Digit Goes to the Museum

Blogging invades the Met's Costume Institute

My imaginary blogging is interrupted by the appearance of my friend Shannon Bell-Price, who works at the Costume Institute and is helping a guy at a computer who wants to weigh in about a Nancy Gonzalez handbag or some such thing. No can do, she tells him, explaining that the Met blog features only one or two items a day, and those are the things you are supposed to rant about. When I tell Bell-Price, who is covered with tattoos practically everywhere except her face and is wearing a Yohji dress she bought secondhand in Tokyo and a pair of Dries shoes from eBay, how stupid I think that rule is and how I think you should be able to talk about anything you want, she replies, "But Lynn, if we put everything up right away then it's not a blog, it's just a website. This is a way to get people to come back. The other way it's not teasing enough, not sexy enough. No other costume department has done this! We're just trying to have a little fun! Don't take it too seriously."

Fun? I make my way up to the Temple of Dendur, circa–15 B.C., where there are crab cakes and mini pizzas and a full bar (now this is fun!), and run into Bill Cunningham, the legendary New York Times street fashion photographer and a man for whom I have unqualified respect and not just because he (very) infrequently runs my picture on his page.

Bell-Price comes over and Cunningham is unstinting in his admiration for her Yohji and her tats. "Kids like you remind me of the old days of the Costume Institute party, when all the kids could come!" he tells her, shaking his head sadly at what that annual spring soiree has become: a super-exclusive showcase for A-list celebrities and glamour pusses, with no after-party for the drag queens, punks, harijuki girls, dandies, and other assorted fashion freaks who used to flood the museum when the official dinner was over and really liven the place up.

Is it me? Miguel Adrover's ensemble at the met
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Is it me? Miguel Adrover's ensemble at the met

Maybe it was too lively. In any case, the beloved after-party was canceled several years ago, which is very sad, but then it occurs to me: The party of the year may be too hoity-toity for the young and the restless, but at least these days they can get their revenge by blogging about it.

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