Reality Overshadows the 2022 Met Gala, and Other News

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Blake Lively wearing Atelier Versace at the 2022 Met Gala. Photography by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

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Met Gala 2022: The Biggest Night in Fashion, Overshadowed 

On Monday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, now in its 76th year, fêted the forthcoming opening of “In America: An Anthology of Fashion. Formally known as the Costume Institute Benefit, the Met Gala, more casually dubbed the “Superbowl of fashion” or “the Oscars of the East Coast,” sees some of the most notable names in fashion, politics, and entertainment gather to raise money for the self-funded Costume Institute. Museum trustee, benefit co-chair, and Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour has leveraged a nimble and skilled team of organizers with a vast rolodex of relationships spanning designers, brands, and celebrities to make the Met Gala the primary source of funding for the institute—the 2021 gala raised a record-breaking $16.4 million. 

One of the most cherished traditions, of course, is carried out by the internet’s pajamaed masses who debate the best-dressed list. On it this year: Billie Eilish in upcycled Gucci, Maude Apatow in Miu Miu, Rosalía in Givenchy, Conan Gray in Valentino, Lizzo in Thom Browne, and Kim Kardashian in Marilyn Monroe’s vintage Jean Louis.

On the red carpet, New York City mayor Eric Adams’s tuxedo jacket embellished by artist Laolu Senbanjo with illustrations of New York City and the words “End Gun Violence” predictably drew criticism and continued a long-standing tradition of politically charged sartorial statements. The mayor’s red carpet appearance came three weeks after the April mass shooting on the city’s subway, which continues to stir unease among passengers. But even the sheer star power in attendance couldn’t keep headlines focused on the crowd: while Met Gala guests previewed the show and chatted over cocktails, a memo leaked to Politico revealed a draft opinion from the Supreme Court recommending the dissolution of Roe v. Wade. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz

Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Photography by Daderot/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater receives a new solar array to celebrate Earth Day.

“In observance of Earth Day, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC), the private nonprofit that owns, operates, and serves as lead steward of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, announced last month the installation of a 540-panel photovoltaic solar array at Bear Run Nature Reserve that will help to offset 100 percent consumed by the site’s superlatively photogenic main and guest houses. This, per the Conservancy, amounts to roughly a quarter of the total electricity used at the UNESCO World Heritage Site-inscribed facility that functions as one of the top architectural landmarks-slash-touristic draws in all of Pennsylvania.” —[H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

The Vatican is launching an NFT gallery to help increase access to its art collection. 

“The Vatican will debut a NFT gallery so that audiences around the world can view the art, manuscripts, and other objects held in its collection. The project is a collaboration between Sensorium, a VR company, and Humanity 2.0, a Vatican-led nonprofit that is working toward “human flourishing,” according to its website. Humanity 2.0 is chaired by Father Philip Larrey, a unique presence in the Holy See. Father Larrey is the Chair of Logic and Epistemology at the Pontifical Lateran University in the Vatican, the Dean of the philosophy department, and the author of a couple books on the effect of technology on modern society and the philosophical implications of artificial intelligence.” —[H/T ARTnews]

New York mayor Eric Adams backs a plan to convert hotels into affordable housing.

“In an effort to confront the city’s ongoing homeless crisis, Mayor Eric Adams stood alongside elected officials and union members to support a plan that would clear the streets and subways, and put a near-record number of unhoused New Yorkers into underutilized hotels. The state bill, S.4937/A.6262, would make it easier for the city to use unoccupied hotels as affordable housing, which officials said could be converted into apartments quickly at a cost of two-thirds of new construction.” —[H/T Gothamist]

The Deinonychus antirrhopus skeleton that will be auctioned at Christie’s. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.

Christie’s will auction a dinosaur skeleton that inspired Jurassic Park’s velociraptor.

“Many people know them as agile bipedal dinosaurs with menacing claws and scrunched-up arms, hunting children through a kitchen in Jurassic Park. In the 1993 movie, they’re called velociraptors, but those creatures were more like a different, related species, Deinonychus antirrhopus—a name that the author of the novel Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, considered a less dramatic choice. And now, dinosaur enthusiasts can bid on one of their own. Christie’s announced on Friday that it would be selling a Deinonychus skeleton it calls Hector, which was excavated from Montana several years ago. The company said it would be the first public sale of such a specimen. The estimated price tag is $4 million to $6 million, likely prompting most “Jurassic Park” fans to put their paddles down.” —[H/T The New York Times]

Ukraine accuses Russia of looting more than 2,000 artworks from Mariupol museums.

“The Mariupol City Council stated on Telegram that Russia has stolen over 2,000 works of art from three museums in the city. The council is preparing for Interpol to start a criminal investigation. “The occupiers ‘liberated’ Mariupol from its historical and cultural heritage,” the post reads, mocking President Vladimir Putin’s narrative of “liberating” Ukraine. Among the alleged stolen works are a handwritten Torah scroll, paintings by Arkhip Kuindzhi and Ivan Aivazovsky, a bible from 1811, Orthodox icons, and 200 medals from the Museum of Medallion Art.” —[H/T Hyperallergic]

DKNY owner G-III Apparel Group will acquire a majority stake in Karl Lagerfeld’s label.

“G-III Apparel Group said on Monday it has agreed to acquire the remaining 81% stake in Karl Lagerfeld for $210 million in cash, becoming the sole owner of the Parisian fashion brand. G-III, which owns brands including DKNY and Jessica Howard, will purchase the additional stake from a group of investors led by Fred Gehring of Amlon Capital BV. The apparel maker first acquired a stake in the brand in 2015. G-III said it expects the brand to represent more than $2 billion in retail sales.” —[H/T CNBC]

Image courtesy Ikea

Today’s attractive distractions:

Would you stay in UFO-like solar-powered hotel suites floating in the sea?

One fashion editor makes a case for doing her shopping at the local dump.

Celebrities from Serena Williams to Brad Pitt embrace pottery as a pastime

A new campaign turns Ikea’s meatballs into insect-ready Swedish seedballs.

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