The work of Karl Lagerfeld, the famed German fashion designer who died in February 2019 at the age of 85, will be celebrated next year at the 2023 Met Gala.
Organizers of the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit announced its theme on Friday morning at a press conference from Lagerfeld's photo studio in France for editors in town for Paris Fashion Week.
Official titled, "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty," the exhibit, according to a release from the Met, will showcase around 150 of Lagerfeld's greatest outfits across his prolific six decade career — designs he made while working for brands like Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel and his own eponymous label.
The exhibition opens to the public on May 5, 2023. The Costume Institute Benefit, known also as the #MetGala, will celebrate the exhibition on Monday, May 1. #MetKarlLagerfeld
Learn more: https://t.co/iQc4Pe3PAE pic.twitter.com/5nq2GDztHB
— The Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum) September 30, 2022
Most of the outfits will be accompanied by one of Lagerfeld's iconic sketches from his archive.
The drawings were the way Lagerfeld primarily communicated with his design assistants, something that inspired the Institute's head curator Andrew Bolton to pull the theme together.
"Every single design in his life was a sketch," Bolton told CNN after the announcement. "And when I saw the drawings, I thought, 'These are so charming, so whimsical, so impressionistic.' But what I didn't realize was that they contained really precise information — about a shoulder line or the length of a sleeve. And (his staff) knew exactly what this line meant or what that dot meant, and they could decode it."
The Met Gala is held annually on the first Monday of May and is one of the most highly anticipated sartorial scenes of the year.
Notably described as the Academy Awards' fashion equivalent, the style extravaganza is a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, formally titled The Anna Wintour Costume Center — named after Vogue's editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the gala since 1995.
The exclusive, invite-only affair draws in the eager eyes of style seekers who can't wait to catch a glimpse of the star-studded red carpet looks that revolve around a carefully crafted theme. "Celebrities, designers, and change-makers are challenged to create costumes that serve as both a fashion statement and a tribute to the concept," per Vogue.
Tickets are expensive, going for $30,000 a piece in the past with tables costing about $275,000.
Though the Gala dates back to 1948, it was only in the 1970s when it began centering its exhibits around a theme. Previous themes include 2020's "Camp: Notes on Fashion," which brought over-the-top, kitschy looks that pushed fashion to its limits and 2021's "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," which paid homage to America's expressive qualities.
The 2022 Met Gala theme was "In America: An Anthology of Fashion," with the dress code being gilded glamour and white tie to channel the time period between 1870 to 1890 (known as the Gilded Age New York).
Co-chairs for the Gala — which have included celebrities like Lady Gaga, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Rihanna, and Amal Clooney — have yet to be announced.
RELATED: Met Gala Co-Chairs Through the Years
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
Lagerfeld was an iconic figure in the fashion industry, known for his signature black suit, gloves, sunglasses and of course, long white ponytail.
Before his death, Lagerfeld notably said that he would never stop working, telling The New York Times in 2015 that he would "die on the spot." And just like his predecessor, Gabrielle Chanel who died while working on her next collection, he too worked until the end.
He was absent from taking a bow at the end of his last Paris Haute Couture show in January 2019, but he still designed the collection and even gave instruction to his teams at Fendi for its fall ready-to-wear line.
In addition to fashion design, Lagerfeld was a photographer and video director, having created all the advertising campaigns for the brands he designed for. He photographed his muses and worked with every top model and actress in the industry including Claudia Schiffer, Kristen Stewart and countless other A-list actresses.
The 2023 Met Gala is scheduled for May 1. The exhibit will be on display to the public from May 5 through July 16.