Who’s hosting, who’s going, and more.

They call it the Oscars of fashion, and there’s no doubt that for any style fiend, the Met Gala is major calendar event.

To give it its full name, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala both raises funds for the museum, and opens its annual exhibition.

More than that, though, the Met Gala gives fashion’s biggest names the chance to show off in a big way.

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Join us for a rundown on what to expect this time around. The gala falls on the first Monday in May each year, so May 7 is the date to note.

What is the Met Gala?

Founded in 1948 but really kicking off in 1999 when US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour took over, the Met Gala does double-duty as an opening party for the year’s exhibition, and as the institute’s major fundraiser. Last year, according to Forbes, it raised US$12 million (Dhs44m).

Each year’s exhibition lends the gala its theme, and for 2018, it’s ‘Heavenly bodies: Fashion and the Catholic imagination.’

Past galas have been dedicated to individual designers, like 2017’s Rei Kawakubo and 2014’s Charles James, to countries, like 2015’s China and 2006’s Anglomania, and to more abstract themes like 2013’s punk and 2009’s supermodels.

The event itself takes the form of a cocktail hour, where arriving guests have a chance to check out the exhibition as they step off the red carpet, followed by a sit-down dinner and a musical performance. Rihanna has sung before, but we’re thinking she might be a bit busy this year.

Who’s going to be there?

Well, about 700 people. Two names we can guarantee are Amal Clooney and Rihanna. Along with Donatella Versace, those two are hosting this year’s event.

Met Gala Rihanna

Arguably the Met Gala’s best dressed in recent years, Rihanna was an obvious choice. Her sunshine yellow Guo Pei look from 2016 took more than two years to make, and last year she stepped onto the red carpet in fresh out the runway Comme des Garcons. She takes this event seriously.

Clooney’s fashion credentials are no less formidable. The Lebanese human rights laywer took a year off in 2017 as she was preparing for the birth of her twins, but we’re expecting big things this year.

Aside from that, the guest list will be a fashion who’s who, with plenty of film and sports stars there to round things out.

hadids

We’ll be very surprised if Gigi and Bella Hadid aren’t in attendance, and you can bet there’ll be a good selection of Kardashian-Jenners on the carpet.

Beyoncé is another likely attendee, coming off the back of her Beychella triumph. We’ll be looking out for her.

Any big Middle Eastern moments?

Well, we’d say that the Hadid sisters’ appearances count. Gigi has worn Tommy Hilfiger the last two years—it’s common practice for stars to wear houses they have relationships with—and Bella is in Givenchy above, pictured with ex-beau Abel Tesfaye.

Plus, there’s the small matter of HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan attending in 2016.

queen rania

The royal wore Valentino, and looked somewhere beyond incredible.

Back in 2010, Jennifer Lopez opted for Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad on the night.

jennifer lopez

Bit of a showstopper, right? That’s a diva moment if we’ve ever seen one.

In 2016, this year’s co-host Clooney wore custom Maison Margiela, designed just for her by John Galliano.

We can’t wait to see what she goes for this time around. The countdown is on, people.

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Images: Getty, Instagram