They are the Oscars of the east coast. He Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York rolls out the red carpet this Monday to welcome the elite of fashion, film, politics and sports at the most important social event of the year and celebrate haute couture.
This year, the festival, which is always held on the first Monday in May, was inaugurated as a preamble with an exhibition by the Costume Institute dedicated to the emblematic designer karl lagerfelddied in 2019.
The stars of the gala usually dress with motifs alluding to the theme, which probably translates into a parade of vintage silhouettes inspired by that of the elegant German couturier, known for his black suits, his white ponytail, his everlasting dark glasses and his also black mittens.
Anna Wintour, the director of Vogue magazine, has also been in charge of the Met Gala since the 1990s, which has become one of the most glamorous and unmissable annual events of showbiz.
In his 65-year career, Lagerfeld has created incredible garments, but he has also made jokes in the name of misogyny and racism. Karl “was a complicated man,” he said Wintour, and explained that the exhibition focuses on his work, not his biography.
Meanwhile, the controversy continues, linked to the statements of the designer who died at the age of 85 in 2019. Lagerfeld loved to provoke, ridiculing fat women (like the singer Adele a decade ago). She didn’t like #MeToo, “shocked” by “these actresses who took 20 years to remember.” Or “if you don’t want your panties removed, don’t be a model, go to a convent.”
About Coco Chanel, whose role she inherited in the homonymous house, she said that “she was not so ugly as to be a feminist”, while she maintained that Germany, where she was born in Hamburg in 1933, “insulted the victims of the Holocaust” by accepting refugees Muslims fleeing their countries.
Lagerfeld is not without controversy. Despite his permanent struggle against the scales, he was critical of curvy women. In the last years of his life, he scorned the #MeToo movement and those who dared to come forward as victims of sexual harassment.
“The show focuses on Karl the designer, his work and not his statements,” says show curator Andrew Bolton. “We have not included any of the more controversial or offensive comments from him.”
Wintour invited actresses this year Penelope Cruz and michaela coel, to tennis legend Roger Federer and the pop singer Dua Lipa to co-chair the gala.
The guest list is the best kept secret of the organizers, although around 400 people are expected to attend.
Attendance at the ball is by invitation only upon payment of $50,000 and a table reservation costs $300,000. The proceeds from the gala finance the Costume Institute.