On Monday night—the first in May—the beautiful and famous took over the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Officially, the event serves as a fundraiser for the museum, and the official debut of its newest exhibition, with this year the honor going to Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. Unofficially, it's the biggest party of the year otherwise known as the East Coast Oscars, an endless parade of singers, actresses, models, designers, and more, swanning around in their finest designer duds. But before anyone who's anyone can get inside, they have to ascend the famous Met steps and a particularly lengthy red carpet. Here, a minute-by-minute breakdown of everything that happened on the way in.
5:44 p.m. Aaaand we’re off. The press assemble behind a pair of identical, well-manicured hedges. This year, the carpet is not actually red—perhaps in anticipation of many guests wearing the Comme des Garçons hue—but rather, a swirl of blue and white.
5:59 p.m. The first guest to arrive is, naturally, Anna Wintour, the Condé Nast artistic director, editor in chief of Vogue, the event's co-chair since 1995, and the woman for whom the Costume Center is now named. She was clad in sparkling Chanel—“This is about as avant-garde as I get,” she quipped.
6:16 p.m. A genuinely confusing moment, as photographers’ yells blend into a symphony of “Elles:” co-hosts Pharrell and Gisele Bündchen have both arrived at the same time with their respective partners: Helen Lasichanh and Tom Brady. Pharrell is in jeans, as many are quick to note, while Lasichanh is in a full runway look from CDG’s Fall 2017 collection. Bündchen, on the other hand, has gone more mainstream (read: metallic, body-conscious) in, albeit stunning, Stella McCartney. Brady is in velvet Tom Ford.
6:20 p.m. Bündchen and Brady slowly make their way up the stairs. “How about a kiss?” screams an overzealous photographer. The duo’s response is equally overzealous; more mini-makeout channeling Tipper and Al Gore than quicky photo-op peck.
6:22 p.m. Aziz Ansari is an early non-host arrival, and speeds past the press line to make his way into the museum. “He looks cute,” notes a museum staffer.
6:24 p.m. Claire Danes arrives in a deconstructed Monse shirt and strappy pant that seem to channel CDG. Just as she’s hit the top of her staircase, one of the straps gets caught in her heel. She bends down to fix it. “Let's do it inside,” urges husband Hugh Dancy, eager to get out of the bright lights of the carpet.
6:26 p.m. Also eager to get inside? Brady, as Bündchen takes her time to chat with reporters. He grabs her hand just as she’s about to start another interview. "I'm taking her with me, thanks guys,” he says.
6:33 p.m. Katy Perry, another co-host for the evening, has arrived, and is taking the theme very seriously. She’s in a veiled Maison Margiela by John Galliano ensemble, and walking slowly up the stairs, gazing straight ahead. It’s...oddly entrancing. Or rather, she seems entranced.
6:35 p.m. New mom Behati Prinsloo arrives without husband Adam Levine in a pale pink dress by Topshop. “I wanted something simple, kind of bondage, with a feminine twist,” she explains. “My nipple keeps falling out, but I just want to have fun. I love the Met, I think it’s so great.”
6:47 p.m. The woman of the evening, Rei Kawakubo, arrives. She’s in sneakers—all the better to make a mad dash inside.
7:01 p.m. Marc Jacobs arrives with two dates: Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain. The trio appear genuinely excited to be there, taking their time on the carpet. Love repeatedly gazes over at Cobain and says,"I'm very proud of my daughter.” Awww.
7:06 p.m. David Lynch muse and Big Little Lies star Laura Dern makes her way up the stairs alongside designer Gabriela Hearst, who is carrying her It-bag the Nina in a very on-theme polka-dot print. "It matches her train!" Hearst exclaims, gesturing towards Dern’s gown.
7:09 p.m. Emma Roberts, in hot pink Diane von Furstenberg, makes her way into the entrance, but some gridlock causes James Corden to nearly trip on her train. "Oh hello,” he says, air-kissing the young star upon realizing his almost faux-pas. Crisis averted.
7:16 p.m. The rap group Migos is here and speaking in unison. Who are they wearing? “Versace Versace Versace,” they harmonize.
7:19 p.m. We have our first Kardashian/Jenner sighting: Kylie has arrived, and she’s platinum blonde. The Lip Kit queen shimmies a bit in her beaded Versace.
