There Will Be No Haggis At McQueen-Themed Met Ball


Details — including the first review — of tonight’s Met Ball are trickling out. We saw Anna Wintour, surrounded by curators and assistants, striding through the Met yesterday afternoon, and minutes later spotted Suzy Menkes lingering near coat check — presumably just after reporting this piece. The late designer Lee Alexander McQueen, whose longtime assistant Sarah Burton took over the creative direction of the house he founded after his suicide last year, is the Costume Institute’s sole focus this year. Tonight’s opening gala promises to feature a passel of celebrities — Sarah Jessica Parker, Salma Hayek, Daphne Guinness — wearing McQueen. Dinner will be served in the Temple of Dendur. (It’s Scottish-themed, to reflect McQueen’s heritage, but haggis is not on the menu.) Sarah Burton and Stella McCartney will speak. Beforehand, you can even head down to Barneys New York to watch Guinness get dressed for the event in a store window; somewhat more prosaically, blogger BryanBoy (who is not attending the gala, but is covering the red carpet arrivals) will be live-casting his ball prep from 2:30 p.m. EST. As for the show, Menkes says that the Met has some pretty full-on bells and whistles: audio-visual elements, including clips of old McQueen shows, a cabinet of curiosities for a centerpiece, and elaborate backdrops featuring antiqued mirrors and broken wood. One cape is even shown in a wind tunnel. She writes: “Was Mr. McQueen really an artist who just happened to work in cloth? [Curator Andrew] Bolton might have discussed the designer’s place in the Brit Art scene, alongside the Chapman brothers, or compared his fascination with nature’s decadence with that of Damien Hirst. Instead, we get Sarah Jessica Parker’s breathless and witless take on the McQueen style.” If they really have fucked this one up, our advice would be to head to the Richard Serra drawings instead — it’s excellent. “McQueen: Savage Beauty” opens May 4 in New York City. [IHT]
Coco Rocha says she had a hard time finding something to wear for the gala because all the more “extreme” Alexander McQueen looks were already in the museum show. “All they have available are these nice dainty dresses,” she says. She has nonetheless picked one out. [Modelinia, via NYPost]
Ball organizer Sylvana Soto-Ward says her job has taught her “simple things, like which gallery in the Met has cell service. Like if you really need to reach someone and you have no bars because you’re in the Egyptian wing, but if you move five feet to the right you have two bars.” [The Cut]
Celebrities and socialites are stuck choosing between two high-profile competing events tonight: the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s gala for Sidney Poitier, and the Met ball. What to do?! [NYPost]

This is what Rick “Zombie Boy” Genest looked like before his head-to-toe trompe l’oeil tattoo transformation. [Buzzfeed]

Cindy Crawford is also on the May cover of Elle China. [TLF]

The new issue of Visionaire, guest-edited by Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci, features this photo of Carine Roitfeld gagged by lace and a portrait of Tisci suckling at Marina Abramovic‘s breast. It costs $495. [Official Site]

  • Asked by a French television station to comment on that wedding that happened on Friday, Karl Lagerfeld said, “Kate is a young, modern woman. She’s a Lindsay Lohan and she wasn’t going to miss her moment.” [ONTD, second story]
  • Kate Middleton wore an $89 Zara dress this weekend. [Fashionista]
  • Lagerfeld was treated to a train wreck of an interview by a Wall Street Journal reporter who spends about five questions trying to get the designer to take an opportunity, any opportunity, to declare that his forthcoming Métiers D’art collection for Chanel — a seasonal collection intended to showcase the skills of Chanel’s petites mains, a kind of more-than-ready-to-wear but not-quite-couture deal — is in any way special. But this line of questioning bores Lagerfeld. The reporter asks about the “concept” behind the collection. The reporter asks if the collection is intended for clients who want to be “distinctive” in their dress. The reporter asks if the collection has any “special items.” The reporter asks if Lagerfeld was thinking of any particular woman or women when he designed it. Nein, says Lagerfeld: “The Métiers d’Art, as I said before, corresponds to a real need in the collection calendar of Chanel…we needed a collection to balance Cruise in terms of dates in the shops.” He designed the sucker in three weeks. Then there’s this: “I read that as a young boy you read Thomas Mann. Does the concept of dualism that runs through his writing play into your work through your various collections? That is, ready-to-wear representing a solid, balanced wholesome life versus the artistic, extravagant life of couture?” Lagerfeld: “I’m not sure that my work in fashion is connected to Thomas Mann.” [WSJ]
  • Olivier Theyskens, the former Nina Ricci and Rochas designer and one of the people rumored to be under consideration for the top design job at Christian Dior, says when he started in fashion he didn’t feel Belgian. He was traveling a lot, so “I felt a little bit like a free electrode!” [Fashionista]
  • Model Maryna Linchuk — you’ve probably seen her Miss Dior Chérie ads; she was recently replaced by Natalie Portman as the face of the perfume — defected from her New York agency, DNA, to Ford. Now DNA is suing Ford and Linchuk, seeking $2 million in damages. The suit alleges that Ford contacted “DNA’s business clients and contacts, advising of Linchuk’s alleged dissatisfaction with DNA, damaging DNA’s business reputation within the modeling community.” [Reuters]
  • Lauren Hutton, on walking haircut Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign: “You know, Elvis is not supposed to be President. They’re different jobs. There’s Elvis, and then there’s the President.” [NYDN]
  • Proenza Schouler is launching a costume jewelry line. [WWD]
  • Jimmy Choo‘s owners, TowerBrook Capital, are considering a Hong Kong IPO that could value the brand at $1.1 billion. Prada‘s IPO is set for Hong Kong this summer. [Bloomberg]
  • Rock & Republic is coming back from bankruptcy as a Kohl’s exclusive brand. [FashionEtc]
  • He. Watch out, Kate Middleton. Kate Moss is coming for you, if this image from a 2003 Inez & Vinoodh editorial is to be believed. [Copyranter, NSFW]
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