So Zac Posen – largely known as purveyor of expansive, expensive ballgowns – is reputed to be helming Harvey Weinstein’s revival of the Charles James label – largely known for its expansive, expensive ball gowns. The perfect fit, right? Well, certainly a close fit. There’s a synchronicity between Posen’s output and that of James that has frequently been highlighted. He was the obvious choice to discuss the designer around the Metropolitan Museum show “Beyond Fashion.” He did so at the Met itself, with exhibition co-curator Jan Glier Reeder, as well as in an avalanche of articles (including one for me). He’s also the obvious choice to revive the label. Doesn’t mean he’s the best choice, though.
Last night was the Met Gala, celebrating the opening of the exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion. It’s lauded as the east coast equivalent to the Oscars: but compare the Met’s media reach to the Oscars, which pulled in 48 million television viewers from the USA alone, and it pales.
Then again, the Oscars is, ostensibly, about more than just frocks. It’s about prizes, about ambitions thwarted and dreams fulfilled. The Met Gala is about fund-raising. Never forget that. It’s a giant charity lunch, gussied up in fancy clothing. Last year, Gwyneth Paltrow said it “sucked”. Our attention, and the media hullabaloo, is all about the (cat)walk to the event, not the event itself.
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