Rachel Brosnahan's Shiny Gold Met Gala Dress Weighed 70 Pounds
Many celebrities would agree: compared to competitive award shows, the Met Gala tends to be less stressful. After all, it's essentially one big party, with guests arriving in full glam ready for a night of fun. Designers, on the other hand, have a slightly different experience. All eyes are on the looks they've worked hard to create, scrutinizing every detail. Even the super-talented Joseph Altuzarra was feeling the pressure before 2022's big event.
"It is by far the most high-pressure event that I've attended and designed for," he told InStyle via email. "Fashion is so central to the event that there is really no margin for error, and you also want to make a statement while also making whoever you are going with feel beautiful. There is a lot to take into consideration when working on it!"
Still, that doesn't mean he wasn't excited for the 2022 Met Gala. On the contrary, Altuzarra was thrilled to be back in the swing of things when it came to fashion's big night, dressing Hillary Clinton and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan for the event.
"I missed it so much," he said. "Being able to celebrate moments like this in person is so important and so inspiring."
Brosnahan was excited to work with the designer, too.
"The first piece of designer clothing I ever saved up and bought for myself was an Altuzarra suit, so this was a full circle moment for me," she told InStyle. "I've been a fan from afar for a long time and getting to know and collaborate with Joseph through this experience was the cherry on the sundae."
Altuzarra said the two worked together on the elaborate golden look from the very beginning, and that it required two months to create.
"Rachel and I met and talked through some of the ideas we had, the theme, and landed fairly quickly on this particular design. From there, we started on a toile, which we fit twice on Rachel, and then began the process of embroidery, which took about three weeks."
The end result was "a dress is made with 25,000 gold metal paillettes, all sewn by hand," which — wait for it — weighed an impressive 70 pounds.
"For Rachel, I wanted to create something that spoke to the 'gilded' theme, and decided to use these incredible gold hand-cut metal sequins, which are each brushed by hand to create an irregular pattern of shine," Altuzarra said. "We looked at a lot of gold paillette elements and colors, but this particular gold is hand-brushed to create a sort of patina on the sequin that mimics an aged brass. I loved the idea that Rachel almost would look like she had been dipped in gold metal."
Of course, the gown was just what Brosnahan wanted.
"I love that the Met is an opportunity to take risks with fashion, and we were both excited to discover opportunities where we could push some boundaries while still creating something beautiful," she said, adding that she was happy to have a reason to dress up. "I love a good pair of sweats and a night in the couch, but it feels so nice to have an excuse to put on beautiful clothes again. I'm continuously grateful to all the folks who are helping us safely navigate this new chapter of the pandemic and make something like the Met Gala possible again!"
Still, despite all of Altuzarra's hard work leading up to May 2, the designer wasn't quite done with Brosnahan's dress. Moments before the piece made its debut on those iconic steps, he was still adding final touches.
"Even though I call it a dress, the look is actually a top and skirt, which was sewn together right before she left the hotel!"