Fashion’s biggest night is just a few hours away — after all, it is the first Monday in May.
NEW YORK (AP) — Fashion’s biggest night is just a few hours away — after all, it is the first Monday in May. Follow along for real-time updates on the 2023 Met Gala from The Associated Press. We’ll be bringing you news in all formats, all day and all night, from the carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and behind the scenes. This year’s theme revolves around late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
Live updates are contributed by Leanne Italie, Jocelyn Noveck, Beatrice Dupuy, Lindsey Bahr, Mallika Sen and other AP journalists.
DRESS TO IM-PRESS
The press line opened hours before the stars are scheduled to descend upon the Met. As AP’s own Beatrice Dupuy waited patiently on a gray Manhattan afternoon, she noted that fans had already started packing the streets around the Upper East Side museum. But even at 3 p.m. Eastern, the police presence was minimal as workers clad in yellow vests cleaned the sidewalks.
The press line was full of reporters trying their best to emulate Chanel, with many a dark suit or tux on men and women alike. A star himself joined their ranks: In a pink ensemble accessorized with giant rosettes, Harvey Guillén (Guillermo of “What We Do in the Shadows” fame) queued up to get set for a hosting stint with E! News.
HAVE YOU MET THE DEBT GALA?
Monday’s gala is a benefit for the museum’s Costume Institute and a pricey affair — last year, the exclusive event brought in more than $17 million. For those with no invite or who aren’t inclined to spend tens of thousands, alternative events have popped up in recent years.
On the torrentially rainy Sunday before, the Brooklyn borough played host to two such events: The People’s Ball, at the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Debt Gala, at The Bell House. The former is a free event that allows guests to sashay down the runway in the Central Library’s lobby. The library’s website doesn’t specifically reference the Met Gala — rather, pitting itself “in contrast to the elite galas that pop up across the city in the spring” — but the Debt Gala very much does.
Around 300 people attended the inaugural Debt Gala, raising more than $15,000 for RIP Medical Debt, organizers told the AP. This year’s funds will go toward buying and wiping out others’ medical debt, but organizers say the gala might target different types of debt in future years.
Inspired by the 2016 Met Gala theme, “Manus x Machina,” the Debt Gala chose “Garbage X Glamour” for a sustainability focus. “The drama of the weather matched the drama of the looks,” organizers said — among them: a pink shawl and personal runway made of bubble wrap; a harness made of tampons and condoms created by performer Joyelle Nicole Johnson; a green corset made of CDs; and, of course, a dress made of trash bags.
The guests had to evacuate the venue because of flooding, but sustained the night at a nearby bar.
PAS DE CHAT: NO CHOUPETTE
The Met Gala guest list is highly secretive and thus in great demand. But this year, there was one name that had fashion fans and the press achatter: Choupette Lagerfeld, 11.
Would Lagerfeld’s muse — who also happened to be the late designer’s cat — leave her perch in France for New York? Alas, she has spoken: Non.
Choupette — or an oracle with opposable thumbs — took to Instagram on Monday morning to dispel rumors that she would walk (or be walked) up the iconic stairs. While she expressed gratitude that the man she calls “Daddy” was being honored, she said “we preferred to stay peacefully & cozy at home.”
Her account posted the photo Monday morning. If she’s changed her mind in the hours since, she could still make the gala — after all, the flight from Paris to New York is around eight hours and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not require domestic cats to quarantine upon arrival. Oui, we checked.
INSIDE THE MET EXHIBIT
AP’s Jocelyn Noveck got a sneak peek inside the Met’s actual exhibit on Lagerfeld. With a bit of cheek, a doorway is emblazoned with the words: “Fashion does not belong in a museum.” And yet visitors are treated to 14 galleries of fashion in the museum. While that quote came from Lagerfeld himself, Noveck notes that the exhibit otherwise doesn’t focus on Lagerfeld’s more contentious takes.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH KARL LAGERFELD
The late fashion designer’s selection as the theme is not without controversy, with some criticizing his unapologetically polemical comments on a variety of topics, including xenophobic and fatphobic remarks. AP Entertainment Writer Leanne Italie, who will be anchoring our coverage tonight, breaks down the designer’s multifaceted legacy.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS YEAR’S MET GALA
This year is themed around the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibit, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” Given that Lagerfeld was, well, a fashion designer, you can expect many a haute look.
The guest list is heavily guarded, but every year leaks do escape. Check out our guide on the 2023 Met Gala for a sneak peek on who might walk up those iconic stairs tonight, brought to you by AP National Writer Jocelyn Noveck (who will also bring you one of the rare dispatches from inside the event).
HOW TO WATCH THE MET GALA
A livestream will kick off on Vogue.com at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. But the AP can give you a first look at what to expect — check back here in the late afternoon for a livestream of departures from the Mark Hotel, a nearby venue where many stars get ready for the gala.
For more Met Gala coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/met-gala