Pret-a-Reporter

What Hollywood Is Saying About the Met Gala

REX USA
Anna Wintour at the 2014 Met Ball.

Let's hope you're on Anna Wintour's good side.

Every Met Ball requires attendees to dress to theme (except for host and co-chair Anna Wintour, who donned floral Chanel couture for 2013's punk gala). For this year's May 4 opener of the Met Costume Institute's "China: Through the Looking Glass," everyone no doubt will wear Chinese-inspired black tie. What does that mean? "There will be a lot of red, gold, chinois embroidery and Chinese porcelain-inspired prints," says a Hollywood fashion insider. "The designers have all gone back to school, studying the history of China's movie and opera stars. But how the men are going to interpret this, no one has any idea," as tuxes based on changshans (long shirt and loose pants for men) won't fly.

While co-chairs Jennifer Lawrence and Gong Li likely will wear a Raf Simons-designed Dior-by-way-of-China gown and one by a Chinese designer, respectively, there's no telling what co-chairs Wendi Deng and Marissa Mayer will do. "It all depends on what Anna's advised," says the insider. "Anna decides where you sit and what you wear."

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Since the exhibition features Chinese influences on Roberto Cavalli, Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and Dries van Noten, there are plenty of brands to choose from. One regular attendee describes the annual spectator sport of arrivals this way: "The hundred steep stone steps covered in fabric ascending the Met are terrifying, no rails. You're thinking in your Louboutins, 'God, don't let me fall.' You get up to the top, huffing and sweating, and Anna's shy and doesn't want eye contact." As to letting Wintour know what you're wearing: "Don't worry! She already knows! If she doesn't, you shouldn't be there."

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