Thom Browne Shares Intimate Design Moments From His 2021 Met Gala Prep at the Carlyle Hotel

Last night, on the heels of New York Fashion Week, the Met Gala finally took place after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may not have been the first Monday in May, but it was still the biggest night of the year for the fashion industry, and a particularly special occasion for the fashion designer Thom Browne. The American-born designer launched his eponymous brand in 2001, and has attended the Met Gala numerous times with his partner of a decade, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s curator Andrew Bolton, but this time around, Browne purchased his own table at the event, filling it with some of the biggest names to grace the red carpet and forming a unique pack of stars that perfectly represented the theme of the night, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”

Amandla Stenberg, the young star of The Hate U Give and the upcoming film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, wore a corseted-suit look paired with a hairdo inspired by the durag, and in a red carpet interview with Vogue, she eloquently explained  that as a South L.A. native, “when I though of American fashion, I was like, that’s probably just Black people and queer people who created that. So that felt like the most important thing [to highlight].” Erykah Badu rocked a giant top hat and dachshund-shaped purse, Jimmy Fallon donned a simple suit, Guardians of the Galaxy star Lee Pace looked great in a suit with tailored shorts, Pose star MJ Rodriguez wowed in a dress with epically gigantic sleeves, and finally, rapper Lil Uzi Vert and SNL comedian Pete Davidson played with gender by rocking stylish skirts. 

Like many a Met Gala attendee over the years, the whole crew got ready for the party at the Carlyle Hotel, just blocks away from the museum. The hotel and its iconic design hold a special place in Browne’s heart. “I first met The Carlyle back in 1989, after moving to New York from university. The hotel and Bemelmans Bar were my true introduction to New York sophistication,” he tells AD. Below, Browne shares a behind-the-scenes look at the start of his big night out at the Met Gala, and waxes poetic about the legacy of the space where his A-list guests got red carpet ready.

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