“It’s not a fancy dress ball or a fancy-dress social gathering,” Vogue contributing editor and superstar stylist Elizabeth Saltzman muses of the Met Gala. “It’s a profit for trend, and an exquisite, wonderful alternative to create enterprise and buzz in regards to the trade.”
This 12 months’s theme – Heavenly Our bodies: Trend and the Catholic Creativeness – comes with a myriad of issues with regards to What To Put on. “I’m certain you’ll see a pope or two,” she says of the diehard costume code followers who push the boundaries every year. Madonna, Katy Perry and Rihanna will, after all, tackle Catholic tropes actually, whereas others will gently nod to the Vatican with crimson, white and gold color schemes, heavy embroidery and cross jewelry. However, she cogitates, it’s extra difficult than selecting out papal tiaras, there’s a hierarchy concerned earlier than outfit moodboarding may even start.
Saltzman begins to obtain calls from designers per week after the Met Gala has been and gone, quizzing her on “who’s cool?”; “who can be fascinating in a 12 months’s time?”; “who can be a superb match for the model?” It takes months and several other affords earlier than a designer and a celeb are matched, as brokers dance round potential contracts and monetary agreements, whereas maintaining buddies of every model completely satisfied. As soon as the deed is completed, then the enjoyable begins.
“A designer has to consider who else is sat at their desk,” Saltzman explains. “So just one individual can put on white, just one individual can put on crimson, and so on.” Then they’ve to think about whether or not the model needs to be related to the theme in any respect. Many, this 12 months, will need to stay impartial with reference to faith.
It the job of stylists, like Saltzman, to piece the jigsaw collectively and ensure her purchasers really feel assured on the crimson carpet, and the manufacturers are proud of the reception of the costume. She has a deft tactic that at all times works. “It’s vital to me to have lovely robes on the ladies I work with, as a result of images stay longer than the gala,” she says. “Folks don’t keep in mind the theme, they simply keep in mind the costume. So, it’s my job to ensure the ladies look wonderful, after which adapt the costume to the theme after I can.”
She admires the creativity and the actual “trend moments” on the crimson carpet, but it surely all boils all the way down to the individual, and never the theme. “The Katy Perrys of the world are performers and have had stage costumes all through their careers, in order that they know what the eye appears like. Others gained’t really feel assured in fantastical clothes as a result of that trend simply doesn’t relate to them.”
For these girls, the politics of the occasion could make “the enjoyable turn into unfun,” and the rigmarole of leaping by hoops arduous work. One in every of Saltzman’s favorite Met moments, she recollects, was Stella McCartney along with her gang of women – Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Kate Bosworth and Reese Witherspoon – in 2014. “It felt genuine, contemporary, and true to Stella, however true to the person girls. An actual tribe having enjoyable,” she remembers.
That buzz phrase, “enjoyable”, is maybe not one you’d instantly query with regards to the gala, however when unpicking it, there’s extra behind the gloss and glamour than meets the attention.