View Slideshow

Festivities around the Costume Institute’s annual gala kicked off a bit earlier than usual on Saturday evening with a cocktail party at the Baccarat Hotel for the fine jewelry brand Qeelin.

Wendi Murdoch, Liu Wen and Laurent Claquin, head of Kering Americas, hosted a gaggle of many of the personalities who’ll be walking the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s red carpet on Monday night — Veronica Chou, the actress Zhu Zhu, the art adviser Li Xin, Vogue China editor in chief Angelica Cheung, as well as Christopher Kane, Giambattista Valli, the Institute’s Harold Koda, and Mario Testino.

“I’ve been here since yesterday,” said Kane, who had one last fitting on Sunday night. “Everyone’s flying in. The hotels are heating up and the celebrities are getting here.”

Wen and Murdoch have been to many Met galas before but “China: Through the Looking Glass” holds a special meaning for the two Chinese natives.

“This is my sixth time attending and I have never been so excited to go,” Wen said.

“I love fashion film and art and I’m very passionate about the combination of them,” Murdoch continued. “I’m proud of China.” They were speaking from a suite to examine the collection from Qeelin creative director Dennis Chan and select pieces to wear to the ball. The brand, known for its translation of traditional Chinese motifs into modern designs, already counts Katy Perry and Marc Jacobs among its celebrity fans.

With so many events immediately following the Met gala, though, no one had yet quite finalized their after party plans.

“I may be a little tipsy,” Kane said. “It’s such a stressful event. You have so much fun and the adrenaline is pumping. We’ll see how it goes.”