The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, colloquially "the Met," announced on Wednesday that the theme of its much-awaited Costume Institute's Spring 2024 exhibition and gala is "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion." And no, it does not refer to Sleeping Beauty's Aurora, the Disney Princess. 

According to Vogue, the subject of the theme pertains to the 50 "historically significant and aesthetically beautiful" garments from the Met's collection that have not been worn in a very long time and are too fragile to be worn ever again. 

For that reason, these pieces have been laid dormant for decades, hence the title "Sleeping Beauties." The exhibit will feature approximately 250 items, chronicling over 400 years of history, ranging from a 17th-century English Elizabethan-era bodice to 21st-century fashion designers such as Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Connor Ives. 

Divided into three major categories: Land, Sea, and Sky, the exhibition will attempt to fill the gap between the natural world and fashion. For the head curator of the Anna Wintour Costume Center, Andrew Bolton, nature is such a "throughline" in their collection.

"Nature, I think, is a broader metaphor for fashion to serve out the fragility and the ephemerality of fashion, but also society, the secular nature of fashion and ideas of renewal and rebirth and regeneration," Bolton said.

Met Gala 2024: What Does the Theme 'Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion' Actually Mean? (Photo : ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Head curator of the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Andrew Bolton speaks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's announcement of the Costume Institute's spring 2024 exhibition, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" in New York on November 8, 2023.

Fashion Meets Multimedia Technology at Met Gala 2024

The Met intends to revive the "Sleeping Beauties" with the use of cutting-edge curation and technology, allowing for an immersive experience and a deeper understanding of the delicate garments. 

"'Sleeping Beauties' will heighten our engagement with these masterpieces of fashion by evoking how they feel, move, sound, smell, and interact when being worn, ultimately offering a deeper appreciation of the integrity, beauty, and artistic brilliance of the works on display," Met CEO Max Hollein said in a press statement

Some looks will be brought back to life thanks to the illusion technique known as Pepper's ghost, and each masterpiece will have a deeper context as a result of video animation, light projection, soundscaping, artificial intelligence (AI), computer graphics, and other forms of sensory stimulation, Vogue reported. 

Met Gala 2024: When and Where?

This year's Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on May 6 to celebrate the exhibition opening. Sponsored by TikTok and Loewe, the exhibit at The Met Fifth Avenue will run from May 10 to September 2, 2024. It will be open to the public after the star-studded Met Gala. 

Usually held on the first Monday of May, the Met Gala is the Costume Institute's annual fundraiser. It is one of the biggest events in the fashion industry, with the most prominent personalities and fashion designers attending each year.