By Kristen Tauer and Leigh Norsdstrom
Shortly after 11 p.m. on May 2, 13th street between Washington Street and 10th Avenue was a veritable parking lot. The street in the Meatpacking district was occupied by a fleet of loitering black SUVs, their drivers taking naps in the front seats. It was going to be hours before their passengers were to descend from the Boom Boom Room following the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.
The Met Gala after-party scene is enough to drive up an Uber surge charge — couple that with a shower, and you’re really in business. Just as the Boom Boom Room was primed for peak attendance, the rain that had threatened to deter Met Gala attendees from showing up to the official after-party being thrown by Apple, arrived. Curiously, the tech company decided not to invite press to the bash and, of course, that meant the hotel’s periphery was mobbed.
It was a steady stream of Hollywood A-listers hopping out of their town cars outside the side entrance of the Standard, much to the joy of the bystanders, who had set up camp behind the metal partition on the sidewalk. TMZ-syle paparazzi cameramen were stationed alongside them as the particularly marquee names — Taylor Swift, Nick Jonas — streamed in.
Early arrivals included Anna Wintour (naturally), Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng, Kate Mara and Jared Leto, who popped out of his car with Alessandro Michele hot at his heels. Leto, scepter in hand, gamely gave a thumbs-up to the crowd. The designer crowd was next to arrive en masse: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, followed by Marc Jacobs and then Alexander Wang. After that was Donatella Versace in a sequin-tinged catsuit.
Just after midnight, a Mercedes limo pulled up, pop music blasting. Jeremy Scott emerged, his bestie Katy Perry in tow. Shortly after, Karlie Kloss, holding hands with boyfriend Joshua Kushner, showed up in modified outfit: designer Brandon Maxwell had taken scissors to the bottom of her Met dress (better for the dance-floor moves).
When the short-suit clad Sarah Jessica Parker finally emerged, fans descended upon her town car in an effort to get a selfie, an autograph, a whiff of her perfume, anything. One particularly optimistic man, polka-dot umbrella in hand, lingered by her car window after the mob had dispersed back to their sidewalk spots. “I love you, Sarah,” he told her through the car window. Sometimes, persistence pays off: He was rewarded with a photo.
Close to 1 a.m., a minidress-wearing Rita Ora popped out of her black car, breezily gracing fans with a “Hi, honey,” purr as she headed into the party. Before her, James Corden proceeded with less confidence, confusedly wandering around in the rain on his phone.
At 1:20 a.m., much of the hobbyist crowd had thinned out, but the party was just getting started. Wiz Khalifa popped out of a limo SUV, puffing on the joint in his hand.
“Excuse me,” a befuddled neighborhood resident walking his beagle said to reporters. “Is there some sort of party going on here?”