New York dolls

Monday night saw the fashion runway firmly framed at the annual Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.  Here the 2011 “Met Ball” paid homage to the design talent of the late Alexander McQueen,  hosting the opening of the exhibition “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”.Bethany Hutton-Stigga surveyed the glamorous procession streaming up the steps of the Met Museum in tribute to McQueen. (6 May 11) 

(L) Gwyneth Paltrow steps up the pace in Stella McCartney

(R) Twilight star Ashley Greene

Interestingly, a sizeable quota of the film-music-fashion frocks were non-McQueen, not leastVogue editor and event chair Anna Wintour who sported Chanel for the occasion. The entrance of its head designer Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel-clad actresses Blake Lively and Freida Pinto gave the label a firm presence at the soirée.

(L) Gisele Bundchen flies the McQueen flag, in scarlet

(R) LivTyler - Givenchy Couture 

Those who stuck firmly to the McQueen dress code, vintage and current, included Sarah Jessica Parker, Salma Hayek, Daphne Guinness, Gisele Bundchen and Naomi Campbell. And, of course, Alexander McQueen creative director – and guest of honour - Sarah Burton fresh from the success of Kate Middleton’s royal wedding wear.

(L) Materials girl – Madonna sports Stella McCartney

(R) Colin Firth and wife Livia in Stella McCartney

Elsewhere Stella McCartney claimed  Rihanna in peephole lace dress, Madonna, Eva Mendes and Kate Hudson. Jennifer Lopez was duty-bound to wear a scarlet Gucci gown, having featured in the label’s ad campaign.  

(L) Christina Ricca in Zac Posen’s mermaid lace creation

(R) Rihanna in one-shoulder McCartney  

The Metropolitan Museum  was studded with star exhibits and the old guard mingled with the new; Mick Jagger sharing time with Sir Paul McCartney while rapper Jay-Z was ensconced with singer wife Beyonce Knowles at the party which has wowed New York over the past 13 years.

(L) Blake Lively gives the crowd something to Gossip about in Chanel Couture

(R) Anna Wintour in Chanel Couture with daughter Bee Shaffer in Balenciaga

The exhibition itself includes a film clip of model Shalom Harlow, memorably ejaculated on by spraying robots with yellow and black paint in McQueen's S/S 1999 show; just one of the many moments depicting the off-beat creativity that McQueen put into his fashion events.

(L) Transformers actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Burberry

(R) Stella in Stella McCartney

Theming also persisted in the magnificent Temple of Dendur, in The Sackler Wing of the Met. With a capacity for 550 dinner guests this foliage-strewn space saw guests settle down to tables resting on tree trunks.

The Temple of Dendur sets the scene for dinner

A ripe setting too for Florence and the Machine who exploited the ancient Egyptian setting as well as the Temple’s rather more modern large-scale video projection to great effect, leaving dancing celeb guests in their wake.

(L) Ginnifer Goodwin bucks the trend in Topshop Unique – raising the smiles of Brit Top Shoppers, no doubt

(R) Jay-Z and wife Beyonce in Emilio Pucci

(L) British style icon Alexa Chung in Christopher Kane

(R) Jennifer Lopez in Gucci



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