Sarah Jessica Parker Shares the Stories Behind Her Met Gala Looks

When it comes to the Met gala, Sarah Jessica Parker has always understood the assignment. No matter what the theme or dress code is, the stylish star has consistently shown up to the annual event’s red carpet dressed to the nines. “Whenever I go to the Met, I don’t understand how everyone else didn’t spend 7 to 10 months working on it,” Parker tells Vogue. “The assignment is the theme, and you should interpret it. It should be labor-intensive and challenging.” In a new video, Parker sat down with Vogue to revisit some of the stories behind her memorable (and on-theme!) looks. 

Parker’s first Met Gala was back in 1995 when she attended the “Haute Couture” theme in a black thrifted dress. Yet, as the years went on, the affair became much more theatrical and a spectacle—and so did her ensembles. Take 2006, when she attended the “Anglomania” exhibition with the late designer Alexander McQueen while wearing a tartan and tulle creation. “When I was invited, I said out loud, ‘I wish I could go with Lee’—we called him Lee,” Parker explains. “Everybody loved him because he was such a touching person. I have every pin that he dropped from his mouth and everything he cut off from our fittings in my possession still.”

Some highlights over the years for Parker included the glitzy, Studio 54-like Halston dress she wore to the 2010 “American Woman” exhibition. “Halston was so American,” says Parker.  She also fondly remembers the Oscar de la Renta gown she wore in 2014 for the Charles James exhibition. “This was the last public dress he ever built, to my knowledge. The [lattice train] idea came out of the boning and underpinnings of Charles James,” says Parker, who also asked if de la Renta would embroider his name onto the train in a dramatic scarlet hue. “He was so happy to have been talked into it,” says Parker. “He never would have done it on his own, because that would have been so immodest of him.”

Equally as iconic are the many dazzling headpieces she’s worn over the years. For 2013’s “Punk” theme, she wore a Giles Deacon dress with a Phillip Treacy mohawk headpiece. “I’m not going to say that it’s my favorite, but it’s pretty close,” says Parker of the look. “I had to sit on the floor [of the car] to get to the Met—because the headpiece did not fit if I sat in a seat.” For 2015’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibition, she wore an SJP x H&M dress with another Phillip Treacy headpiece, this time crafted into a giant flame. “The headpiece had traveled from the U.K., and it arrived in customs, but it wasn’t in our possession—and it was Sunday,” remembers Parker. “We had no assurance it was going to be in our hands by Monday.” More recently, in 2018, she wore a Dolce & Gabbana gown for the “Heavenly Bodies” theme with a towering, ornate millinery accessory. “That headpiece was unbelievable and it was no heavier than [a pen,]” says Parker. “It was very Italian—marching through Naples with that on your head is not uncommon.”

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