After Dark: The Met Gala

May 06, 2014

Last night, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez and Olivia Munn all stunned at the Met Gala in DVF. Here, resident “It Girl” and Style Editor, Jessica Joffe, reports from beyond the red carpet:

“The essence of chic is to appear extravagantly lovely,” Charles James once said. And although the party of the year is always extravagant, it was especially lovely this year. More intimate than usual— less than half the typical number of guests —the evening felt like a Slim Aarons tableau come to life; fresh faced girls in gowns that were with few exceptions elegant and beautiful, the men in white tie and top hats. A gigantic floral sculpture of a Charles James gown commanding the entrance set the tone. With the lights dimmed, we made our way through the galleries, bathed in pale blue, lilac and peach, past flowering trees and pastel-clad Voguettes to a dark room filled with James’ most iconic designs. The pièce de résistance? The Clover dress, which hovered in the center, a robotic 3D camera by its side analyzing exactly how these complex masterpieces were assembled.

To fortify ourselves for the evening ahead, we gathered in DVF’s Meatpacking headquarters beforehand for caviar and tequila with ginger shots.  “It’s good for you!” DVF said, plying her three graces— Selena Gomez in plum, Jessica Alba in gold, Olivia Munn in yellow—with cocktails. But it was director David O. Russell and his American Hustle costume designer Michael Wilkinson who proved to be the evening’s life force.  Just before the gang charged uptown with gusto, or as fast as rush hour traffic would take us, Diane said, “You’re missing something,” before disappearing only to reemerge with a diamond encrusted Sutra bracelet, which she promptly slipped onto my wrist.

The usual suspects (Beyonce in a veil, Rihanna in a croptop, Lupita in a headband) rounded out the guest list and caused a traffic jam on 5th Avenue. One or two hours later, Michael Wilkinson and I climbed to the top of the stairs, imagining ourselves more or less best friends with Emma Stone, Jessica Lange, Sarah Silverman and almost definitely Amar’e Stoudemire.

Incidentally, the dress I wore is a vintage DVF design, reimagined in a rich dark olive. A design team of elves and magicians directed by Diane herself and our artistic director Michael Herz, hand-stitched the entire piece in 48 hours, only for part of it to be used as a welcome mat for the fashion world’s finest.

After being summoned to dinner by the usual trumpet call, DVF regaled the table with tales from her past, and David gave individualized lessons on the pitfalls of showbiz to each of the girls, while the rest of us nibbled baked Alaska or investigated the never disappointing bathroom scene. (The real party, as any seasoned Met goer knows, takes place in the men’s and women’s loos, that seem to take, within a matter of moments, a rather liberal view of gender, occupancy and basic rules for that matter.)

By the time Frank Ocean appeared on stage to perform with an all female orchestra we all swooned and forgot the rest of the world for two songs.  I felt it my moral duty to tell him I would have preferred an all night set at the after party, before sneaking out with the diamond Sutra still sparkling on my wrist.

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