2009 May 5

The Costumes Come Out to Play!

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Justin Timberlake, in William Rast, with Marc Jacobs Justin Timberlake, in William Rast, with Marc Jacobs
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(NEW YORK) "What’s funny about this event is the anticipation we all suffer before it," said Marc Jacobs of last night's Costume Institute Gala, which he hosted along with Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, and Vogue's Anna Wintour. "But today, I can’t stop thinking about next year's!"

"Sometimes you have fun, and sometimes you have lots of fun," said Peter Som of the party toasting The Model as Muse exhibition, which was attended by plenty of leggy beauties like Doutzen Kroes, Anja Rubik, Liya Kebede, Miranda Kerr, Raquel Zimmerman, Lara Stone, Jessica Stam, and Caroline Winberg, who all sported mandated minidresses. Guests exited chauffered cars to enter the museum...on a zebra carpet. The decor scheme? "An El Morocco/vintage Supper Club vibe," theorized Som. "My fairy tale ends in few hours," laughed Marion Cotillard, who arrived on the arm of John Galliano clad in a blush Dior column. "I have to be in the airport as soon as the dress and diamonds come off."

In that case, let's hurry. After viewing the exhibition, guests like Alber Elbaz, Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Hilary Swank, Liv Tyler, Lauren Hutton, Anne Hathaway, Kirsten Dunst, Iman, Eva Mendes, and Claudia Schiffer were led back to the museum's ground floor for a cocktail hour in a gallery strewn with arrangements of white roses. "This year’s Met seems like it went through plastic surgery, Botox and therapy," said Lorenzo Martone, on the arm of Victoria Beckham while Vuitton-clad Leighton Meester and Kerry Washington indulged the photographers. "So much younger and more fun! And Victoria is the absolute sexy number one, because I realize how involved she got in the fitting--she inspires passion for fashion!"

After cocktail hour, guests headed to the Temple of Dendur for the dinner. The likes of Marisa Tomei and Jessica Biel marvelled as Gisele Bundchen (who pulled out of the Galliano table at the last minute) smooched Tom Brady mid-meal. Guests dined on filet topped with a slab of foie gras for the main course, while lobster with either papaya or avocado was served as an entree. "Oh my God!" exclaimed Sessilee Lopez, returning to her table.  "I got to shake Kate Moss’ hand. I never met her before so that was such an honor. I also just met Rihanna in the ladies room--she's really a funny girl."

Coco Rocha was just a little bit starstruck. "There are so many supermodels in the room, I can't possibly name them all!" she said. "But the biggest surprise so far happened when I was leaving the washroom--I got my makeup retouched!"  Hilary Rhoda quickly chose her favorite look: "Wow! Kate Hudson is like a perfect California girl in that golden Stella dress."  Dolce clad Molly Sims had her picks. "Everyone looks amazing," she gushed. "But I think Eva Mendes, Kate Bosworth and Shalom Harlow all look stunning. Shalom’s black cat suit is insanely beautiful. They're all owning it!"
"Fabulous," declared Carolina Herrera, who dressed a very chic group including Renee Zellweger, Amber Rose and Emmy Rossum. "Absolutely fabulous. All the models in their short dresses look incredible! This was a great idea--fashion without models would be in trouble, as they are the ones that show the world our designs."

As guests enjoyed a dessert of Baked Alaska, yet another celebrity made an appearance. "When Bono comes onto the stage and makes a speech and then introduces Kanye West to perform..." mused Brooklyn Decker of the philanthroper's speech honoring Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and other supermodels. "Well, you really can't top that. He put on a great show. And never do I think I will see such an eclectic mix of people dancing, jumping, and singing all in one place ever again!" West, of course, performed before bringing Rihanna to the stage, as Marc's table (Winona Ryder, John Currin and Rachel Feinstein and Madonna) cheered wildly.  

After the performance, VIPs like Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict descended to Monkey Bar, where Madonna spent the evening on the dance floor with Jesus Luz and Steven Klein. "Marjorie [Gubelmann] and I were thrilled to meet for the first time one of the Real Housewives, Bethenny Frankel, who had stayed at the restaurant after eating dinner," said Samantha Boardman. "And she is fantastic!" Even Campbell, who boycotted the event due to l'Affaire Alaia (reported yesterday by Cathy Horyn) hit Graydon Carter's new joint on the very late side.

"Seeing Madonna dancing to her own song is incredible," said Jason Wu, who came on a "triple date" with Jessica Alba and Cash Warren. "For at least a moment, you kind of forget about the woes of the economy and smile." Mendes' car was a bit delayed, which left the awaiting paparazzi plenty of time to snap her photo. They were also swarmed outside Bungalow 8, where Mary-Kate Olsen, Giambattista Valli, best-dressed Sasha Pivovarova (in cascading ostrich feathers), and Natalia Vodianova partied late.

"The best part of my night? Having Kohle [Yohannan] give us a private tour of the exhibition just before dinner," said Cameron Silver, who darted off to the Rodarte party at Submercer along with his date Cheryl Tiegs. The duo dished with Marisa Berenson, Brooke Shields, Lake Bell, Olivier Theyskens, Kiefer Sutherland (who allegedly broke Jack McCullough's nose) and Julie Gilhart. "I can't eat when I'm seated with a table full of models!" said Silver, starved. (No wonder he ended up with a bevvy of beauties at Carnegie Deli circa 3:00 a.m..)

Overall? "Extraordinary," said Kenneth Cole, who came with Carla Gugino. "It was a glamorous evening and a refreshing departure from what is happening in the real world." Even though this particular gala was governed by the bold-faced names, a few managed to stay humble. "You know what?" said Ciara, who arrived with the darling Peter Dundas. "I'm surprised the fashion folks actually know who I am!"

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