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A punishingly precise party planner

Anna Wintour at the Met Gala on Monday. Noam Galai/GC Images/Getty

When Anna Wintour took over running the Met Gala in 1995, says Tate Delloye in MailOnline, it was a sleepy fundraising dinner at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anyone who could pony up $1,000 for a table could go. Now, “no money in the world could guarantee a ticket”. Paris Hilton, for example, has never been invited, and the Kardashians were blackballed until 2013. “You could have had a billion dollars, you were not going to get that ticket,” says former Met planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. “There had to be a reason for you to be in that room.” And for the past 30 years, the only reason good enough was that Wintour wanted you there.

The icy Vogue editor oversees every minute aspect of the party, from the seating plan, “which she has turned into an exact science”, to the “exorbitantly expensive decorations”, to the dinner menu – “no parsley, garlic, onions, chives or fish”. Guests wearing gowns that wouldn’t fit into an ordinary seat are given backless chairs, but even that doesn’t solve every wardrobe issue. When Kim Kardashian wore a skin-tight latex Thierry Mugler dress in 2019, Wintour kept asking assistants to make her sit down. They had to explain that “Kardashian physically couldn’t sit”.

🏛🤮 Wintour used to put on a raucous post-dinner disco in the museum’s ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur (built circa 15 BC), which was aimed at the young and cost only $150. It frequently ended in guests “smoking, drinking and puking” near the two-millennia-old monument. The dance party had to be axed after Met staff witnessed “debauched women peeing in the Great Hall”.