I suspect Melissa was the envy of every single person there, many of whom were at the big ceremony and had another dress waiting for them afterwards. As usual, I have many questions, among them why one would change from one fussy outfit into ANOTHER one.

Bradley and Irina skipped, as did Emma Stone (supposedly she’s filming now) and Rachel Weisz, and Mahershala. I’m sure there were others, too. The New York Times had a whole article — one that got its reporter(s) disinvited from the event — about whether the Vanity Fair party is still relevant; it claims people are starting to wonder whether this is still a hot invitation, which is such a weird thing to me. On Oscar night, it’s basically this, Elton’s party — which is always lower-tier — and then whatever specialty gigs get sprinkled around and usually start later anyway. To me, this one still seems pretty iconic, but I gather people complain it’s too branded now (I mean… I feel you, but this is how the world has to go around right now, and celebrities — who wear free clothes and often have ad deals — complaining about branding is hilarious to me) and there’s an implication that the new editor, Radhika Jones, isn’t as much of an A-list glad-hander as Graydon Carter was. Also not a character flaw. Finally, someone said they could only speak on this anonymously because it might offend Anna Wintour, who technically has a position at Conde Nast that oversees Vanity Fair and also of course is the steward of the Met Gala (the idea being that maybe insulting one would lead to being frozen out of the other). That led to this weird quote:

“The Met Gala is basically the new Vanity Fair party,” the publicist said.

I… no. I mean, sure, maybe parties go through waves of being en vogue, but the above is a hilariously false comparison to me. They’re not even on the same coast, and they have nothing to do with one another except that sometimes the Met gets called the Fashion Oscars. Let’s not treat his like one is Harry Potter and one is Voldemort and neither can live while the other survives, because they’ve coexisted for years and are not in direct competition in any way.

In sum, it remains to be seen, but I think it’s going to take more than that to kill the Vanity Fair party. As well it should.

[Photos: WENN, Rex/Shutterstock]