Almost a century ago, The Costume Institute was founded in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection is now home to over 33,0000 objects representing seven centuries of fashionable dress and accessories, but it faced funding issues upon its initial opening. To help save the collection and its exhibitions, the fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert launched the “Costume Institute Benefit” in 1948, a midnight dinner that would raise money and mark the opening of the annual exhibition. The event quickly became labelled “the party of the year”.