Tea was spilled, darlings, as a Greensburg audience heard behind-the-scenes tidbits about the planning of the Met Gala from Clyde Jones III, senior vice president for institutional advancement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Jones was the VIP guest at the black-tie Art as Fashion gala May 24 at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. He and his staff plan “fashion’s biggest night out,” under the watchful eye of chairwoman and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who personally approves every person on the guest list.
He mentioned Wintour’s awe-inspiring attention to detail and photographic memory for guests’ costumes, along with a couple of anecdotes involving a peacock on the loose and a naked man delivered to the red carpet in a clear plastic, padlocked box. (No, it wasn’t Billy Porter.)
He also shared photos of the gala dinner, which is off-limits to the paparazzi.
Jones is former vice chancellor for health sciences development at the University of Pittsburgh, where he worked with former vice chancellor for institutional advancement Albert Novak, a board member at The Westmoreland, on a $2 billion capital campaign. They’ve remained close friends.
Novak gave credit to his wife, Sally Anne Novak (event co-chairwoman along with Jo Ellen Numerick), for enticing Jones to speak: “The closer was Sally Ann. Nobody says no to Sally Anne.”
Seton Hill University costume director Susan O’Neill attended with 14 students from her costume design and costume technology classes, who modeled creations inspired by works in the museum’s collection.
The evening ended with something Wintour never imagined for the Met Gala: the signature Western Pennsylvania cookie table.
Seen: Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO Anne Kraybill, Barry Numerick, Christopher Hahn, Joyce Candi Grove, Ellen Swank, Kathy Longacre, Sally Loughran, Linda Assard, Michael Philopena, Jill Briercheck, Mark and Kaaren Tintori, Mud and Phyllis Kluska, Anita Manoli, Pat Condo and Jan Taylor-Condo, Kary Milan, Tina Booth, Keith Schaefer, Gerald and Teri Bowes, Matt Cerimele and Tiffany Taylor, Steve and Candy Squires and fashion blogger Samantha Barna in a vintage Rizkallah for Malcolm Starr brocade gown.