5 things you didn’t know about the Met Gala

May 05 2014 by
Categories : Fashion

beyonce-metBeyoncé in a Givenchy Couture gown posing on the grand steps of the Met at last year’s gala. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

An invite to
the annual Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Gala is a highly coveted ticket to fashion’s most exclusive night out of the year. With the
exhibition this summer honouring American couturier Charles James, you can expect a high fashion showcase of ball gowns and suit tails worthy of classier eras of yore—or Anna Wintour. To help guide you through tonight’s old world-inspired festivities, we rounded up the five things you need to know about this year’s gala.

1. The subject. The theme of this year’s exhibit,
Charles James: Beyond Fashion, likely raises a few questions, the first of which being who exactly is Charles James. James, who was born in London and came to New York in 1940, is touted as America’s first and greatest couturier (second question: America does couture? Answer: apparently!). He’s revered for his iconic ball gowns—75 of which will be on display in the exhibit—and was known as a perfectionist who revolutionized the figure-eight skirts and spiral-cut garments for high society clients in the forties and fifties. He was also beloved by his contemporaries: Christian Dior described James as “the greatest talent of my generation”, and Cristóbal Balenciaga hailed him as “not only America’s greatest couturier, but the world’s best”.
2. The dress code. Anna Wintour has decreed tonight’s red carpet gala a White Tie affair, which means ball gowns and gloves for the ladies and top hats and tails for their accompanying gents. This strict Edwardian style sense has not fared well for some guests and their designers—many of whom had to scramble to adjust earlier sketches to meet Wintour’s sanctions. Marc Jacobs, who shone in the spotlight of last year’s punk theme, isn’t exactly inspired by the white tie dress code this time around: "It’s not as exciting as wearing a lace dress and boxer shorts,” he said. He’ll be wearing Saint Laurent to accompany actress Jessica Lange to the event.
3…and the dresses themselves. Still confused by what to wear, as many of the lucky few who snagged an invite are? No problem! According to an insider source in New York, Wintour has kindly removed the guesswork and handpicked which celebs will be dressed by select designers tonight. “
Vogue brings the designers’ clothes up to the magazine. They lay it all out and then they pair celebrities with the designers and their gowns,” says the understandably unnamed source. “The level of control is amazing. The invasion of Baghdad was nothing compared to this.”
4. The cost. To mark the opening of the newly renovated and renamed Anna Wintour Costume Center (formerly the Costume Institute) the ticket price has jumped from a mere $15,000 to $25,000 per attendee.
5. The dates. Traditionally, designers accompany the celebs they dress to the event. Tonight’s dream date guest list includes Tommy Hilfiger and Zooey Deschanel, Michael Kors and Zoe Saldana—with Prada represented by Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery—how will Miuccia choose? Stay tuned for all the white tie updates from the Upper East Side.
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Categories: Fashion