The New York Times writes about the evolution of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit, which takes place Monday night. Under the leadership of Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour, the annual gala, known as the Met Ball, has become both a fundraising powerhouse and a centerpiece of New York social life.
A dominant and much-debated figure in the world of couture, Ms. Wintour has co-hosted the gala since 1999, transforming it from a black-tie dinner for museum patrons into a celebrity-studded red-carpet event backed by major fashion brands. During her reign, the ball has raised $145 million for the Costume Institute, supplying its entire operating budget. Last year's event raised nearly $12 million, more than three times the take of the Museum of Modern Art's biggest fundraiser, the David Rockefeller lunch.