falls on Monday, May 7 this year.

Where can I watch it?

Though the annual Met Gala is never televised, E! News will be providing of-the-minute coverage on its Live From the Red Carpet show from 6:30 to 9 pm EST. Vogue has also been known to live stream interviews from the red carpet (last year's was a 360-degree Facebook Live!), while designers and celebrities take to social media to share their looks and red-carpet moments. If you're hoping for a sneak peek behind-the-scenes, you can count on a select few stars to break the no-cell-phone rule.

annual bathroom selfie

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Who is hosting?

Vogue's former editor-in-chief and current artistic director of Condé Nast, Anna Wintour, is the event's perennial hostess, but she always enlists a group of boldface partners in crime. This year, she went with some of the most influential women in the world: Amal Clooney, Donatella Versace and Rihanna.

What is the theme?

The Met Gala is known for its incredible themes and the iconic looks they produce, like Rihanna's yellow Guo Pei creation for 2015's China: Through the Looking Glass and Lupita Nyong'o's green mesh Prada ensemble at 2014's Charles James: Beyond Fashion. But this year promises to bring out some sartorial controversy with the theme Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.

Of the choice in theme, Vogue writer Laird Borrelli-Persson says: "Designed to create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art in the museum’s holdings, the show will be presented in a trinity of locations: the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the medieval galleries at the Met’s Fifth Avenue location, and further uptown at the Cloisters. Central to the conversation will be the papal garb on loan from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican, even in the 1983 Met blockbuster, The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art." Expect to see a lot of Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy and more.

Katie Holmes stunned in a Zac Posen gown for the 2017 Met Gala. Photo: © Getty Images

Who can you expect to see there?

The hosts will be front and centre for the entire night, but there are some stars who have been regular fixtures in Met Galas' past. Katie Holmes, Gigi and Bella Hadidand members of the Kardashian clan are almost always there, along with loved-up couples like Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, andBlake Livelyand Ryan Reynolds. And how can anyone forget about Lady Gaga, the queen of artistic outfits, or Queen Celine Dion herself?

How much does it cost to attend?

For celebrity guests, entrance is free. But it costs around $30,000 per ticket for everyone else to attend, according to Huffington Post.

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