The Met Gala, otherwise known as the “fashion Oscars”, is the annual super-glitzified fundraiser, packed with A-listers, in aid of the Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts; it is effectively run by Vogue’s Anna Wintour and has entered the laity’s consciousness via the novel and movie The Devil Wears Prada, which may now be influencing the behaviour of the people it was respectfully lampooning. This glossy, but frankly somewhat saucer-eyed documentary/promotional video is about its colossally successful China: Through the Looking Glass event, all about western responses to Chinese culture – an exhibition on which Wong Kar-wai and Baz Luhrmann served as consultants.
This film certainly brings the star power, and I have to admit it creates a kind of woozy trance, but broken by irritation with the conceited egos on display, especially when the camera lingers, tolerantly, on Justin Bieber being tiresome. A lot of it is all about the table-setting hierarchy – another piece of Devil-Wears-Prada-ism – and there is obviously a huge amount of status envy going on; the film does not care to break that down too thoroughly, save for a single witnessed wisecrack about poor old Josh Hartnett. Maybe this needed someone like Tom Wolfe to anatomise the proceedings fully. And there is still some denial here about John Galliano’s recent disgrace, although the film does fleetingly allude to it.