Outside the Met Gala's 'Gilded Glamour'

Outside the Met Gala's 'Gilded Glamour'

Story by Justin Moran / Photography by Lucia Buricelli

In the midst of Kim Kardashian revealing that she’d lost 16 pounds to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s $5 million “Happy Birthday” dress, Met Gala staff began handing out scraps of the 2022 red carpet to fans waiting eagerly outside the Upper Manhattan museum. “This is actually so sweet and thoughtful of them,” people online commented, late Monday night. “That’s actually so cool.”

If you couldn’t be inside the exclusive fashion spectacle, the next best thing was streetside, with iPhones raised and elbows bumping against crowds of onlookers hoping to snap a blurry video of Shawn Mendes’ head to post on TikTok and prove that they were witness to something important — something famous.

For a few, this meant staking their ground like you would a 4th of July parade, with foldable park chairs or chapter books to read until something exciting unfolds from your vantage point in-between two strangers’ heads. Even better? Climbing construction scaffolding — limbs twisted and knuckles white — to reach the highest height possible in order to see above the mob.

Where a select group of A-Listers were invited to dress in their best “Gilded Glamour,” some with custom gowns that took 22,000 hours to create, just feet away were hundreds of folks in hoodies and sweatpants, blue collar business suits or school uniforms — a dichotomy that’s as glaring as Roe v. Wade headlines bumping against criticism of Kylie Jenner’s polarizing Off-White look.

Below, a glimpse into a night where content is more important than water.

Photography: Lucia Buricelli