Andrew Bolton is the new Grace Coddington
Obviously Anna Wintour runs the MET Ball and pretty much the entire fashion industry. However, as in The September Issue, when Grace Coddington stole the show, the undisputed star of TFMM is MET curator Andrew Bolton. His quiet yet warm demeanour is a worthy foil to Anna’s Ice Queen vibes.
Hailing from a small Lancashire town, Bolton has risen to the top job at the MET via the V&A in London. As the installation deadline looms closer and the museum looks in chaos, it’s Bolton in his Thom Browne cropped trousers who you are rooting for to pull the whole feat off.
Celebs are so cool, right? Wrong!
When Rihanna jumps up on the banquet table to perform at the dinner/get the party started, the top table guests start busting some cringefest moves and dancing like your auntie at a wedding (but in slashed-to-the-thigh Versace and cutaway Balmain).
Fact: when it comes to enforced grooving and throwing some shapes on request, no one is immune from looking as if they’re at a mobile disco.
Don’t sweat the seating plan
As anyone who has ever had the headache of doing a large-scale seating plan will attest, it’s a political minefield. But let’s learn from Anna and put the coolest people on the no-man’s-land of the outer tables. Chloe Sevigny takes it on the chin in her JW Anderson dress when her table is switched so the H&M one can be closer to the action (money talks). “It’s like being back at high school,” she quips from the worse seat in the house.
Exercise caution with themed dressing
The most successful red-carpet looks were those that nodded to the theme rather than those that risked cultural appropriation accusations – see Georgia May Jagger in Gucci vs SJP, in a collaboration with H&M and a Philip Treacy headdress.
Baz Luhrmann emerges as the unlikely saviour in the appropriation/appreciation battle that wages between the Chinese artefacts department and Vogue.
The Strictly Ballroom director saves the organisers from the cultural clanger of some ill-advised enormous dragon topiary at the entrance to the exhibition. Presumably his services won’t be needed for this year’s theme “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”, unless someone offends droids.
You get what you pay for
There’s much discussion and debate about Rihanna’s fee from Anna’s office and Rihanna’s people, which is by all accounts huge. As with everything in life, you get back what you put in, so props to RiRi for holding out for top dollar because within approximately 35 secs of her egg yolk yellow dress by Chinese designer Guo Pei touching down on the red carpet, the internet had exploded into a sea of omelette-based memes and you couldn’t move on Instagram for Rihanna Met Ball hashtags.
As Confucius probably once said … you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, but you can break the internet with an omelette dress.