With the 2019 Met Gala just days away, stylists and their celebrity clients are in the final stretch of prepping what is sure to be another night of unexpected and jaw-dropping fashion.
For stylist Micaela Erlanger, she’s working up until the last minute to get actress Lupita Nyong’o and Liza Koshy, who is hosting the red carpet for Vogue, ready for the big night.
Here, Erlanger dishes on everything from the design process and the night’s theme to the shoes the stars may be wearing on the Met Gala red carpet.
What was your reaction when you heard that the theme of the night was “Camp: Notes on Fashion”?
Micaela Erlanger: “I googled what ‘camp’ meant. Research is a huge part of my job. You need to educate yourself on the history of the theme and immerse yourself in the background. I did a lot of reading. And my takeaway and my interpretation was extravagance. Bold looks. Something that felt a little theatrical. Grandeur. Over the top. I thought we could have fun with this. It’s a bit wild and out of the box. It was also interesting to see how many designers incorporated this theme in their runway collections this season.”
Talk about the process. What went into creating Lupita Nyong’o’s look?
ME: “I’ve had months to work on this. It’s very collaborative. Lupita was invited by a designer to be dressed by them and sit at their respective table. Her look is being custom-made head to toe. We looked at somewhere between 10 and 20 sketches, and ultimately, we settled on one. Lupita is just so confident and comfortable on the red carpet. She embraces every opportunity to go for it and have fun. When we decided on this sketch, she was very involved. It’s definitely a departure from anything that we’ve done in the past. It’s going to be perfectly suited to her.”
And for Liza Koshy?
ME: “Liza is hosting the red carpet for Vogue, so it’s a different case. She is wearing a piece that exists that was a couture look from the runway. It still required a lot of planning because runway samples just don’t fit. We got really lucky, and this was nearly perfect. With her look, the accessories and the shoes and the jewelry are all the icing on the cake. Her dress is short. Her shoes are on display. She’s holding a microphone, so jewelry is really important. That’s something we took into consideration, and had to be artfully done.
What shoes can we expect to see on Liza?
ME: “Liza is incredibly petite. Finding the right shoes were a [challenge]. So I worked with a brand on custom-making a new style for her. I can’t disclose more than that, but I had fabric from the dress designer sent, and we recovered a shoe style. It’s a hybrid. I’m also having the exact same shoe style in a dyeable. They will be on full display, and it makes the look very special.”
Will Lupita’s shoes be visible?
ME: “You may be able to see the shoe at least from the back, which is equally as important to consider because she is walking up the stairs. The designer is making shoe options or I will use samples. What determines that is comfort. They are on their feet walking on marble floors all night in the museum. It’s a thoughtful consideration. I make my clients walk laps in the fitting room to make sure it’s comfortable.”
What happens on the day of the event?
ME: “It begins really early. I have a very militarylike approach to any sort of big red carpet. I’m generally at a hotel near the Met on hand. I’ve gone before, but it’s very rare that stylists are even allowed. And we work late. It’s not over when the client walks out the door. There’s also the second half of the evening, which is the after-parties. And then I’ll have celebratory drinks with my team.”
Lastly, do you feel any pressure?
ME: “There’s always pressure, but because there is no award on the line, that type of pressure isn’t there. This is more wanting everything to go off without a hitch and wanting your client to have an easy time walking up those treacherous stairs.”
Click through the gallery to see what the Met Gala looked like 10 years ago.
What Is Camp? The 2019 Met Gala Theme Explained in 10 Pop Culture Images