Unveiling the Met Gala: Exploring the Controversial Garden of Time Theme

Riley Sundew

Updated Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

The Met Gala, renowned for its opulence and extravagance, has once again stirred up a storm of mixed reactions. This year's theme, inspired by the JG Ballard short story "The Garden of Time," has left many scratching their heads. In a viral video, a self-proclaimed layperson expressed confusion about the attendees' interpretations of the theme, questioning whether they had even read the story.

The Met Gala, often seen as a gathering of the elite, has been criticized as a mere display of wealth and privilege. Some argue that the attendees, preoccupied with their own status and luxury, fail to grasp the deeper meaning behind the chosen theme. The gala has been described as a "trash fire of privilege and inequality" by one commentator who believes that it perpetuates the downfall of true art and talent.

However, amidst the controversy, there are those who defend the event as a celebration of fashion as art. For many designers, the Met Gala is a dream come true—an opportunity to showcase their creativity on a grand stage. The event serves as a platform for new ideas and interpretations, pushing the boundaries of fashion. It is important to recognize the hard work and dedication that goes into creating these stunning ensembles, rather than solely focusing on the wealth of the attendees.

"The Garden of Time" theme was chosen this year to coincide with the Met Museum's fashion exhibition, "Sleeping Beauties." This exhibition features delicate garments that can no longer be displayed on mannequins, symbolizing the fleeting nature of time. The theme aims to capture the essence of trying to halt time's inevitable progression, whether it be the decay of historical fashion or the preservation of personal treasures.

While some speculate that the attendees may not have read the short story, there are those who have delved into its pages. One fashion critic, known for his passionate reviews, spent hours passionately expressing his disappointment with those who failed to embody the story's essence. He argued for the need to draw attention to the decay of historical fashion, urging attendees to don tattered, torn, or partially destroyed garments.

Intriguingly, the chosen theme has sparked different interpretations among readers of "The Garden of Time." Some see it as a commentary on the divide between the aristocracy and the commoners, where an appreciation for beauty and art is overshadowed by the mindless masses. Others believe it holds relevance to the Palestine-Israel conflict, with hints drawn from the Gala's performances and the theme's association with resource h***ding.

As the debate rages on, it is crucial to remember that the Met Gala serves not only as a glamorous event but also as a vital fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum. The gala provides support for the institution's costume division and the countless artists it nurtures. While it is easy to criticize the rich and famous, it is essential to recognize the collateral damage such criticism can have on the artists involved.

So, as the world dissects the Met Gala and its Garden of Time theme, let us not forget the intricate web of perspectives that intertwine within this celebrated event. Whether it is a display of wealth or an artistic expression, the Met Gala continues to captivate and provoke discussion—a testament to the power of fashion as a form of self-expression and cultural reflection.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


The Met Gala is just a thing for rich people to jerk each other off, of course nobody understood the story




It's been a trash fire of privilege and inequality a while. Khadija Mbowe did a video I saw talking about the downfall of celebrity and the Met Gala. https://youtu.be/ot46ukjjslc Maybe some good stuff will come about where people dump celebrity BS.


Isn’t it just a fundraiser for the Met?


I like this guy! I'll look into him.


I guarantee the person picking the theme either chose it because "famous author short story!" OR... picked it because they're mocking the rich. I choose to believe the second. It was pitched by someone who knew the story, and accepted because 'famous author', and they never read it.


So the Gala is the preview night & fundraising dinner for the Met Museum fashion exhibition which this year is Sleeping Beauties, fragile clothes that can no longer be displayed on mannequins. That is why the Garden of Time was selected as a theme. It's about trying to stop time either from taking your house or the garments. Maybe some might have read the book, but I should imagine most of them would be discussing flower and time themes with the designers.


This guy nailed it. I watch a fashion critique who read the story and spent several hours just yelling at everyone who wasn't wearing something that was in tatters or torn or burnt or partially destroyed. Apparently the met was also trying to bring attention to the decay of historical fashion


I mean, I doubt it's intentional, but whoever chose this theme for the gala did a fantastic job illustrating why it's so f***ing gross.


Just read it. It's a good story. I didn't read it the same as he did. Instead, to me, the army was time. They had little care for the estate, or it's wealth. They slashed the paintings and turned the fine harpsichord to splinters. Desperate people would take the wealth but time cares little for precious things. The couple were old, living out their lives in solitude, as many elderly in the West do. They tried desperately to hold onto their youth, but there's only so many flowers.

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