Is there anything Gucci’s Alessandro Michele can’t do? After attending the Gucci sponsored party at the Hunter College gym and viewing the gowns and suits, he made for Saoirse Ronan, Regina Hall, Dakota Johnson, and Ashley Graham at the Met Gala-the answer is undeniably no. First, I must admit this year’s “Camp” theme was extraordinary because it allowed celebrities to strut their stuff and they did so with abandon. It is shameful that Rihanna, Beyonce, Sarah Jessica, and Blake Lively were absent since the theme was perfectly suited to their style.
Kudos to Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Janelle Monae, Jared Leto and Billy Porter for taking the theme to an entirely new level with their epic attire. This year’s gala raised the bar one thousand points and will be hard to replicate. Those who did not impress included the Kardashians, the Hadids, Mrs. Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Emma Stone, Jennifer Connelly, Julianne Moore, and Gwen Stefani-this theme was a gift they didn’t take advantage of as they showed up in ho-hum tawdry attire with some appearing nearly unrecognizable.
Back to Gucci who underwrote the event and its creative director Alessandro Michele who is responsible for all of Gucci’s collections and global brand imaging and who continues to astound as he produces perfumes, lipsticks, furniture and men and womenswear. Gucci had revenues of nearly $9.3 billion in 2018 and continues to expand at a record pace. The expertise of President and CEO, Marco Bizzarri, should not be underestimated as he handpicked the unlikely Michele and continues to give him free rein to fully express himself. Bizarri wore a bedazzled Gucci tuxedo jacket that was nothing short of spectacular and his movie star looks had many confusing him with an actor.
The Met Gala after parties have become legendary for their awe-inspiring guest lists and over-the-top entertainment. Tonight there were three competing parties: The official one at the Boom Boom Room; The Kardashian party at Up and Down; and the Gucci soiree at Hunter College-the location was top secret. I decided to hit the Gucci one first and stayed there for the rest of the evening. Arriving at the party at 11:30 PM I spotted a beautiful cheeseburger that turned out to be Katy Perry who changed costumes-you go girl. Katy was friendly and conversational posing for pictures patiently and “milking” her epic attire.
The Olsen twins were admiring her sartorial get-up as celebrity after celebrity arrived most of whom had changed into different attire – including Bette Midler and her daughter Sophie Von Haselberg. The hall was replete with Gucci clad attendees and why not – no one does it better. And while one might assume that competitors might shun a Gucci party quite the contrary; Valentino’s Perpaolo Piccioli, Donatella Versace, Christian Siriano, Erdem, Prabal Gurung, and many others came to pay homage to this giant.
The best part of the guest list was there was neither a Kardashian or Hadid anywhere in sight-this was a Kardashian free zone. Model Karlie Kloss and husband Joshua Kushner were one of the first to arrive, and they stole furtive kisses when the press wasn’t watching. Kloss’s outfit was a big disappointment especially considering she hosts Project Runway and she and Kushner made a quick exit after greeting friends Dasha Zhukova and Stavros Niarchos.
Everywhere I turned there were luminaries as Benedict Cumberbatch danced with his wife Sophie Hunter while newly minted Oscar winner Rami Malek stood nearby conversing with Sienna Miller. Teen heartthrobs Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes, and Liam Hemsworth accompanied by Miley, worked their way through the crowd with Mendes being the only one to arrive with private security. Even Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, a former wife of Harvey Weinstein, arrived with a friend and seemed to be enjoying herself as another Georgina, this one being a Bloomberg, stood inconspicuously close by. DJ’s Mark Ronson, Suga Shay, and Dev Hynes wowed the crowd as Florence Welch, Alessandro Michele, and Jared Leto-holding his decapitated Gucci head-danced enthusiastically.
There were some true fashion icons in the crowd who exploited the theme to perfection including creative director of Bergdorf Goodman, Linda Fargo, along with editor-at-large at Vogue Hamish Bowles as well as Vanity Fair editor Amy Fine Collins. Another fashion veteran, Naomi Campbell arrived at 1:30 AM dressed to impress and ready to show the younger ones such as Candice Swanepoel and Sara Sampaio how it’s done.