The Costume Institute Benefit celebrates the exhibition Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
The streaming of the event is a collaboration between The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amazon.com/fashion, and Vogue.
Hosts Billy Norwich and Elettra Wiedemann interview Thomas P. Campbell, Anna Wintour, Jeff Bezos, Vittorio Grigolo, Miuccia Prada, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, Jessica Paré, Carey Mulligan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Valentino Garavani, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Bruno Mars, Catherine Martin and Baz Luhrmann, Cathy Beaudoin, Rihanna, and Marc Jacobs.
Elettra Wiedemann: Hello, and a very warm welcome from New York City and the first ever livestream broadcast of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala, brought to you tonight by Amazon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Vogue. This year's exhibit is titled Impossible Conversations and looks at the work of two female designers, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. These two women never worked together so they never met, yet there are many parallels between their fashion designs and also their fashion philosophies.
Thomas P. Campbell: This exhibition features a fictional dialogue between two great designers who were heavily influenced by both historical art and contemporary art. And really, we are, the Met is uniquely positioned to provide the context for this exhibition, because you can see where there's a Greek and Roman influence or Asian influence, or the influence of the Surrealists, you walk out of the galleries and you see the kind of art forms that inspired both Schiaparelli and Miuccia. This is an institution that really believes that fashion can be a great art form.
Billy Norwich: Yes.
Thomas P. Campbell: But in addition, fashion is accessible and I think that with the backing of stars like Miuccia Prada, Anna Wintour, Baz Lurhmann and Amazon, this helps us to reach a much broader audience who hopefully come to see the exhibition and they might walk out in the rest of the museum and be inspired, a Met moment.
Anna Wintour: Well I just think that what Andrew and Harold have done is so amazing, it celebrates two extraordinary Italian woman, female designers who have many things in common, but most of all they both believe in breaking the rules of fashion, which is something, obviously something I believe in, too.
Billy Norwich: Absolutely.
Anna Wintour: I’m thrilled to be here, the exhibition is absolutely extraordinary; we’re looking forward to a fantastic night.
Billy Norwich: And what about the party itself? I mean, you’ve raised so much money to help the Costume Institute, I mean eleven million dollars, it’s remarkable.
Anna Wintour: Yes, this is our biggest Costume Institute benefit ever so obviously that’s a great tribute to the – everyone being here tonight to celebrate Miuccia.
Elettra Wiedemann: It’s so exciting that Amazon is innovating in the fashion sphere now, can you tell us a little more about what you guys are doing?
Jeff Bezos: Yeah, well fashion has become a really big part of what Amazon is doing. You know, we have the Amazon website, but we also have Zappos and ShopBop and other websites and we really wanted to participate in this gala as a way of showing our commitment to this industry.
Elettra Wiedemann: Okay.
Vittorio Grigolo: This is a statement, you know? It’s something incredible that Vogue every time every year pulls up with a different idea. Incredible, powerful things are happening during the night, always a surprise and celebrating too, the great names, like Schiaparelli, and Miuccia Prada, together, this night is impossible communication.
Elettra Wiedemann: Mrs. Prada, thank you for being here tonight. How are you feeling?
Miuccia Prada: Very well.
Elettra Wiedemann: Very well. You must be excited, you’re at the center of this exhibit tonight, um, what were your impressions when you saw it today?
Miuccia Prada: Ah, it’s very good, I hope that everybody has fun.
Elettra Wiedemann: I’m sure.
Miuccia Prada: And enjoy.
Elettra Wiedemann: And everybody is. Good to see you. Thank you.
Billy Norwich: Tell me about your involvement and how you feel about being here tonight.
Lizzie Tisch: Well, it’s our favorite night in New York, we think it’s great for the city, great for the Museum, great for the fashion world, we’re just excited to be here!
Elettra Wiedemann: Did you know Schiaparelli before tonight or is this the first time you’ve kind of been face to face with her work?
Jessica Paré: You know, I did a little bit of research and it turns out that we all are actually way more familiar than we thought.
Elettra Wiedemann: I know! I’m amazed nobody talks about her more!
Jessica Paré: I know!
Elettra Wiedemann: She invented wrap dresses, wedge heels…
Jessica Paré: The wedge…
Elettra Wiedemann: folding glasses, bras with, swimsuits with the bra inside, she’s like a genius! Nobody ever talks about her.
Jessica Paré: Well this is all the stuff that she’s had an impact on, and that we now take for granted.
Billy Norwich: Everyone wants us to ask, so I’m gonna ask the tough question, what are you wearing tonight?
Carey Mulligan: [Laughs] I’m wearing Prada.
