On Monday night, a small crowd had gathered on Madison Avenue at 77th Street. The street was blocked off to all but the biggest VIPs — many of whom were huddled inside their suites at The Mark Hotel, getting ready for the Met Gala with their teams of stylists, publicists, hair and makeup artists. Located a few blocks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the hotel is one of the main hubs for the annual gala’s celebrity guests — and the lobby offered the first glimpse of many of the night’s best looks.
Eva Chen, director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, was the first to depart for the museum around 5:30pm, dressed in Christopher John Rogers. “I’ll keep swinging until people tell me to stop,” she said, swishing her gown’s colorful train for the small audience in the hotel’s lobby. “Have fun!” Chen’s team called out as she walked out and posed for the cluster of photographers flanking the hotel’s entrance.
Anna Wintour, followed by her family — daughter Bee Carrozzini, pregnant and dressed in a grand aquamarine gown, and son Charles Shaffer — was the next departure. The Oscar de la Renta team was in the lobby cloaking their guest underneath a white sheet (later revealed to be Billie Eilish), creating intrigue as they walked out to their car. Amanda Gorman, styled by Jason Bolden, was all smiles as she made her way through the lobby wearing blue Vera Wang. “Gossip Girl” star Jordan Alexander and Cynthia Erivo, also styled by Bolden, followed.
Saweetie finished off her glass of red wine as her team adjusted her strategically draped look. The elevator opened and revealed the Moschino crew, the gold chains on Symone’s gown clinking as they spun around for a photo op.
“You can send more down. It’s OK. If you’re ready,” said security, calling upstairs.
“Hello,” said Jordan Roth, making his way down the staircase as several people helped carry the train of his jacket, designed by queer fiber artist Michael Sylvan Robinson. The Prabal Gurung crew, which included Diane Kruger, Claire Danes and Venus Williams, camped out in the lobby. Teyana Taylor greeted Gurung with an air kiss, and the designer gushed as “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu walked by. “Good to see you — see you there!” Gurung said.
“Love you guys!” Eiza González called out to the room as she made her way toward the flashing lights. “See you there! Good work, everyone in this room!”
Next to leave was a woman with a small dog on a leash. “I’m the rare breed who has no interest in celebrities,” she remarked — a good old-fashioned hotel guest!
Lorde, wearing Bode and looking regal in an over-the-top headpiece, wove her way through the small crowd. Gemma Chan, wearing Prabal Gurung but lagging behind the rest of the group, adjusted her dress using the reflective exterior of the elevator as a mirror. Wes Gordon fine-tuned the oversize shoulder accents on Karlie Kloss’ red gown, and Gigi Hadid shrieked with excitement upon catching sight of fellow model Paloma Elsesser in Zac Posen. Cara Delevingne, in a white suit, offered a bold message via her shirt: “Peg the Patriarchy.”
At 7:28 p.m., the lobby had mostly emptied out as Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond finished his beverage and departed for the museum. The night was young.
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