When JSlow told me she was going to post about the Met Ball, I was a bit foggy as to what she meant. Strike one.
A quick Google search reminded me that yes, this is a huge deal in New York as it celebrates the annual opening of the Metropolitan Museum’s Fashion Exhibit at the Costume Institute. Dubbed “The Oscars of the East Coast” by the fashion/celebrity/social elite, it’s considered to be the world’s best red carpet event, as well as the most expensive. A ticket to the Ball will set you back, or forward into in the fashion starting line-up, a cool $25,000.
Along with Miuccia Prada, Elsa Schiaparelli is the focus of this year’s MET fashion exhibit. I had no idea who Elsa was. Strike two.
I didn’t tell Jslow any of this when she asked over email last Friday, “Are we going to write about the MET?” Strike three.
Tail between my unshaved legs, I slunk back to the Air and did my homework to learn that per Jslow’s post, this brilliant woman from Rome was a pioneer that had a huge impact on fashion and is responsible for at least something you are probably wearing right now. Here is but a small list of her accomplishments:
- Introduced graphic knitwear
- Used bright zippers and dyed them to match her garments
- Created and used whimsical buttons resembling brooches in crazy shapes like peanuts and ram’s heads
- Embroidered shirts
- Wrapped turbans
- Mix and match sportswear
- The “wedge” heel
She also influenced the modern runway show as we know it, and was the first to include music and art, and feature tall, shapeless, skinny models whom she believed best displayed the clothing.
After reading about this incredible woman who I also learned was Coco Chanel’s nemesis, I had to laugh as my latest purchase were these Chanel wedge sandals. How ironic.
Monday night, at the Met, on the Carpet were all manner of film and TV star, singer, socialite, fashion press, you name it. Time for fashion darlings and it girls Rooney Mara, Rihanna and Kate Bosworth to strut in confidence. This was also the time for those new to the scene, names we did not know last year, to mark their arrivals: Lana Del Rey (“Video Games” singer and SNL musical flop), Jessica Pare (Megan from Mad Men) and Kate Upton (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover.)
Because this is a fashion event, at a museum, in a costume institute celebrating Elsa Schiaparelli for her shocking and surreal designs, this was the time to fuck stylists and best-dressed lists and go for it. To push fashion forward like Elsa herself, not fall backward and lean on fashion crutches. Some did and failed (thanks Beyonce, Marc Jacobs and Chloe), but at least they tried. Striking out swinging is so much better than watching strike three.
I think the saddest thing of all is that 99% of the 1% who went to the Ball didn’t bother or care to read about Elsa Schiaparelli and her wild and original designs. They paid plenty to go to the Gala, yet paid no homage.