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The Metropolitan Museum of Arts Gala, A Look Into the History of Fashion’s Biggest Night

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts Gala A Look Into the History of Fashion’s Biggest Night By: Myrtle Jurado Regarded as the Oscars of fashion, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York holds its annual Costume Institute Benefit -- it is the ultimate event of the year. The benefit, also known as the Met Gala, celebrates the annual opening of the Met’s exhibit at the Costume Institute. Each year, during the first week of May, the Met hosts this event to raise money for the Costume Institute – the gala has raised over $60 million in the last ten years alone. Hollywood’s top celebrities are invited to the annual gala, where a single ticket costs $25,000, though not all pay for their ticket in full. The Met holds an impressive 35,000 costumes and accessories representing five continents and seven centuries of fashion, spanning from the 15th century to present day. Originally, the Costume Institute had been the Museum of Costume of Art, which opened in 1937 and then merged with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1946. The Costume Institute had been under the direction of Diana Vreeland between 1971-1989, during which time the museum has created incredible exhibitions ranging from Balenciaga to Yves Saint Laurent. As of recent years, the Met Gala has been under the leadership of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue. This year’s exhibition features Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, and the similarities in their designs, aptly titled “Impossible Conversations” as the two had never met; Schiaparelli passed away in 1973, due to natural causes. Throughout the exhibit, several videos by Baz Luhrmann showed simulated conversations between the two designers accompany the eight themes of this year’s exhibition, which are: “Waist up/Waist Down”, “Neck up/Knees Down”, “Ugly Chic”, “Hard Chic”, “Naif Chic”, “Classical Body”, “Exotic Body”, and “Surreal Body”. Schiaparelli’s signature colour is pink, so it was no surprise to see that several celebrities integrated pink into their outfits. The more daring types, like Coco Rocha, had even gone so far as to temporarily colour their hair pink to honour the late designer. Some of the best-dressed celebrities included Carey Mulligan in Prada, Emma Stone in Lanvin, Nina Dobrev in Donna Karan, and Jessica Alba in Michael Kors. Anna Wintour looked fabulous, in Prada, while Miuccia Prada herself wore one of her own designs. One of the most interesting outfit choices of the night belonged to Marc Jacobs, who wore a mid-length lace dress over nothing but a pair of white boxers. Look of the night undoubtedly went to French model and actress, Farida Khelfa, who wore the only vintage Schiaparelli gown that evening – and you will probably be seeing more of her, as she is now the brand’s spokesperson and muse for the re-launch of Schiaparelli in 2013. This year’s Met Gala was live streamed for the first time, and the event is open for viewing on Vogue’s website. As well, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has published a book, “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” by Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda, containing more than 200 photos of the designers’ work. The exhibit officially opened to the public on May 10, 2012, and will go on until August 19, 2012. Emma Stone, Lanvin (source: justjaredjr.com): Nina Dobrev, Donna Karan (source: justjaredjr.com): Jessica Alba, Michael Kors (source: fashionbombdaily.com): Carey Mulligan, Prada (source: hellomagazine.com): Coco Rocha, pink hair (source: beautyeditor.ca): Farida Khelfa, Schiaparelli (source: pinterest/swellgirls): Anna Wintour, Prada (source: glam.co.uk): Miuccia Prada, Prada (source: glamorrah.com): Wintour and Prada (source: onefabday.com):

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