Cocktail Hour at the Met Gala: What Comes After the Carpet

Up the carpeted stairs, past the tuxedoed photographers, Anna Wintour stood at the top of the steps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit.

“Your royal highnesses,” Baz Luhrmann, the Australian film director, said as he approached Bad Bunny, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Hemsworth, who were standing in a receiving line with Ms. Wintour. The space had been transformed by greenery, filled with string musicians and dancers, creating a “Midsummer Night’s” dreamscape just off Fifth Avenue.

“How is it out there?” Ms. Wintour said, adding, “You look incredible.”

One by one, the stratospherically famous faces that captivate imaginations worldwide walked carefully up the stairs and stopped to talk to the row of co-chairs. (Zendaya, the fifth co-chair, did not make it to the perch.)

Tyla, the singer and songwriter, gets help with her dress.

From left, Serena Williams, Kris Jenner and Lauren Sánchez.

Ms. Wintour, the global editorial director of Condé Nast and the editor in chief of Vogue, had once again convened her starry annual bash, turning a soaring temple of the arts into a looking glass on our times — one reflecting a heady swirl of celebrity, commerce, fashion, beauty, aspiration, power, intrigue and bankable influence.

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