Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Gala 2011

It was Alexander McQueen’s legacy that triumphed this week.  First, McQueen’s design house made the wedding dress for the future Queen of England, Kate Middleton, a wedding that is being called the wedding of the century.  Next, the week saw the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, one of the most extravagant and extensive costume exhibits we have seen at the Met, opening to the public on May 4.  LadiesWhoLunch was privy to an early press preview  and we can tell you that it is so extraordinary we will be going back again once it opens to the public.
The opening of the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit was celebrated by The Met’s annual fete, the Costume Institute Gala, a star studded event that is oftentimes referred to as the Oscars of the East.
The stars poured out from Maybachs, black Cadillacs, and even a Prius in what seemed like the biggest celebrity event in recent memory to honor the late Alexander McQueen.
The entry stairs of the Met museum were covered with red carpet and with a nod to McQueen’s Scottish ancestry, young, handsome men dressed in traditional kilts stood at the entrance to greet the celebrity guests.
Models who defined ‘supermodel’, like Naomi Campbell, Giselle Bundchen and Iman looked stunning in outfits (Iman in a gold sequined jumpsuit) that were couture worthy and keeping in the spirit of Alexander McQueen.  Model of the moment, Doutzen Kroes, dwarfed the red carpet with her massive flowing red dress with an endless train.
The erstwhile and yes, my favorite editor from Vogue, Hamish Bowles, was easily spotted in his red plaid caped suit, running from Barney’s New York with the diminutive yet powerful socialite heiress, Daphne Guinness.  We had just come from seeing Ms. Daphne change into her vintage McQueen gown for the evening in  the Barney’s NY windows, a brilliant PR coup for Barney’s NY.  
Tom Ford flashed his devilish smile and somehow made the tuxedo sexy again as he escorted his date up the stairs and Christian Louboutin arrived dressed in a red velvet jacket, black hat and plaid Oxford shoes.
Designer Stella McCartney was sited arriving, as was her father Paul McCartney and even Yoko Ono attended the exhibit.  Florence, without the Machine, made a grand entrance, resplendent with  her red hair and a massive white furry coat.  Later in the evening, the coat made a hasty exit on the arms of an assistant, proving perhaps too bulky to carry around all evening.
The very pregnant Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba showed off their beautiful bumps in floor length gowns, while the always gentlemanly designer, Oscar De La Renta, escorted new mom, Penelope Cruz, carefully up the stairs. 
A collective sigh went up for the tanned and handsome Orlando Bloom. But it was his gorgeous model wife and new mom, Miranda Kerr, that caused the women in the crowds to gasp at her razor thin waist and mile high heels. Apparently the laws of gravity and nature do not apply to pregnancies of model types. Sigh….
Miss Semi Homemade, Sandra Lee, was a surprise of the evening in cream chiffon gloves and a sparkly matching cream strapless gown.
Jennifer Lopez was immediately swept up into the crowd of arrivees, in a red floor flowing gown with a little jacket that just covered the shoulders seemingly made all of flowers.
Amy Poehler looked like silver screen platinum legend, wearing a black fitted dress with a sheer chiffon neckline. Christina Richie was very petite in person but looked stunning in her cobwebby embroidered mermaid gown with designer Zac Posen as her escort.
Twilight girl Kristen Stewart showed up sans Robert Pattinson, but did arrive with her designers Proenza Schouler and accompanied by Ashley Greene looking chic and elegant in her blush colored dress with silver sequin streaks.
Beyoncé and Jay Z were late arrivals in a Maybach.  Beyoncé’s figure hugging fishtail gown was so form fitting that her gallant husband and assistant had to help her navigate the stairs.
The most naturally beautiful star for me was the radiant Michelle Williams, wearing a simple black dress with gold sparrow appliques.
Finally, the red carpet show ended with Madonna late arrival, nearly two hours after the event was slated to start. She nearly tripped when her heel caught in her long star spangled satin train.  Madge kneeled down to detangle herself before being escorted by Guy Oseary up the stairs.  
Maddona appeared to be the last of the arrivals and as the handlers began to leave their posts it seemed to signal the beginning of the ball and the end of the show for us.
Reported by Ritika Wahal and Mdivani Monroe
 Photo credits: Lia Toby/WENN , Telegraph UK, 

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