The Met Gala, the fashion world’s biggest party, took a sentimental journey inward celebrating the opening of the new exhibition “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”—a look at the life and work of the visionary designer. Savage Beauty is on display now till July 31, 2011 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In his honor, the museum was decorated like a beautiful, romantic English garden with heather and wildflowers lining the great staircase, towering trees and hedges sprouting from the halls, and pots of garden roses and peonies haphazardly placed among glittering votives on rustic wood tabletops. There was even a replica of a 30 foot oak tree in the Great Hall, reminiscent of those on McQueen’s property in Sussex.
Lady Amanda Harlech, in black Chanel, offered, ” Where else does one see this much McQueen all at once? “British weddings, funerals, and AngloMania”—a reference to the 2006 Met Ball, the only one McQueen attended. His date then was Sarah Jessica Parker, who walked the carpet this year in a dress from his Fall 2005 collection. “Reluctant to be social” is how she described her friend. “He didn’t genuflect in the traditional way,” she added.
Some of the other attendees wearing McQueen were Daphne Guiness, sporting head to toe feathers with her trade mark aplomb, Gisele Bundchen, in a scarlet strapless satin gown with a voluminous train Naomi Campbell in a white, ornate fringed gown and Karen Elson wore the gold McQueen gown that she originally walked the Paris runway in 10 years ago.
Perhaps Madonna summed it up best when she paused along the stairs to offer her take on the departed man of the evening. “He was kind of shy. But he had a naughty side to him,” she stressed. And what if he was here for the little carpet ride that began with Friday’s royal wedding and was in full flight this night? Madge had an answer for that one, too. “He’d say something completely politically incorrect and just breeze through.
Besides McQueen the night was full of beautiful dresses designed by many talented designers, Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein Collection making the strongest showing.
Clockwise from top left: Ashley Olsen in Vintage Christian Dior and Van Cleef & Arpel Jewelry, Liv Tyler in Givenchy Haute Couture and Fred Leighton Jewelry, Karen Elson in Alexander McQueen, Diane Kruger in Jason Wu and Van Cleef & Arpel Jewelry, Zoe Saldana in Calvin Klein Collection and Platt Boutique Jewelry, Amber Valletta in Stella McCartney and Fred Leighton Jewelry.