Guest Editorial: Met Gala 2022 Goes “Viral”

Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds

After a devastating two-year pandemic and the possibility of a Russian Nuclear War on the horizon, one would think a $35,000 per person party celebrating fashion and costumes would be the most inappropriately decadent indulgence. Yet, on Monday, May 2nd billions of people tuned in to Livestream the fashion from the Costume Institute Gala at 6 PM.

Even Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, came dressed in his best threads, receiving a full-page spread in the New York Post dissecting his tuxedo design. Hey, crime may be exploding, and the rat situation may be out of hand but this dude can dress! Adams is the hottest Mayor New York has ever had – he knows all the best party spots (Zero Bond) and when to access them.

Imagine Rudy Guiliani showing up in an ornate tuxedo jacket to hobnob with the glitterati – the mocking would be relentless. Another less sartorially splendid former Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was also in attendance – yes he’s worth $86 billion. So between him, Elon Musk, and the other luminaries in attendance there was probably close to $450 billion in the Museum that Monday evening.

Elon came at the behest of his mother Maye who cajoled him into spending close to $100,000 so Anna wouldn’t leave her off the list as she did in September. Kim Kardashian was even pictured inside sucking up to Elon hanging out with the 3rd richest Jeff Bezos is no longer tolerable for Kim.

How does Anna Wintour attract these superstars, especially after the slaughtering she received in the press during the past year for her exclusionary ways and haughty better-than-thou attitude. The answer is still baffling as her stranglehold on the fashion world remains unabated. She even wore a dreadful Chanel chandelier dress and crown to the event – indicating her reign is far from over. Since Karl Lagerfeld’s death, her choice of attire has been lacking, without his collaboration her wardrobe is blah.

Wintour chose the theme “Gilded Glamour” with most celebrities completely off the mark despite their 30-person teams. The absolute stunner of the evening was hands down Blake Lively, whose changing-color Versace dress was museum-worthy. However, she did a similar look in 2018 so it lacked excitement. The other starlet deserving praise was Billie Eilish who wore a daring Gucci corset that was on point with the theme and semi-flattering – although her bosom looked like a squashed sausage.

Gucci was a disappointment on the red carpet this year with Dakota Johnson arriving in a fringed blasé jumpsuit, and Jessica Chastain and Awkwafina in equally boring looks. To top it off, Creative Director Alessandro Michele twinned with actor Jared Leto in dumb-looking wigs and poorly fitted gold-colored suits – if Michele doesn’t know how to tailor a suit by now Kering (the parent company) is in serious trouble.

A number of designers were no-shows including Ralph Lauren, Dior, and Calvin Klein – they just don’t want to spend the $300,000 on a table anymore. Unfortunately, Thom Browne, while nowhere to be seen, dressed a number of stars and did a horrible job doing so. Russell Westbrook, Lizzo, Kourtney Kardashian, and Travis Barker looked dreadful – Thom Browne is not the right designer for “Gilded Glamour” as exhibited by his epic failure in designing ballet costumes for the New York City Ballet Gala in 2014.

Why Lizzo’s straightforward dress took 22,000 hours to create is just as puzzling as why she carried a flute on the red carpet that she couldn’t play. In the old days, Wintour rejected plus size females: however, in the past three years, the paradigm shift has been startling – as one plus sizer after another sashayed down the red carpet. If you gain 40 pounds you have a better chance of attending.

Anna is all about change, as she invited the whole Kardashian clan to the extravaganza for the first time. Without their social media power, this gala would not be in existence. With Kim’s clout, it’s a mystery as to why she didn’t threaten to boycott prior years if Wintour didn’t invite her sisters?

I guess her own career is all she really cares about. Most of the Kardashians looked predictably horrible, with Kendall in a vampire dress with no eyebrows, Kylie dressed up as a bizarre gum-chewing bride, and Kourtney failing to even attach the ubiquitous hair extensions that she wears to park her car.

The star of the family Kim was another boring disappointment. Wintour, who saves the most press-worthy such as Beyoncé and Rihanna for the conclusion of the red carpet, had Kim and Pete Davidson all lined up for this honor. Kim arrived in a boring gold sequined gown with a botched spotted blonde dye job – I don’t care if it’s Marilyn Monroe’s actual dress if you don’t complete the look with a blonde wig and red lipstick it’s futile. Kim may have lost 16 pounds to fit into the dress but who cares – all the attendees starved themselves to fit into their attire.

