Schwarzman, Beyonce, A-Rod, Shy Techies Converge on Met Galaby
Guests show their skills at Metropolitan Museum costume event
Anna Wintour greets Winklevoss, Fuhrman, Mayer, Kalanick, Rudd
Blackstone chief Steve Schwarzman, thumb wrestler; Bravo’s Andy Cohen, roller of joints; “Vinyl” actress Juno Temple, sewer of her own lingerie.
Guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit shared things they do well with their hands -- a nod to the new exhibition Manus x Machina, which looks at how some of the most beautiful dresses in the world are made. The event raised about $13.5 million, a record, according to Nancy Chilton, a museum spokeswoman.
A few examples, straight from the exhibition captions: 1,300 hand-pieced pink silk satin flowers; nude cotton lace, hand-woven with laser-cut nude leather applique; aluminum plaques with hand-glued Swarovski crystals.
With that kind of attention to fashion detail, no wonder Patrick Bateman got invited to the ball -- er, I mean Benjamin Walker, who plays Bateman in "American Psycho The Musical," and got to show off both his wife and his bow-tie tying skills. (Little did he know Jared Leto and Chloe Sevigny, who played his nemesis and his secretary, respectively, in "American Psycho" the film, would show up later.)
The Gemini bitcoin exchange co-founder Cameron Winklevoss said he plays electric guitar (mostly Van Halen), but wouldn’t be entertaining at the party (that job fell to The Weeknd). Glenn Fuhrman of MSD Capital raved about the banana chocolate cookies his wife Amanda bakes. Paul Rudd, sporting a full beard, joked that he shaves.
Yup, just about everybody could think of some secret crafting power -- except for Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor and Conde Nast executive mastermind of the party.
"Me?" she said, wearing Chanel. "I can’t cook. I can’t do anything with my hands."
Eventually, though, she shook hands on the receiving line for some 600 guests (including Alex Rodriguez, Beyonce, Dominic West and Aby Rosen), joined by co-chairs Taylor Swift, Idris Elba and Jony Ive.
The show’s thesis, according to Costume Institute curator-in-chief Andrew Bolton, is that the machine-made is just as artful and valuable as the handmade -- a point of view any machine-maker, like the show’s sponsor, Apple, can fall in love with.
Ive, speaking at a press preview earlier in the day, said his team at Apple and the fashion designers featured in the show approach their work similarly: "It’s only when you hold a material in your hands that you come to understand its potential," he said.
Still, new technologies take time to catch on: "Once, even the simple needle challenged conventions of the past." In the end, "technology and craft, much like beauty and utility, go hand in hand," he said.
Over the past few years, guests from the tech world have become more visible alongside the party’s usual politicians and business and finance moguls. This year’s techies included Apple’s Tim Cook, Laurene Powell Jobs, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel.
"The evening is celebrating technology, and to some degree everything Silicon Valley has taught us," said Wintour.
And is the museum developing the tech community as a base of financial support?
"Yes," said Daniel Weiss, the museum’s president. "The future for the museum and the rest of the world is engaging with technology in exciting new ways."
The veterans of the party didn’t seem to mind the infusion of new blood. "It’s hot, hot, hot," Leonard Lauder said of the Bay Area contingent, before receiving a big smile, hug and kiss from model Kendall Jenner.
While Lauder knows his way around, some of the techies have some acclimatizing to do.
"We’re coders," said Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber, wearing the one tuxedo he owns (Zegna) and standing with his girlfriend, violinist Gabi Holzwarth. "This is not normal for us. I’m usually the guy in the corner on his phone."