Earlier today, we visited the Met Galas of yore, as well as the 2001 party. The 2000 event was canceled after a Karl Lagerfeld hissy, and the 2002 gala was cancelled in the wake of 9/11. (Obviously, that was in September 2001, but the Met Gala used to happen in April, and I think that in September 2001, it felt unseemly to be planning a massive fashion exhibit/party for early spring.) But Vogue and the Met bounced back in 2003, for an event that also marked the first time the gala was held in its now traditional May position.

As ever, I highly recommend reading Robin Givhan’s contemporaneous review at the Washington Post. It is gloriously well-done:

The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue try hard to draw connections between the Odyssey and a series of Christian Dior gowns by Galliano. “Goddess” links a Dolce & Gabbana translucent white dress to the famous headless sculpture the Winged Victory of Samothrace. And although the connections undeniably are there — fashion has been dutiful in its reverence for the past and attentive in its historical borrowing — the razzmatazz of Hollywood’s glamour girls is so addictive that without it, there is a gnawing emptiness. Their power raises questions about the central theme of the exhibition. Is a goddess defined only by her beauty and charisma? Do her actions matter? Her fame? What is a modern goddess?

Givhan was three years away here from winning the Pulitzer, which she did in 2006, but every time I read her, I think about how much she deserves it.

On to the red carpet! Y’all,  folks showed up for this. I don’t know why so many more famous people came to this one than than in 2001 — I assume Anna Wintour wrung a lot of arms; there are a TON of models in attendance — but it feels like we’re finally creeping into Full-On Celebville for this party. And some of them surely look back on this evening with sartorial regret (and maybe some romantic wistfulness; we’re got a lot of couples in here). Let’s join them.

[Photos: Shutterstock]