By LEANNE ITALIE
AP Entertainment Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The Met Gala’s starry carpet was on fire with vintage haute couture Monday as Dua Lipa walked in a Chanel ballgown from the fashion house’s archive and Nicole Kidman chose a look Karl Lagerfeld himself made for her 20 years ago.
Welcome to Met Gala mania on fashion’s biggest night of the year.
Lipa, a gala co-chair, wore a Tiffany & Co. diamond around her neck that she called “very special” and that she hoped shimmered for the night. The singer’s cream-colored dress, by Chanel from 1992, was also “very, very special” as it has been on her mood boards, she said.
Claudia Schiffer wore the gown on the runway for its debut, although hers had a matching hat. Lipa’s necklace in platinum included a center diamond of more than 200 carats.
Nicole Kidman said it was Lagerfeld, the late designer and honoree of the night, who ignited her fashion spark. She wore a pale pink gown created by Lagerfeld for a Chanel No. 5 commercial she starred in. It was directed by Baz Luhrmann.
“I’m very grateful to wear it,” she told The Associated Press. “He was so much a part of my life, as were his whole team. He was the one really sort of shepherded me … in terms of my love of fashion.”
Kidman’s topped off her look with Harry Winston diamonds.
The invitation-only gala earned $17.4 million last year for the museum’s Costume Institute, a self-funding department with a budget dependent on the A-list affair. The price of attending went up this year to $300,000 for a table and $50,000 for a single ticket.
About 400 guests from fashion, film, music, theater, sports, tech and social media were asked to dress “in honor of Karl” by gala mastermind Wintour, a close Lagerfeld friend who first signed on to the event in 1995 and took over the helm in 1999.
The party, which fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert thought up back in 1948, coincides with the Costume Institute’s blockbuster spring exhibition: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”
American fashion was last year’s vibe. It followed gilded glamour and white tie. Camp was the theme in 2019, producing what is considered one of the wackiest displays of dress by the celebrity crowd.
Lagerfeld worked for Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, Jean Patou, Balmain, his own brand and more.
This year’s five hosts include Wintour, as usual, and also Michaela Coel, longtime Chanel ambassador Penélope Cruz, and recently retired tennis superstar Roger Federer.
Asked how he got to be a Met Gala co-chair, Federer said it helps to know Anna Wintour. He said it makes sense for athletes to be at the gala because they’ve become a bigger part of the fashion world in recent years.
“I think the sports people have gotten more and more fashionable,” Federer told the AP. “We’re fortunate to get onto covers much more frequently nowadays. Before it was always the models, the good-looking people, not the athletes.”
Federer, along with many other guests, chose to wear black, a color Lagerfeld wore almost exclusively.
“Abbott Elementary” creator Quinta Brunson knows her fashion and studied up before this, her first Met Gala. The writer-actor said her dress was inspired by a piece in a Lagerfeld 1992 collection, while her hair inspiration came from one of his 2003 shows.
Asked how she felt about attending her first Met Gala, Brunson said, “I’m just speechless. I’m just really happy to be here.”
Associated Press Writer John Carucci contributed to this report.
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