A few months ago, I spoke with Andrew Bolton about curating and preparing for the Met’s soon-to-open Costume Institute exhibit, PUNK: Chaos to Couture. Let’s just say that interviewing Bolton was enough to get me very excited at the prospect of punk on display—despite the inherent contradiction in embalming the anti-establishment movement in a museum that epitomizes straight-laced, ahem, establishment. But while the exhibit itself entices my Liberal Arts undergrad, nostalgia-loving side, it’s the big-time benefit gala (so often said to be the “Oscars of fashion”) that has my celebrity-judging, red carpet-following side completely piqued. The combination of the two promises to be a real mash-up.
Here are my hopes for the best red carpet and starriest fashion party of the year.
Dressing in theme. The Costume Institute Gala is essentially the most stylish theme party ever. The exhibit in celebration is a veritable invitation for guests to dress in kind. There was lots of fodder on the fall runways in the way of punk inspiration, from Hedi Slimane’s grunge baby dolls at Saint Laurent, Versace’s loud plaid and pins, and Givenchy’s darkly beautiful S&M-meets-street collection. (Givenchy will likely be the label of choice for many of the big name guests as designer Riccardo Ticci is serving as co-chair.) My hope is that a few brave attendees actually wear archival punk fashion from Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garcons, or Zandra Rhodes.
The co-chairs. Joining Ticci, is a list of luminaries that surely rivals any previous group. Cooler than cool actress Rooney Mara (hopefully dressed in her Salander-approved best, she’ll definitely be wearing Givenchy), close-to-perfect Moda Operandi founder and ruler of New York society Lauren Santo Domingo, and, of course, Anna Wintour. To top it all off, Queen B (that would be Beyoncé to the rest of you) will serve as honorary chair. Forget the other guests, this list is enough to make any fashion-lover weak at the knees in red carpet anticipation.
The other guests. The gala’s guest list is the equivalent to that of Vanity Fair’s Oscar party: if you’re anyone in the fashion world, (a.k.a Vogue’s world), you attend. It’s fashion’s social register. All of the designers, photographers, models, actresses, and media personalities (with the occasional supermodel-escorted sports star) worth their weight in Prada will be depending on an invitation. The ones worth watching this year (if my predictions are correct): Carey Mulligan (likely wearing Prada because, duh, The Great Gatsby), Zoe Saldana (hopefully in Prabal or another young New York designer), Emma Watson (fingers-crossed she’s in Bling Ring character), Giselle, Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevigne, Gwenyth (more side-bum?), Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore (to cover the Tom Ford quotient), Anne Hathaway (don’t hate, she always looks classy), Jennifer Lawrence (with new ‘do and Dior).
I also always look forward to Daphne Guinness—she might be fashion’s closest thing to a modern day (exorbitantly wealthy) punk. And men, because you know Bradley Cooper and Channing Tatum will be continuing their tux-winning streak. And Marc Jacobs, in a lace dress and boxer shorts again or Prada fur as Anna’s escort. Or perhaps he’ll stick to pajamas.
But enough about me. I’ll let Andrew Bolton, visionary and the curator of the exhibit, tell you how it is.