Getting ready for the 2022 Met Gala at the Mark Hotel – WWD

“God was watching over me.”

Inside the Mark Hotel on Monday afternoon, dreams were coming true for at least one person stationed in the lobby: Jack Harlow, dressed in Givenchy and awaiting his official departure from the Met Gala, had obliged a fan’s request to a selfie.

“I have no expectations,” the rapper said, of what the evening might have in store, as he flashed a smile at the adoring fans’ plea.

The room swelled to critical mass, swelled by the team of HMUA, stylists, publicists and designers – and a few party breakers – who help make the magic of the Met Gala a reality. Outside the hotel, swarms of people had gathered behind metal barricades as traffic leading to 70s on Madison moved slowly, led by the siren call of flashing red and blue lights from above down the avenue.

The Met Gala was back to its usual first Monday in May slot, and the “Gilded Age” glamor – often very loosely channeled – was on full display at The Mark, one of the main VIP prep venues.

The Louis Vuitton team – which included Emma Stone, Eileen Gu and Sophie and Joe Jonas – were the first to leave around 4pm, hitting a pre-event before heading to the Met. They were soon followed by Anna Wintour and her family; after a brief hug, Bee Carrozzini led her mother at the head of the pack as they passed through the hotel doors and past the line of photographers flanking the carpet in front of the hotel.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sped past followed by Pat McGrath, and Bella Hadid’s bodyguard appeared in the lobby soon after. A flash of hot pink began rolling down the stairs, promising a dramatic look, but it was a false alarm – Nicola Peltz and her new husband Brooklyn Beckham turned and headed back upstairs.

Tommy Dorfman greeted attention as she posed for the lobby audience. “Hi everyone!”

Jordan Roth carefully walked down the stairs in his chunky Thom Browne look – a blacker version of what he modeled at the designer’s show on Friday. “Thank you all for breaking up,” Roth said as he walked past.

Janelle Monáe, shimmering in a figure-hugging Ralph Lauren sequined look, posed for photographers in the lobby, workshoping some sculptural poses which she then repeated on the steps of the Met.

“Can we have a drink?” A scotch on the rocks,” Anderson Paak said, smiling and growling into Gucci as he entered the lobby.

Nicola Coughlan sipped a glass of champagne as she waited her turn to leave, while her hairdresser did her final touches. The ‘Bridgerton’ actress gifted a loose feather from her Richard Quinn dress to a passing fan. “It’s a memory,” she said.

“Hey, there are people here,” exclaimed Sabrina Carpenter as the elevator doors opened and she emerged in her gold sequined two-piece. She gave Harlow a playful punch on the shoulder as she sneaked past. “Hey killer,” she said.

The Chloé team – Amy Schumer, designer Gabriela Hearst, Venus Williams and activist Xiye Bastida – made their way as the entourage, all wearing black sunglasses; Other designer pairs include Phoebe Bridgers with Jonathan Simkhai, Rosalía with Matthew Williams, and NCT rapper Johnny Suh with designer Peter Do, who also dressed Eva Chen for her Met Gala debut.

“You look amazing,” Suh ​​told Theophilio designer Edvin Thompson, who was decked out in nearby Thom Browne; Thompson returned the compliment on the fly.

Thompson had accessorized with one of Thom Browne’s dog bags (“this was made for my phone,” he said, demonstrating that the bag was more than just for show). Gunna showed off her sequined and tuxedo version of the bag. It’s all in the details – “gu-tails,” the rapper said.

The lobby was packed with celebrities waiting their turn to leave, though not all of them were happy to hang out and mingle. “I don’t want to stay here,” said Bella Hadid, leading her team to the side of the center of the room after finding out there was a line.

Peltz and Beckham reappeared, finally ready to make their grand exit, while Oscar de la Renta designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia walked down the hall in the opposite direction just before 7 p.m. They reappeared soon after with Ivy Getty.

Each time the mirrored elevator doors opened, the crowd directed their attention to find out who would appear next: the Moschino team, Lily James, Chloe Bailey.

Dwyane Wade backed out of the elevator bank in a white, shirtless suit, cane in hand, and held out his hand to his wife Gabrielle Union. “I feel great. Ready. She’s ready,” Wade said, admiring the giant red floral appliqué on Union’s Versace gown.

Ready, Set, Go: With that, the crowd was off to the main event.

Nicola Coughlan in Richard Quinn
Masato Onoda/WWD

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