Billy Norwich: Has anyone asked you that before?
Carey Mulligan: I’ve had like seven people ask me that and I was like…
Billy Norwich: What are you wearing tonight, that’s a really important thing…
Sarah Jessica Parker: [Laughs]
Billy Norwich: Everyone’s screaming, “You’re not talking enough about the clothes!” So tell me about this dress and why you liked it.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Well, this may come as a shock to somebody but I’m wearing Valentino.
Billy Norwich: No! Signore!
Jessica Biel: This is the dress that Mrs. Prada picked for me so…
Elettra Wiedemann: Ah! Mrs. Prada picked it for you.
Jessica Biel: So I just went with it.
Elettra Wiedemann: That’s pretty fancy. Come on, that’s fancy.
Jessica Biel: It’s very fancy.
Justin Timberlake: When she picks a dress for you, you say, “Yes ma’am.”
Jessica Biel: You just say, “Yes, thank you!”
Elettra Wiedemann: You just say, whatever you say.
Jessica Biel: “Thank you, may I have another?” is what you say.
Billy Norwich: You look great!
Bruno Mars: Thank you, sir.
Billy Norwich: What are you wearing?
Bruno Mars: Prada! I’m head to toe in Prada tonight. You see me, Vogue?
Billy Norwich: He looks great! The shoes too!
Bruno Mars: You like those?
Billy Norwich: You’ve got to keep those shoes.
Bruno Mars: I’m not giving them back, Prada!
Billy Norwich: Good!
Billy Norwich: Look at you guys, you’ve contributed to the exhibition, tell me what you’ve done.
Catherine Martin: Well, Baz has directed some little videos, some films, that try and describe the impossible conversation between Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli, played by Judy Davis.
Billy Norwich: How did that go?
Baz Lurhmann: Well I guess the big scoop there, what people don’t actually know is that Judy Davis and Miuccia Prada have never met. They’ll meet tonight for the first time. The thing is that Miuccia is an old friend of ours so I was able to be Schiaparelli, draw her out, and then Judy brilliantly acted to the film of Miuccia, so the illusion is quite good, I think.
Billy Norwich: It’s great.
Elettra Wiedemann: Tell me why you think it was so important that Amazon was involved in this year’s exhibit by sponsoring it.
Cathy Beaudoin: Well, we are so delighted to be sponsoring the exhibition and supporting the Museum, um so
Elettra Wiedemann: Have you seen the exhibit yet?
Cathy Beaudoin: I have.
Elettra Wiedemann: Okay, good.
Cathy Beaudoin: It’s extraordinary.
Elettra Wiedemann: So you got a sneak peak. It is.
Cathy Beaudoin: It is extraordinary, and these two women are amazing and subversive. Both of them.
Elettra Wiedemann: They are.
Cathy Beaudoin: And speaking across time is just.
Elettra Wiedemann: They made me just change the way I think about my own clothes and how I dress.
Cathy Beaudoin: I know! They sort of inverted the paradigms of beauty, they really did.
Elettra Wiedemann: They really did.
Rihanna: I love coming to the Met ball.
Billy Norwich: It’s fun.
Rihanna: It’s a fun event, you just get to come, get dressed up, come, have some nice dinner and some good entertainment and appreciate great designers and great people who are in the fashion industry, which is amazing.
Marc Jacobs: Hello!
Elettra Wiedemann: You are wearing the most amazing thing! Tell me about it.
Marc Jacobs: No, just a lace dress.
Elettra Wiedemann: No, I know, but it’s amazing!
Marc Jacobs: Well, I just didn’t want to wear a tuxedo and be boring, and I think Miuccia Prada is such a celebration of the unconventional and so it felt like appropriate somehow.
Elettra Wiedemann: I think it is. What are you excited about seeing tonight? Anything in particular?
Marc Jacobs: Well I mean they’re two women that I’ve always loved the work of. I mean, Schiaparelli is one of my all-time heroes and Miuccia Prada continues to be a hero of mine and I just um I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition, although I think there’s really no comparison because each one of them is so unique. But um you know to have two heroes together, celebrated in one exhibition, is great.
Billy Norwich: Thank you to everyone who’s watched us on Amazon tonight, on Vogue.com, on the Metropolitan Museum. This is a great party; it raises a lot of money; it’s high fashion. The difference about it is it’s not an awards show, these are people who come because they love the museum, and it’s really been great. We’re so happy that you’ve been with us tonight.
Elettra Wiedemann: Thank you!
Billy Norwich: I’m Billy Norwich, and this is…
Elettra Wiedemann: I’m Elettra Wiedemann.
Billy Norwich: Sweet dreams, kids.