The first Monday of May is known as one of fashion’s biggest nights out: the Met Gala. There is an aura of mystery around the star-studded affair even though the red carpet is covered extensively. But no one really knows what goes on past the red carpet, and that’s because there is a no-social media rule at the 2019 Met Gala.
In 2015, a selfie and social media ban was instated by Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and the chair of the Met Ball. Wintour has been chair since 1995, and she oversees both the benefit committee and the guest list, so what she says basically goes.
According to E!, there is no official explanation as to why social media was banned inside the gala. But in 2015, a source close to Vogue shared that a memo went out to all the guests prior to the event, warning, "The use of phones for photography and social media will not be permitted inside the gala."
Since Wintour never revealed why the ban was placed, people and publications have speculated for years why the media freeze occurred. In 2015, Page Six theorized that it was because Vogue wanted more editorial control of photos.
One can also imagine that the ban was put into place to increase the exclusivity of the event. After all, in 2014 Wintour raised the price of a seat at the gala by $10,000 to do just that. Ticket prices went from $15,000 to $25,000, making it harder for people to attend. According to Page Six, an unnamed source told the publication it was because "increasing the ticket price will make the Met Gala even more high-fashion, even more exclusive and even more aspirational."
There is a certain mystique created when you can’t see what’s going on behind the closed doors of a party, and that pertains to the Met Gala, too. To put it into perspective, in 2014 Kim Kardashian posted 18 Met Ball photos to Instagram. Anybody and everybody knew what was happening at the party.
While exclusivity is a good guess, in 2015 a source told Page Six that the ban "has solely to do with guests’ security and enjoyment of the event.”
In Wintour’s eyes, enjoying the event could translate to not being on your phone. In an interview with The New York Post in 2016, Sylvana Durrett, the Met Gala’s “commander-in-chief," explained how Wintour felt about phones.
"Anna is sort of an old-school traditionalist. She likes a dinner party where people are actually speaking to each other,” Durrett shared. “We aren’t sitting over people’s shoulders, but if it’s an obvious thing we might gently remind them.”
Since it’s not a militantly-enforced rule, celebs and attendees have sometimes gotten away with a covertly-snapped photo or two. Take Kylie Jenner’s iconic bathroom selfie from the 2017 gala. Celebs like A$AP Rocky, Slick Woods, Brie Larson, Diddy, Lily Aldridge, Frank Ocean, Paris Jackson, and many more crowded together and took a snap. Jenner captioned the photo, "annual bathroom selfie."
Social media might be banned at the 2019 Met Gala, but a few sneaky photos might leak during the festivities. Until then, the rest of us have to sit at home and wonder how the party is unfolding. FOMO indeed.
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