We know the pressure on guests going to the Met Ball, which takes place next Monday in New York, is intense. You've got to look your absolute best for the biggest night out of the year in global fashion, after all. But from what we've been hearing, getting ready for this year's event is even more extreme – and takes two months of prep. There are the girls going to the gym every day to get their arms buff enough to give Michelle Obama a run for her money. There's the fight to secure the best possible St Tropez fake tanner, hairdresser and professional make-up artist to get you ready for your close up on the night. And there's the odyssey of finding a suitable on-trend high-fashion dress to impress the cream of the industry. And with rules being set – it is alleged – by none other than Anna Wintour, the stakes are high. Here are the rumoured rules, which everyone must follows (and you would, wouldn't you?).
The dress has to be either rare vintage or from next season (ie: autumn/winter '09) and fresh from the catwalk. ‘We start our selection process runway-side,' says one friend from New York. ‘We all ear-mark our preferred item.'
The dress must never have been seen in public before, apart from on the model who wore it on the runway. So if an actress/musician/model has worn it on the red carpet already since the shows in February, it's out.
Every designer of note must be represented.
Absolutely no one can wear the same as anyone else.
How can all these rules be adhered to? You have to consult with Anna Wintour's office. Apparently Ms Wintour keeps a close eye on what everyone is wearing, passing down stern suggestions as to what designer one should wear etc. Pity the poor Vogue staffer who saw her earmarked dress being worn by an A-list actress just a week before last year's event. Or Lauren Hutton, who ripped the ligaments in her knee in a surfing accident and put in a request asking if she could wear a shorter Michael Kors dress to assist her mobility. Still, as a result of Hutton's request being granted, the field has been opened up – until this year the only length permitted at the Met Ball was long. We can't wait to see how everyone looks on the night. The Oscars can already eat their heart out...
- Melanie Rickey