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This Monday night, Gap head designer Patrick Robinson will co-chair the Met's annual Costume Institute Benefit, otherwise known as the Met Ball. So what's in it for you, assuming you're neither Kate Moss nor Anna Wintour's assistant?
Well, for one thing, you get to spend all next week looking at photos of the amazing and occasionally ridiculous things celebrities and fashion insiders wore to the gala. The Met Ball is fertile ground for red carpet shots, and as this year's sponsor, the Gap has wrangled itself some guaranteed air time by commissioning four current and past CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners to dress a range of celebrities. We're pretty excited about the pairings: Alexander Wang will design for MIA and Zoe Kravitz. Rodarte will dress Kirsten Dunst and Jamie Bochert. Thakoon has dibs on Kerry Washington and Riley Keough. And Sophie Theallet gets Jessica Alba and Vera Farmiga.
But if simply admiring whatever crazy thing Alexander Wang dreams up for MIA in People magazine at the gym doesn't feel participatory enough for you, then you're in luck. Two days after the ball, the Gap will put all eight gowns on display in their rotating pop-up space on Fifth and 54th. As soon as they go up, a national silent auction will kick off online, giving bidders until May 31 to try to snag a gown for themselves. The Gap's also selling limited-edition t-shirts commemorating the exhibit at the heart of all this hoopla, the Met's "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity."
Which, of course, brings us to the last and maybe best way to get a piece of the Met action: Go look at the exhibit! It's all about American style from 1890 to 1940, covering everything from Gibson Girls to Flappers, and it runs at the Met through August 15.
· American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity [Met Museum]