Friday, May 19, 2017

Mangling the Met

Whispers has been to three Metropolitan Museum Gala Balls. It was before Vogue's Anna Wintour took over. We once accompanied artist Andy Warhol who at the time was probably the most outrageous guest. But that was a different era in New York City were we once lived and have visited many times.
The heady days of New York in the 70s and 80s have long past as the city has picked up an homogenized "Westfield" shopping centre feel to it much like most of the Mediterranean resorts including the once exotic Morocco where fascinating cities like Tangier and Marrakesh are almost indistinguishable from Manchester or Melbourne. Every bit of local 'colour' now has a forced tourist attraction feel to it especially when you see billboards advertising Gucci or Fendi near the old souks. The days when Whispers sat alone at a tiny Marrakesh coffee shop and within an hour found ourselves invited for drinks at Yves St Laurent's magnificent house and dinner with Madame De Gaulle are long past. Now St Laurent's house is a museum.
When designer Jasper Conran opens a hotel in the old city you know the good days have finally passed.

The Greek writer Taki Theodoracopulos, an admitted snob, has ripped into the Met's Gala Ball in only the way he can. But he's spot on.

"Once upon a time, the Metropolitan Museum’s gala ball was fun. Serious social-climbing multimillionaires competed openly for the best tables and for proximity to blue-blooded socialites like C.Z. Guest and her ilk. Pat Buckley, wife of William F., ran the show with military precision, allotting the best seats to those who had paid a fortune for them, but also to those who were young and handsome and whose pockets were not as deep. I used to be a regular. Then something happened. Anna Wintour took over after Pat’s death and the party turned into a freak show no self-respecting circus would allow on its premises.

Last week the uglies were out in force, the newspapers and glossies revealing themselves as fake-news purveyors by calling the show exclusive and impossible to get an invitation to. Do the people who write such crap take the rest of us for total idiots? The Met Gala is reserved for a few D-list celebrities, fashionistas, and advertisers. Proper souls wouldn’t be caught dead on the premises, especially near the Kardashian table. The ugliness of some of the attendants assaulted one’s frontal cortex, and I only saw the photos; imagine the horrors of seeing it live. Clinging like a barnacle to the Met’s hull, Anna Wintour’s horror show diminishes a great American institution. The freak show should be staged in Times Square, in the exact spot where the peep shows of old used to be."
Ouch !