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It may be arguably the biggest fashion event of the season, but for a few major designers next month’s Met Gala will be a night to skip.

Rumour has it powerhouse brands Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Christian Dior will be scaling back their presence at the Gala, forgoing the usual spend on large tables at the sit-down event.

Financed by Vogue magazine (with the help of Condé Nast) and planned meticulously by editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and a team of Vogue staff, tickets range anywhere from $35,000 USD for single tickets, to $200,000  to $300,000 for larger tables. In years past it’s been a sure-fire way for brands to create a serious fashion moment, having their designs shine on one of fashion’s most celebrated stages – rendering celebs walking, talking ads for their labels, for all the world’s press to see.

But while Vogue has retained its crown as the world’s foremost fashion publication, the fashion media landscape is rapidly changing. Brands like Dior now boast followers in the tens of millions on their own social media platforms, meaning that spending well into the six figures is no longer the only way to drum up hype around their designs. So though the event no doubt gives them a boost, it makes Vogue’s position as gatekeeper that much less viable.

 

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@PriyankaChopra in a Ralph Lauren Collection velvet evening gown with gold-embroidered hood. #MetGala #MetHeavenlyBodies

A post shared by Ralph Lauren (@ralphlauren) on

But don’t think it’s the start of a trend – Gucci is this year’s official sponsor (who’ll surely be perfect for the theme, ‘Camp’), with Burberry and Louis Vuitton splashing out on large tables. It’s clear some of the more theatrical and elaborate designers might have had a field day.

And according to a Vogue spokeswoman, a few new designers have also bought themselves seats at the table. “The makeup of the room… changes each year, along with that year’s theme, as one would expect,” she said, which would make sense, given the themes have been as diverse in recent years as last year’s ‘Fashion & the Catholic Imagination,’ and ‘Fashion in an Age of Technology.’ Plus, with brands like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Dior already so well-established (last year they dressed Priyanka Chopra, Emma Watson, and Cara Delevingne respectively), it’s possible they simply have less need to piggy-back off the Vogue brand, making space for newer, smaller designers.

Since Wintour took over what was originally a simple, low-key museum fundraiser in 1995, she’s built it into the high-fashion, high-frenzy fashion affair it is today, with brands and celebrities vying to outdo each other by being seen in the most ostentatious, glamorous, and decadent designs.

So here’s hoping that, even if some our faves are a no-show – we’ll still be in for some stunning fashion treats.