In tough times, the Met Gala returns to its ‘Gilded’ roots

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NEW YORK – Gas prices are sky-high and the world’s richest man spends $ 44 billion on buying Twitter, but even in these most affluent times, no one wanted to stop Kim Kardashian from gently stepping up the stairs to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute Gala at Marilyn Monroe’s actual “Happy Birthday, Mr. President ”dress that she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to wear as it is vintage and can not be changed.

Last September, the rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) up with a message on her dress, “Tax the Rich”, which some had said was a bit, yes, rich for a liberal Democrat enjoying the glittering and most exclusive evening of fashion. This year, when the Met Gala returned to its normal date, the first Monday in May, and had a theme that matched the abundance: “Gilded Glamor”, a celebration of New York’s Gilded Age, a time that at least on film , evokes images of rich people depressed in horse-drawn carriages.

The aforementioned world’s richest man, Elon Musk, was actually there, in a tuxedo with white tie “like I’m from ‘Downton Abbey’ or something”, joking about spending the night finding investors. “I want to ask people in there,” please! Please! Please help me buy Twitter! ‘ “He also claims to have selective amnesia about Ocasio-Cortez’s dress. “Is that what it said? I actually had trouble reading it.” He grinned.

He had no problems with the message. “I definitely paid the most tax any human being has ever paid last year. So it’s not like I do not pay taxes. I want to go to the IRS and say, ‘Can you give me a little plastic cup?’ ” he said. “Give me a cookie or something.”

Ocasio-Cortez stayed home this year, but New York Mayor Eric Adams picked up his cape with an “End Gun Violence” tux adorned by Laolu, a Nigerian artist. He opened it to show the lining: “It has all my trains! My Q-train, my 2-train, my 1-train, my A-train.” But while the gilded age brought “great inventors and amazing architecture,” such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Army Plaza, also drawing on the tuxedo, he said, “It was also a dark era, and we must never forget it, and we can not turn back. back to the period when we were dealing with income inequality and race and our immigrant population. “

Proceeds from the gala provide all-year funding for the Met’s Costume Institute, which is currently showing an exhibition called “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” in which filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Sofia Coppola have paired with curators to reinterpret moments of that era.

The exhibition in many ways gives voice to the gilded age that has no one, especially the unknown, unrecognized black women who worked as studios or woven the fabric for dresses. Director Radha Blank dressed to “represent the unseen, unspoken, often erased black woman.” She wore a machete for, she said, breaking through negative energy, wore a cigar “because okay, I’m here,” and dyed her hands blue to pay tribute to a recent discovery that black people basically invented denim. She wore muslin in her dress because it’s “an element a garment is built on, but which is often thrown out, and that’s how I feel about black women in America, the fabric of culture, but often rejected and erased. “

First Lady Jill Biden was the special speaker at the exhibition’s press opening, praising the institute’s pedagogical role and highlighting the power of fashion, which she used to her advantage as she wore sunflower applications on her cuff at the State of the Union speech to show solidarity with Ukraine. “I knew the only thing anyone would write about me was what I was wearing,” she said.

Met Gala red carpet look you will not want to miss

Some took the “gilded” theme literally. Cardi B wore a tight Donatella Versace dress made from more than a mile worth of seven different types of gold chains. Lizzo appeared in a black cloak embroidered with gold thread, which she said took 35 hours to make, and climbed up the Met’s famous staircase (this time decorated with a rug resembling a faded American flag) and played on a golden flute. , she said cost $ 35,000.

Others wore a period dress. “We are capitalists!” said David Harbor of “Stranger Things,” who had become a full robber baron with tails, a tall hat and a cane. He also declared, in a booming voice, to Variety’s Marc Malkin that he owned several railroads (“We do not have antitrust laws yet”). His wife Lily Allen laughed and rolled her eyes – it seems that Harbor must be so exaggerated.

Alicia Keys came to represent her hometown with a dress by Ralph Lauren that had the entire New York skyline in sparkling stone on the train. Her husband, Swizz Beatz, wore a Yankees jacket from Lauren. “We really just wanted to represent the Empire State of Mind and the City of God tonight,” she said. Her hair was filled with sparkling slices. We asked if they represented bagels, and Keys did not answer, but she shouted, “I love bagels!”

And there was Gigi Hadid, wearing a burgundy, floor-length Versace buffer coat that could be useful in a blizzard or as a duvet. There was Kris Jenner standing at the top of the stairs filming the arrival of all Kardashian: Kylie and Kendall in voluminous dresses, Khloé in a sleek gold number, Kim making her mega entrance with beautiful Pete Davidson in sunglasses, as a spectacular security guard , and Kourtney, with Travis Barker, wearing an outfit resembling a drunken tailor, sewed a corset into a bra and turned it into a skirt and fainted before finishing. Neon appeared to be the rage, with Gwen Stefani in highlighter yellow and Sebastian Stan and Ashley Park popping up on the carpet at the same time in hot pink. “It’s so funny we have the same manager,” Park said.

This year felt quieter than most. Even the crowd of hundreds gathered across the street on Fifth Avenue seemed to scream less than usual. Rihanna, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, who usually struggle to be the last on the carpet, in the most lavish dress, stayed home.

It made room for a new crew, which included first-time contestant Glenn Close. She may not have that Oscar yet, but she can cross this off the list.

Another novice, Chloe Fineman from “Saturday Night Live,” dressed in a stunning gold bead-clad dress, said she found out she was coming to dinner at 12:30 Monday. “Which is very SNL. I was at work at 30 Rock. My friend happened to have this insane dress. … I took it on at 4:30 and we’re here!” Then she posed for a lot of pictures, not with Sarah Jessica Parker, but in front of her, just as Parker was a scary tourist attraction in a fancy hat and a Christopher John Rogers dress.

“Oh my God, this is very surreal. It’s Kris Jenner. What’s going on? What’s my life? I used to work in retail. I was a waitress five years ago,” said Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope. Bridgerton “and kept mentioning other terrible jobs she had. “I worked in a soap shop. I worked for an optician. … I was a very unsuccessful actor for a long time! “

By 11:15 p.m., it was all over as the stars sat in their black SUVs while fans cried and screamed things like, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.” They were on their way to a Cardi B-held afterparty at the Standard Hotel. Just another day in our gilded age.

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