Instagram Was Banned At The Met Gala, And Nobody Cared
In the New York Times red carpet review of the Met Ball, Vanessa Friedman adeptly summarized last night’s most important dress situation: “Indeed, for a while, Ms. Kardashian seemed to be trumping everyone in the nearly-nude sweepstakes, including Jennifer Lopez in a sheer Atelier Versace design embellished with a dragon — the mythic creature carefully covering her mythic bits — until Beyoncé showed up in a custom-made Givenchy something. You couldn’t really call it a dress; it’s more like a piece of tulle with carefully placed floral posies. That wasn’t fashion; it was an Instagram moment.”
The celebrity attendees weren’t immune to rules that normal people have been experiencing at many events this year. Coachella banned selfie sticks for the festival; the Met Ball’s committee banned selfies and social media during the event. You wouldn’t have known it—Kim Kardashian, whose soon to release her book of selfies, titled Selfish, along with pretty much everybody else, still was able to get out the images they needed to. Beyonce’s Instagram seemed to be timed perfectly with her arrival. Lots of people, who know nothing about the Met Ball, or why it’s such a big deal, will only learn about it through who they follow on social media. As it turns out, the Met Ball is truly Anna Wintour’s show; since 1999, she’s singlehandedly transformed the event for the Costume Institute into one of the most successful fundraising events for any cultural institution, across the board. Additionally, last year’s Met Ball generated 25 million page views for Vogue’s website the following day. Celebrities in attendance have the opportunity to mingle with (and advertise themselves to) dozens of creative agencies, in the interest of establishing business relationships for lucrative beauty and commercial contracts.
Some obeyed the Costume Ball’s social media rules: Cara DeLevigne, not one to hold back on social media, surprisingly didn’t Instagram anything from last night.
It’s interesting to consider the way Instagram influences fashion choices, as well as how the success of an event is predicated upon the public reaction to social media coverage. Does Rihanna consider the possible meme-ification of her outfit before she gets dressed? Does Anna Wintour care about Instagram?