It should have been obvious with a spring exhibition called “Punk: Chaos to Couture” that the scenes at fashion’s party of the year, celebrating its opening, would include some of a tough-chic nature. But Ms. Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and a chairwoman of the annual event, had gone over the top, decorating the museum’s entrance hall with a 40-foot-tall chandelier made of thousands of aluminum plates in the shape of razor blades. It was a little scary, and was expected to be dismantled by Tuesday morning.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday, waiting for the first of 800 celebrities and supermodels to make their way up the long staircase of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the annual Costume Institute gala, Anna Wintour tapped a young man with a spiky blond mohawk on the shoulder. He wore a red blazer with the words “the government is lying” scrawled on the back.
“You look very handsome tonight,” Ms. Wintour told him. “Thank you,” he said, a little befuddled. “So do you.”
Heidi Klum took one look at the urinals and said, “You can still go to certain clubs in London and see this.”
But there is nowhere else you could have seen Gwyneth Paltrow in a candy-pink Valentino gown with a cutout band across the chest, Nicole Richie with her hair dyed a shocking gray, Anne Hathaway with super blond hair channeling Debbie Harry, and Ms. Harry herself, dressed as if for a combination wedding-funeral in a black tartan dress by Tommy Hilfiger.