Remember when Alex Rodriguez (who is no longer invited without dating JLo) didn’t eat for 24 hours and wore a special suit in 2019 to help him lose 6.5 pounds in two days for the Gala – why wasn’t anyone outraged by that! Kim is so “look conscious” she even forced her emaciated boyfriend Pete to wear dark glasses to hide his under-eye bags. Can’t she just get one of her ten plastic surgeons to laser them? Kim’s one iconic look was her clinging wet Thierry Mugler dress in 2019.

The designers who got it all wrong this year were Riccardo Tisci from Burberry who ruined Bella Hadid, Nicki Minaj, and Irina Shayk, dressing them in dreadful black outfits that were dour and flouted the theme; after the sofa-like floral 2013 Kim Kardashian debacle why would anyone trust Tisci with a piece of cloth? Prabal Gurung destroyed Camila Cabello in a floral half missing dress and Oscar de la Renta was another “bust” as Katy Perry’s bosom came popping out of her ill-fitted too short drab dress that was less flattering than her cheeseburger getup of 2019.

Hey Katy this is a costume party stop letting your friends bully you into appearing classy – they are just jealous of your publicity! Please come as a pizza pie next year it was so much more fun!

Lieba Nesis

Plaudits to Versace for producing knockouts Cardi B and Blake Lively-what happened with Gigi Hadid who appeared in a red caterpillar devil bodysuit and coat with a bloated pale face, pathetic bun hairdo, and a smidgen of make-up – this was the worst outfit of the night. Shame on Versace and Anna Wintour for approving this look! Marc Jacobs who usually arrives with a couple of starlets in his frock came with his husband Char Defrancesco,

I guess the brand really is in trouble. Another sad story, Sarah Jessica Parker, could be heard, as usual, pontificating about fashion on the carpet – remember when the press used to wait for her arrival? Her Christopher John Rogers gown coupled with another dumb hat received scant attention – the worst possible outcome at an event like this.

All the Bridgertons were there and their outfits were strikingly disappointing considering the theme was directed at them. So what happens inside? not much other than a cocktail party, a less than gourmet dinner featuring rice cakes as hors d’oeuvres, and some predictable entertainment from Lenny Kravitz and Kacey Musgraves – yawn!!!

I spoke to one photographer who said this year’s red carpet was subdued without the razzle-dazzle of Beyonce, Rihanna, and Gaga. The Gala will never attract massive celebrities akin to Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie – she would rather be in the depths of Ukraine than any Museum hall in New York.

The Trumps including Ivanka will also never attend – the blood is too bad. Others who are banned are Cynthia Rowley for secretly videoing the dinner, Tim Gunn, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tina Fey, and Rachel Zoe for badmouthing Anna and the dinner, and the Hilton sisters and Coco Rocha for not being sufficiently cool. Some celebrities such as DiCaprio shun the main event and attend the after parties where all the good stuff happens.

This year underwear was the thing as Kendall Jenner, Hailey Beiber and Addison Rae wore garments they could keep on when they headed to bed hours later. The best party was Casa Cipriani hosted by Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Riccardo Tisci where DiCaprio held court on the terrace as oodles of supermodels swarmed around, and the debonair Jacob Elordi casually mingled in a T-shirt and satchel. The event was teeming with celebrities Jared Leto, Blake Lively, Billie Eilish, Nicola Peltz, and Megan Thee Stallion who were partying until 4:30 AM – after two years of isolation and misery they deserve it! It is even rumored Wintour made a brief appearance.

The official after-party at the Boom Boom Room was a shit show with host Cardi B encouraging guests to snort cocaine as second-rate celebrities posed on the red carpet to garner additional publicity. Tom Ford’s Carlyle party was exclusive but boring with guests exiting soon after midnight. The Instagram influencer party at the James Duke House, which was the only party requiring proof of vaccination, was elegant but lackluster – the worst crowd is a room full of people under the impression they are impactful.

The after-party at the Box where I arrived at 4:30 AM was so crowded there were people pushing and hitting each other to enter. Entering the empty halls of the Mark Hotel the morning after was surprising yet predictable (Kim jetted home the night of)-the kiss of death for any A-list celebrity is being seen loitering after the main event has materialized – it means either you have nothing on your schedule or even worse you are desperate for that last bit of attention from the paparazzi remnants.

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Lieba Nesis

My love of fashion, writing and photography were something that always dominated my lifestyle however it wasn't until I was approached by the editor of Lookonline that I realized I could utilize these three skills in combination.

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