4 posts tagged "Costume Institute Gala"
Ever since Diego Della Valle bought the name and the archive of Elsa Schiaparelli’s legendary house, he’s kept his plans for its future mum. But the opening of the Schiaparelli/Prada show at the Met and tonight’s Costume Institute Gala made the timing perfect for a big announcement: Schiaparelli is coming back. (Della Valle was on hand this morning for the exhibition’s press conference.) The revived label has no designer yet attached, but it does have a spokeswoman: Farida Khelfa (pictured), muse to Azzedine Alaïa and Jean Paul Gaultier, who will reportedly wear vintage Schiaparelli to tonight’s gala.
“The idea with Schiaparelli is to propose the brand with all its modernity, and represent dreams, art, and all the most sophisticated things we can do,” says Della Valle. “This brand doesn’t have to get involved in the frenetic world of numbers, accounts, and dimensions, but it just has to express itself at its best. The heart of this project will be the Parisian maison in Place Vendôme, in the original location where the first atelier was.” Issuing from that atelier will be “accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics, along with some clothing” beginning February. Rumors that John Galliano would helm the label were denied by his spokesperson as well as one for Tod’s Group, Della Valle’s company. The designer is expected to be announced in October in Paris.
The streets of London are still lined with confetti from Kate and Will’s big day, but here at Style.com, we’re not done speculating about dresses. That’s because the Costume Institute Gala is tonight. Given the subject of this year’s exhibition, Alexander McQueen, the Metropolitan Museum’s red carpet will be aglow with frocks by the late designer, not to mention those by the label’s current creative director and designer of Kate’s wedding dress, Sarah Burton. But there are bound to be some surprises, too. Who will make our best-dressed list? Check back late night for our picks, and in the meantime, enjoy this slideshow of some of our favorites from the past ten years.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW, and let us know if we left out any of your faves.
Oprah Winfrey, who is a co-host of tonight’s Costume Institute Party of the Year with Vogue‘s Anna Wintour and Gap’s Patrick Robinson, wasn’t in the house, but the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity preview and press conference at the Met this morning drew a big crowd nonetheless. Explaining the genesis of the exhibition, curator Andrew Bolton said, “Our original focus was American women of style—Rita Lydig, Lauren Bacall, Gypsy Rose, and other women who’ve donated their clothes to the Met. But the Brooklyn Museum collection [which the Costume Institute recently acquired and which forms the basis of this show] reflects more powerfully on ideals of femininity and how they echo the American woman’s gradual emancipation.” Not only the physical emancipation of the Gibson girl, but also the political emancipation of the patriot and the sexual and economic emancipation of the flapper. Still, there’s no resisting assigning icons to the show’s six archetypes, and the last room features over 200 still and moving images of famous American females from 1890 to today. For Bolton, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer is the modern heiress, Serena Williams today’s Gibson girl, Lady Gaga our bohemian (her predecessor—Mrs. Philip Lydig, as shot by Edward Steichen, left), Michelle Obama a contemporary patriot, Beyoncé a latter-day flapper, and Angelina Jolie a twenty-first-century screen siren. Many, if not all, of those women will be in attendance at the gala tonight.
What might prove to be most compelling about the show, however, are the fairly unknown French and American designers it showcases—Weeks, Simcox, and Madame Eta, among them. In Costume Institute chief curator Harold Koda’s estimation, that has a lot to do with the nature of the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. “They were more focused on addressing the American design community, and how the collection would inspire other designers.” Indeed, there are plenty of frocks, in the Flapper and Screen Siren rooms in particular, that wouldn’t look out of place at “the party of the year.”
PLUS: For more on the American archetypes, check out our American Woman feature.