But what happens beyond the highly-publicized red carpet?
This year’s edition of the Met Gala is arguably the most popular installment since the Costume Institute’s establishment in 1948. It’s not because of the theme (Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, or in layman terms: the intersection of machine-made and hand-made and how Instagram feeds that reconciliation), or the aforementioned social media app. I don’t think it’s even because of the ball’s curious lead underwriter, a practical talisman of ill-fit jeans and black turtlenecks, Apple.
On the contrary, if more people care about the Met Gala this year, it is for the same reason that one September in 2009, everyone had to have that month’s edition of Vogue: film.
The First Monday in May, a documentary that follows the making of the Met Gala was released last month at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s somewhat ironic that such a dated form of technology should inaugurate a party that was ostensibly thrown to celebrate what the future is giving us at present.
Of course, the event’s theme in and of itself runs counter to the spirit of the Gala, which historically rejects the presence of mobile devices, social media and the fanfare it infers beyond the lengthy steps and red carpet. Once that portion of the evening is over, and the iPhone-wielding onlookers have developed their opinions on the dresses! The kisses! The body language between A-list musicians and actors, we’re definitively suspended access and have no visual record of what goes on once the iron doors close. Is that why we remained so intrigued?
Is fashion in “the age of technology”, put simply, a luxury made possible by the concept of privacy?
Yes, the entry gates of Instagram provide something. If you look at Vogue’s Instagram, you’ll notice they installed a stereotypically futuristic-looking set and had a slew of celebrities stand in for quick videos that completed their coverage of the event. This was cool because you really got to see different personalities on display. Madonna body-rolled her way through the set, Kendall simply walked, Grimes laughed as she shook her head back and forth, fingers flexing left and right while Anna Wintour stood stoically. In sunglasses. Providing nothing but the infamous chill of her deeply-respected demeanor.
And isn’t that all we’re looking to observe, anyway? Different characters in different settings and what their behavior says about them (and inadvertently, too, us).
We see the clothes front and center — some guests (Michelle Monaghan, Solange Knowles, Gigi Hadid’s pal Zayn) dress in theme, as though they’re, ta da!, at the Costume Institute, while others plainly wear gowns. Some are unremarkable, many just are. And we get to reap the benefits of third-party anticipation that never ends in a bout of disappointment the way an in-real-life event sometimes does when it is anti-climactic.
And yet, we wonder, now what? Who’s what? Who’s sitting where? Who’s the first to get up and dance once the performance starts? But maybe it’s better that we don’t know. That instead of interpreting the Gala’s theme so literally, we read between the lines, respect the evolution of time — of our time — and use the age of technology as a secret weapon, our very own privacy playpens.
Of course, though, the outfits are already staring at us, begging for superlative reviewing, so share your favorites — why not? We’ll construct those playpens tomorrow.
Images via Vogue.
The post The First Tuesday in May: After the Met Gala ‘Manus x Machina’ appeared first on Man Repeller.
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