So this year's gala at New York's Costume Institute poses an interesting question: when your host is Gap's Executive Vice President of Global Design, (that's the Patrick Robinson, to us) - what will the celebs wear on the red carpet ? Gap is sponsoring the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity exhibition at the Institute, and the benefit gala on Monday night is hosted by Robinson, alongside Oprah and, of course, Anna Wintour.
So we were wondering: what could Oprah and Anna wear without offending their co-host? Might it all go a bit Sharon Stone at the Oscars? On two separate occasions in the Nineties (BS - Before Stylists), Ms Stone combined Gap basics with her eveningwear on the Academy Awards red carpet - in 1998 pairing a white cotton Gap shirt with a lilac silk Vera Wang skirt, and again in 1996 wearing a short sleeved charcoal ribbed Gap knit under a long black velvet button through Armani dress. So this was our only reference point for Gap + red carpet as we pondered the options for celebrities attending the glittering event.
But of course we forgot; Gap have a history of collaborating with great designers - Pierre Hardy's shoes for the brand continue to be a smash hit, and 'The September Issue' fans will remember Thakoon's capsule shirt collection for the label a couple of years ago, alongside labels Rodarte and Doo.Ri (to say nothing of the various big name designers who have occasionally collaborated secretly behind the scenes at the US label * wink *).
So, as it turns out, a thrilling line-up of the ultimate contemporary fashion designers have agreed to collaborate with Robinson to create eight special one-off designs for celebrities to wear on the big night. Hands up who wants to see what eveningwear RODARTE do for Gap? Watch out the outfits on Kirsten Dunst and (Marc's fave model-of-the-moment) Ms Jamie Bochert then. Alexander Wang for Gap? Yes, please! But we've all been beaten to those clothes by M.I.A and Zoe Kravitz. Grrr. Meanwhile, Thakoon is back, creating Gap ensembles for model Riley Keogh and actress Kerry Washington, and also slated for a Gap collab is designer Sophie Theallet, who will be dressing Jessica Alba and Vera Farmiga.
Better still, after the party, Gap will offer the eight dresses for sale in a silent online auction, from May 4-31 with proceeds going to the Costume Institute.
Meanwhile, just call Michael Kors the modeliser - he's slated to bring half a dozen supermodels past and present to the event - from Brooke Shields and Diane Lane to Carolyn Murphy, Natasha Poly and Chanel Iman. Go, Michael!
Looks like it's going to be a superglamourous fun night - be sure to check back for our red carpet report on Tuesday morning!