Top designers invite "dates" to the gala, i.e. a model/celebrity that they will dress for the night. For the upcoming edition, Joseph Altuzarra has revealed singer Lana Del Rey as his guest, while Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are set to take Australian actress Isabel Lucas.
Fashion fans can expect Prada and Miu Miu creations to dominate the red carpet though, since the subject of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute this year will be Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, putting the spotlight on Italian creators Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada.
More unusually, Donna Karan has chosen cartoon supermodel Polly Bean as one of her Met Ball guests. Created by cartoonist Neil Kerber, the model appears in British satirical publication Private Eye. Karan will create a custom-made gown to be sketched on by her creator Neil Kerber ahead of the event.
As well as being streamed live for the first time, the 2012 Costume Institute gala is particularly savvy when it comes to social media this year, and fashionsistas can get involved in the May 7 event via initiatives including a Twitter Q&A session with the stars as they hit the red carpet.Bridaldressesonlineshop,vogue.com and metmuseum.org will be live-streaming the red carpet action from 18:30 to 20:30 EST, while reporter William Norwich and model Elettra Wiedemann will be hosting live coverage, interviewing the likes of Carey Mulligan, Miuccia Prada, and Anna Wintour.