As New York invitations go, the Met Gala is the one to get – but good luck with that. The closest most of us will get is Andrew Rossi’s doc The First Monday In May, which kicked off the 15th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday night. A behind-the-scenes look in the creation of a particularly memorable gala, the film chronicles the glitzy brouhaha that attracts stars, money and fashion to one of the world’s most venerable palaces of fine arts.
The gala featured was the 2015 event, a party that shattered already-high expectations and launched the Costume Institute exhibition “China: Through The Looking Glass,” which attracted massive crowds to the Metropolitan last year.
The exhibit, said director Rossi, got to the heart of fashion as art by examining “a fairly controversial field in which Chinese culture is filtered through Western film of the the ‘30s and ‘40s.” The film follows the exhibit’s creation by curator Andrew Bolton along with Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, and highlights the show’s delicate political overtones and memorable faux pas.
“There are really some fantastic creative minds in this movie, with people like Wong Kar-wai, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier,” said Rossi (the film is beginning its theatrical run this weekend). “For a documentary filmmaker, having big characters is in some ways a gift, but I’m also drawn to ideas. We see all these personalities but also how these disparate individuals [focus] on a common mission to elevate fashion and take care in the creative process.”