For Sigourney Weaver, the Gilded Age describes a period of glittering, stifling excess. “Rich Americans threw their untaxed money around and millions of wild birds were slaughtered to be put on women’s hats,” she says. “Dressing for women was a labor-intensive ritual. Encased in corsets and bustles, women had no freedom of movement.” So when she notes that she can run through Central Park in the glimmering Michael Kors Collection gown she’s wearing for the Met Gala, the styling choice becomes immediately clear.
To complement the effortless glamour of the dress, makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen relied on a palette of warm, timeless hues. “I kept the eyes defined but not too dark, and contrasted the dark color of the dress with two shades of lipstick that I layered: First a rusty shade of red, 118 L’Absolu Rouge Ruby, followed by a pop of candy red Color Design Lipstick in Retro Rouge, both by Lancôme,” she says. A deep side part and soft, irregular waves courtesy of Peter Gray lent to the overarching theme. “Sigourney oozes a quintessential ease and elegance that is a classic American style,” he says. Gilded earrings and a coat of Hypnôse Drama Instant Volumizing Mascara finished the moment. To Weaver, tonight’s festivities doubled as a celebration of the attention to detail and design that defined the Gilded Age. “The craftsmanship in these gowns is dazzling,” she says of the era. “I’m happy we still get to see this kind of workmanship, at least at the Met Ball.”