7:26 p.m. Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner arrive in matching gingham, and promptly compare their ensembles to the Olsen twins in How the West Was Fun. It’s actually Elizabeth Kennedy. As for Dunham’s shoes? “They’re Jeffrey Campbell. I’m keeping it real affordable.”
7:27 p.m. Selena Gomez glides by, hand-in-hand with The Weeknd. She is wearing custom Coach and some very vibrant pink eye shadow.
7:40 p.m. Our second Jenner has arrived: Kendall Jenner appears in a sheer La Perla gown that recalls Rose McGowan’s 1998 VMAs dress. She stops to chat with Dakota Johnson, who has just shown up with Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. It’s a surprising pairing, until you recall that Kris Jenner and Melanie Griffith are besties.
7:44 p.m. One of the more dramatic looks of the evening: Lily Aldridge in custom Ralph Lauren, paired with a Balenciaga boots and a hot pink scarf tied around the lower half of her face. Reporters shout at her, but she simply gestures to the netting obscuring her mouth. That’s one way to avoid interviews.
7:52 p.m. Diddy has finally made it to the top of the stairs, after a lengthy journey thanks to girlfriend Cassie’s over-the-top gown. “ I got to use the bathroom, man,” he announces to no one in particular.
8:03 p.m. Austin Mahone is here for his first Met Gala, and seemingly unfazed by the chaos around him. “To be honest, I’m not really sure what I’m going to see inside,” he said. “I don’t know what to expect, but I got an open mind. And hopefully I’ll see Rihanna, because I love her.”
8:14 p.m. Unwittingly one-upping Gomez and The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez also make their red carpet debut as a couple. She is in sky blue Valentino and, of course, plenty of bling.
8:16 p.m. The Kardashian dynasty is complete: Kim Kardashian appears in a remarkably understated Vivienne Westwood dress. Arriving sans Kanye West, as previously reported, she stops to chat with Nicki Minaj.
8:18 p.m. Minaj herself is careful not to expose herself via a very high-slit on her H&M dress, placing her hand over her crotch in protection. Luckily, her sparkly red lips are distraction enough. Pat McGrath? “Yes, yes they are,” she confirms. Very nice. “Aw, thank you so much.”
8:21 p.m. Move over, Kendall Jenner. Rumored boyfriend A$AP Rocky arrives with another lady on his arm: Julianne Moore. The unlikely pairing are thanks to Calvin Klein and Raf Simons, who has dressed both.
8:22 p.m. Also at the Calvin table is Paris Jackson, taking in her very first Met Gala. So how is she feeling? “Stoked! Super stoked!” she exclaims, extending her hand in a hang-ten gesture.
8:26 p.m. Internet boyfriend Riz Ahmed makes his away inside, as a publicist informs the crowd that he is not doing interviews. One tenacious reporter can’t help herself. “Riz, are you single?” The actor pauses, and shouts something inaudible back. Internet, take it as a yes.
8:29 p.m. Chanel girls Cara Delevingne, who has painted her newly-shaved head silver, and Lily-Rose Depp arrive together. Just as she’s about to clear the final stretch of stairs, Depp stumbles ever so slightly. “It wasn’t a real fall,” Delevingne reassures her.
8:32 p.m. Rihanna, typically one of the last to show up, arrives in full Comme des Garçons and makes a beeline towards the front door. "Are we done?" asks one optimistic publicist. Wishful thinking.
8:37 p.m. Late stragglers on the carpet: girl gang Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts, and Stella McCartney, and Janelle Monae, who needs three handlers to help her walk in her Ralph & Russo gown.
8:45. p.m. Bella Hadid and Alexander Wang are relishing in being late arrivals with much of the carpet to themselves. Hadid is also clearly relishing in her ensemble: a custom Wang catsuit. But was it comfortable? “You know what, I'm sewn in, girl. I'm sewn in.” Okay, then.
8:54 p.m. But it’s not a Hadid, or a Kardashian, or a Knowles, who shuts down the carpet. It’s Celine Dion, who is still preening for the cameras as many reporters start to pack up and make their way home. But those who stick around got a special treat: unprompted, Dion breaks out into song, for reasons unknown. And that is what we call a wrap.
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