By Yoko Tanimoto / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Museum of Art was abuzz with a party atmosphere during its annual gala on May 1. This year, the theme was Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garcons fashion label, ahead of the start of an exhibition on the designer.
The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the New York museum’s Costume Institute. Anna Wintour, a Met trustee and editor-in-chief of Vogue, serves as cochair.
The illustrious event is attended by celebrities including Hollywood actresses, sports stars and renowned designers accompanied by top models. Even the members of the press who attend the extravaganza are required to observe a dress code.
With its long list of celebrities, the gala is dubbed the Super Bowl or Oscars of fashion.
The theme of the Met Gala corresponds with the special exhibition the museum presents from May each year. This year’s exhibition kicked off on May 4 to showcase works by Kawakubo — an innovative designer who has defied fashion conventions.
Attendees who dressed in Comme des Garcons at the gala included singer Rihanna, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, and singer Pharrell Williams and his wife, Helen Lasichanh.
Some celebrities dressed in black — a signature of Comme des Garcons — while others donned the brand’s more avant-garde outfits. Many others simply took a more orthodox approach and wore elegant gowns.
The celebrities gracefully walked up the carpeted steps as cameras flashed, applause rang out, and reporters tried to get their attention. The guests answered questions about their clothes, or about Kawakubo, while posing for photos. It took three hours for all the celebrities to enter the party venue — a lavish world brimming with excitement.
This year’s party reportedly cost $25,000 (about ¥2.75 million) to attend, and about 550 guests were invited. According to the organizers, the one-night event raises more than ¥1 billion every year — testament to the United States status as a major entertainment country.