Costume Institute Guests Like Superheroes, Hair

By Lauren Matison May 6, 2008, 1:18 PM EDT

Event co-chair George Clooney was in attendance.

Photo: BizBash

Last night an international crowd of fashion people and A-list Hollywood stars gathered for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute gala, pegged to the opening of the museum's “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” exhibition. In addition to the 60-piece showcase of movie costumes and couture designs, the Giorgio Armani- and Condé Nast-sponsored event brought in foam superhero structures, walls of mirrors, and the cast of the Public Theater's upcoming production of Hair to entertain the 750 attendees—some in superhero-inspired attire.

At the event, often heralded as the party of the year, we quizzed departing guests, including designer Carolina Herrera and retiring Met director Philippe de Montebello, to see whether or not this year’s gala measured up to the hype. Here’s what they had to say.

“It was fabulous. The costumes that they showed were extraordinary. The event producers absolutely tied in the superheroes exhibit with the decor, striking the right balance with the venue. Glorious Food served a pasta dish with a sort of nest with caviar, so it looked like a spider web. My husband had a great time.”
Edith de Montebello, financial aid director, Trinity School, with Metropolitan Museum of Art director Phillipe de Montebello

“There was a wonderful theme to work with, the superheroes, and also the setting for the Met can’t be beat. The space they kind of left alone, but they did have these gigantic foam statues of superheroes. They made it look intergalactic. There was dramatic green and blue lighting. They really made a great effort. The event raised over $7 million.”
Amy Fine Collins, special correspondent, Vanity Fair

“I loved everything about the event tonight. Every moment was so exciting!”
Audrey Tautou, actress 

“I think the performance of Hair was the best part of the night. It was spectacular. We thought Beyoncé might be the act; [Hair] was a total surprise to us even though we sponsored the evening.”
 —Chuck Townsend, president and C.E.O., Condé Nast Publications

“Well, we saw kryptonite, a glowing centerpiece in the dining area, which was the Temple of Dendur. The exhibit itself was very nice. First thing you see when you walk into the museum is lots of mirrors, which made the space look bigger than it was. Yes, I think it measured up to being the party of the year.”
Silvana Armani, fashion designer

“I had fun tonight. Great people, great atmosphere.”
Joshua Jackson, actor

“There were huge ivory sculpture figures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. That’s the first thing you see when you walk in from the red carpet. The desserts were decorated with superhero logos. I didn’t have the dinner, but it looked delicious. It was a nice little party.” —Brian Smith, entertainment industry

“I used to draw comic book characters when I was small, so I had a great time tonight. It lived up to the hype as the party of the year because there’s everybody in there. I’m a vegetarian, and I guess I wasn’t prepared—I just ate salad.”
Andre Benjamin, member of Outkast

“This is the party of the year. I was so happy to see the grand superhero statues, and to see Superman, my hero!”
Carolina Herrera, fashion designer
“The event wasn’t better than last year, but it was still beautiful. I could do without this big chaotic crowd, though. Where’s the postparty security?”
Anonymous guest from “the fashion industry

“I loved the white flowers; there was lots of white. There were crystals coming out of the water like kryptonite in the area where we ate dinner. There was white wine and champagne. The chocolate cake was delicious.”
Arlenis Sosa, model

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