Katherine BernardFeatures Associate at Vogue
"I’m channeling Marie Antionette. It’s such an antiquated thing to match your shoe fabric to your gown."
“There’s intrinsic verve between Vogue, fashion history, and The Costume Institute at the Met. Vogue chronicles contemporary fashion, and then these exhibitions allow us to think about where it comes from, and how it fits into fashion history. I especially love the concept of this year’s exhibit: an imagined conversation between two seminal designers, Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli. I’m definitely going to use that one—look in the mirror every morning like, ‘What would Miuccia say? And you, Schiap, what do you think of this blazer?’
This is my third Met Ball, but it’s still exciting for a million reasons. The opportunity to wear pre-fall Prabal Gurung has plenty to do with my buzz. I wore Prabal last year, as well. I like the idea of forging a personal, sartorial tradition at the gala. My shoes are Miu Miu mules and they match my dress. I’m channeling Marie Antionette, it’s such an antiquated thing to match your shoe fabric to your gown. I was drawn to the silk’s creamy, pink hue, which I learned through Wikipedia is called 'pink lace.'
Tonight we’re honoring Schiaparelli by wearing variations of her signature color, ‘Shocking Pink.’ Every year the junior Voguettes have a theme; it unites us as we stand inside during the hundreds of grand entrances, but also encourages individuality—each woman definitely makes the motif work for her. One friend of mine is wearing Calvin Klein, another Christopher Kane—those are not going to be the same interpretations of pink! The Met is particularly special as a staff member because I get to work with my peers whom I admire, and experience surreal moments. It’s not every day that I get to tell Jay-Z that dinner is straight ahead. It’s also a remarkable exercise to execute poise while, internally, you’re watching something unfold that is blowing your mind.
Seeing the fashion statements at the Met definitely inspires me—I remember I was so impressed when I saw Tina Fey wearing a jumpsuit in 2010, and last year my favorite was Ashley Olsen in those major Dior Couture sleeves. It’s cool to see something unexpected that really works. Before I cut my hair off, which was a week ago, I especially liked to channel Céline and The Row; clean labels that broadcast a sense of empowerment. But then thrifting this past weekend, I found myself looking for pieces that invoked Valentino lace and were very pretty, very 1970s. I guess I was having some imagined convos with Mia Farrow. It’s cool to me to wear something that recalls a different era but then to be Instagram-ing it, so immediately its nostalgia is ripped out and re-appropriated. That’s what’s really fun about dressing now.” -- Katherine Bernard to Shop Ghost
Katherine Bernard photographed at the Met Ball in New York by Stevie Dance.