NEW YORK — There’s a reason that designer Vera Wang dubs the annual Met Ball “the Olympics and Oscars of fashion.”
Because it is. It’s become more starry than even the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
The gala, held on Monday night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attracted every bold-faced name you could think of.
Beyonce wowed in a slinky black grown, accompanied by hubby Jay Z. Kim Kardashian showed up with fiance Kanye West, as expected. Gucci-clad Blake Lively finally stepped out publicly with husband Ryan Reynolds, at the most high-profile venue possible. And Emma Stone, in Thakoon, was sweetly affectionate with boyfriend Andrew Garfield. Kardashian, for the record, flaunted her massive engagement ring along with her Lanvin dress, but there was no wedding band on her finger (yet).
But the true, real, wow-factor stars? Charlize Theron and Sean Penn, who held hands and walked the red carpet together, posing for photos but eschewing any interviews.
Frozen‘s Idina Menzel was clad in Donna Karan, and was used to the adulation she got from parents and offspring alike. “They come up to me a lot and they send me great little videos of their kids singing the song. It’s a gift,” Menzel told us.
Zoe Saldana was looking forward to having Champagne with her date, Michael Kors. “I usually do (get nervous). When Michael came up to the hotel room we had our five minutes. Then we realized, it’s going to be fun. It’s important to have a great time tonight,” she told us.
The other star of the night? Vogue‘s Anna Wintour. What was previously known as the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is now called the Anna Wintour Costume Center. And the woman opening the venue? Why, you may have heard of her: Michelle Obama, who did so during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
It’s all part of the celebrity bonanza that is Monday’s annual benefit, which draws the most bold-faced and starried crowd outside of the Academy Awards. This year’s theme was Anglo-American couturier Charles James, who was known, according to press materials, for his “sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.”
But back to the celebrities. If you can think of one, chances are he or she were at the Met. Emma Stone, Zooey Deschanel, Kate Bosworth, Bradley Cooper, co-chairs Aerin Lauder and Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Dockery, Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift.
Cooper didn’t do press. Parker did. She wore Oscar de la Renta, and flashed his signature on the back of her dress. “He was gracious enough to give his time and talent. We looked at a lot of the archive that exists for Mr. James. I was very keen on showing the construction, and I came into a fitting today and he had added this lattice. I forced him to put his hand in scarlet embroidery on the back — his signature. I did that; that’s not him. He would never do that!” she said.
Amber Heard, accompanied by fiance Johnny Depp, was in Giambattista Valli, as was Lena Dunham. Oscar winner Nyong’o, whose closet Solange Knowles wanted to raid, donned a Prada calf-length emerald green dress. And musician Lily Allen gets bonus points for honesty. Her reason for attending? “My album (Sheezus) is out today, so I thought it would be a missed opportunity,” she said, clad in Chanel.