“Hello, fashion!” belted Bruno Mars from the stage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur. And greeting fashion he was. From Givenchy chiffon to McQueen tulle to Ralph Lauren feathers, fashion was most certainly in the house—or the temple as it were. The crooner was mid-performance at the annual Costume Institute Gala celebrating the new exhibition, “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations,” hosted by Carey Mulligan, Anna Wintour, and Miuccia Prada herself, as well as honorary cochair Jeff Bezos.
For an exhibit titled “Impossible Conversations,” the Petrie European Sculpture Court, where cocktails were served, was astonishingly filled with chatter. Italian baritone Vittorio Grigolo, who later wowed guests with a post-dinner serenade, strode into the room, his wife on his arm, the cream taffeta train of her dress rustling against the matching marble. The opera star chatted with Prada’s two sons, Giulio and Lorenzo, as the annual parade of leggy ladies clad in the designs of their dates traipsed past—a caped Lana Del Rey with Joseph Altuzarra, Isabel Lucas with Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, Karlie Kloss with Jason Wu. Rooney Mara, in sheer Givenchy, clasped the arm of her date, Riccardo Tisci, while Emma Stone wiped some schmutz off of escort Alber Elbaz’s left shoulder. Mick Jagger sauntered in with wife L’Wren Scott resplendent on his arm. The Courtin-Clarins cousins breezed through in all their quartet glory. A supermodel powwow convened at the head of the sculpture court: Amber Valletta, Linda Evangelista, and Natalia Vodianova, accompanied by their respective partners, embraced and chatted. En route to dinner, Tim Tebow and Jimmy Fallon were interrupted by a fan eager to introduce himself to Tebow—Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Inside the Temple of Dendur, plates of baby lobster (in homage to Schiaparelli’s famous lobster-print dress) and American caviar
awaited guests who took their seats on plush red banquettes in the shape of lips and dining chairs covered in classic Prada and Schiaparelli prints, while jaunty anemones decorated the tabletops in silver bud vases. After the Veal Milanese had been served and the trumpeters had called the 800-plus crowd to attention, Mayor Bloomberg took the podium and announced, “I’m here on behalf of all New Yorkers.” Not all New Yorkers, however, get sugar cookies in the shape of Prada shoes and her now-ubiquitous spring flame motif passed before them on silver platters.
After Grigolo’s dramatic aria, which included a choreographed performance by dancers in gold lamé dresses and silver hair, Bruno Mars and his band took the stage. Performing his own songs and covers by Sting, Michael Jackson, and Rick James (at the start of the set Mars mentioned if he were able to have an impossible conversation with anyone he said it would be Michael Jackson, and then he threw in Sting and Jay-Z for good measure), Mars had everyone on their feet in no time, creating some delicious dance partners: Mario Testino sambaing with Cara Delevingne, Michael Kors shimmying with Jessica Alba, and Lena Dunham shaking with James Corden. Near the front of the room, Cameron Diaz and Kristen Wiig were the first to get grooving, with Beyoncé quick to follow.
“Where’s Miuccia at? Where’s Miss Prada?” Mars asked the crowd. “This next song I’m gonna do, this song is for you.” He launched into his hit “Just the Way You Are,” personalizing it for Prada: “Miuccia, you’re amazing. Just the way you are.”
She is indeed. The evening honoring her wasn’t too shabby either.