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Met Gala Masterpiece Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
May 17, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 17, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

The Met Gala, renowned for its exclusive guest list, extravagant outfits, and thematic masterpieces, serves as a canvas for celebrities, designers, and artists to express their interpretations of the given theme. Each year, the Gala sets the trend for the upcoming fashion season and pays homage to the intricate relationship between fashion and social, political, and cultural dialogues.

Pictured in the image is Zendaya from the Met Gala 2018. She is also one of the co-chairs for the upcoming 2024 Met Gala, “The Garden of Time.” If you are a Zendaya fan, we encourage you to check out our Zendaya Superfan scholarship, too! Pictured on the right is Rihanna from 2015. 

Tell us about your favorite Met Gala theme and the year it occurred. Delve into the array of outfits that graced the red carpet and select the one that stood out as the most exemplary of the theme and the one that perhaps missed the mark. Talk about the aesthetic appeal, and don’t be afraid to consider the outfit's relevance to the theme, its cultural significance, and the statement it aimed to make.

This scholarship is perfect for artists, those obsessed with pop culture, and people who want to pursue the fashion industry. Regardless of your background, we want to hear your thoughts on your favorite Met Gala themes and outfits accompanying them. This scholarship is open to all education levels, with no GPA requirement. We will announce the winner on May 6th, 2024, the night of the Met Gala! This scholarship is ending soon, so apply today! 

(Note: This scholarship is an independent scholarship created by and is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the Met Gala, Met Ball, or any associated entities.)

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Passion
Published February 20, 2024
Essay Topic

Choose your favorite Met Gala theme and its year. Which outfit was the best that year, and which was the worst? Please attach photos and explain your reasoning.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Cora Xu
Academy of Art UniversityNEWARK, CA
One of my favorite Met Gala Themes is 2022: “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”. The fashion industry has been greatly influenced by European fashion houses for decades. The 2022 Met Gala, along with the 2021 Met Gala: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”, served as a two part exhibition themed around American fashion. It celebrated the glamour of American fashion and its growing impact on the fashion industry today. My favorite look was Blake Lively in a grand Atelier Versace gown. The dress featured tributes to the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and more. New York City architecture and Art Deco style were the inspirations of the dress. Not only did it pay homage to American culture, but it was also a stunning reveal when she unfolded the dress to show the bright turquoise train, representing the statue of liberty, and its oxidized stain over time. The dress design was both classic in terms of New York culture, and exciting in terms of the train reveal. The outfit is very thoughtful to match the theme of the Met Gala. As a fashion designer, I believe that it is extremely meaningful when an outfit is designed to evoke emotions of the wearer and the audience. My least favorite look is Naomi’s black Burberry dress. According to the Vogue article, she mentioned: “My dress took inspiration from the regality seen in the Gilded Age, whilst also channeling the classic shapes and women of American history.” The most eye catching aspect of the Burberry dress is the sparkling Burberry logo all over the dress. They don’t represent American culture. The Gilded Age fashion was deeply influenced by Europe, when the upper class women would look to Paris for inspirations and integrate them into American fashion. Those were characterized by high necklines, corsets, leg-of-mutton sleeves, using embroideries, laces and ruffles. Nevertheless, I appreciate the relaxed dress representing evolution of female fashion, freeing women from tight corsets to more comfortable daily wear. On a related note, I've personally visited the Met to see The Costume Institute's Exhibition for "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion". It was eye opening to see many great American designers' work on display. American fashion is leading the future of this industry. Virgil Abloh's Off-White Ensemble piece in collaboration with Arc'teryx was one of my favorite from that exhibit, merging high fashion with activewear. Exploring style and utility in one. As I’m pursuing my MFA Fashion Design degree, I’m eager to learn more about fashion history, sub-cultures, and how fashion is evolving today in our society. Thank you for this opportunity for the scholarship, not only is it a chance to provide financial support for education, it also lead me to read tons of articles about American fashion history. I enjoyed this exercise thoroughly. Photo 1: Blake Lively; Photo 2: Naomi Campbell; Photo 3: Off-White Ensemble.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 17, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 17, 2024.

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