It’s the first Monday in May, which means that Fifth Avenue would normally be buzzing with Met Gala arrivals. In honor of #HFMetGala2020 (high fashion Met Gala), I’m throwing it back to my pinch-me moment of a lifetime.
It’s 1997, I’m an NYU college student and I decided that my friends and I were going to the MetGala. (Like how I do that?) As the first “Fashion Editor” of the Washington Square News, I got us all access to buy tickets. I wore a to-the-navel plunging-cleavage, Romeo Gigli dress that I grabbed from Daffy’s. (My “date” was in a permanent state of blushing, which I ignored all night.)
To set the scene, the evening started with Barbara Walter’s toe under my foot. I apologized and my head swooned from the pulsing adrenaline. Every way I looked, there is a star fashion designer or mega-celebrity.
The evening unfolded with a series of ‘you-can’t-believe’ moments. While I was observing the crowd, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Donnatella Versace set her champagne and cigarettes on the table asked me to watch them. Madonna and Cher come over to pose. As the top picture was taken, I took a gulp of Donatella’s champagne and thought “this will make a great story.”
I’m just to the right of this top capture. The 1997 theme was Gianni Versace and the event memorialized his contributions to fashion following his murder. I attended the Met Gala a few more times but 1997 was arguably the best party in Met Gala’s history– but maybe I’m biased.