After the 2022 Met Gala, Cherie Balch of Shrimpton Couture, the woman behind Adut Akech’s Christian Lacroix dress, took to Instagram to tell her followers what a marathon was just one vintage dress on the red carpet. That, says the archival godmother, is the same for every Hollywood event. Celebrities can change their minds at first glance, which means that hours and hours of work on finding and restoring the look of the archive can be in vain.
“Whole days can be eaten by a stylist,” Balch explains. “It’s a bit of speculation and prayer, and if you make a mistake, nothing you send will fall on the carpet, so it’s intense.” An expert from Canada, whose Instagram account has become something like a podium for Cherie to talk about the internal functioning of the fashion industry, says that the process is “exhausting, exciting and insane, but it pays off when the dress falls off”.
Akech’s gorgeous green-and-blue Lacroix was one such dress. Request by Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson – who also had used Marie Laboucarié trackers and Tabitha Hodgson in search of the best options for a supermodel – a lively dress is an adaptation of the 2003 haute couture issue that used to be simpler and sexier for the client. Karefa-Johnson turned over the unique dress and buttoned up the sleeves to give a modern look, which Christian Lacroix himself approved.
But some fragile archival pieces – like the glittery dress Kim Kardashian borrowed from Marilyn Monroe’s wardrobe – can’t be changed. “The changes in the dress represent a balance between working perfectly for the woman who will wear it and respecting the design as it was conceived,” says Balch about prioritizing fashion history over celebrity recognition. “It was devastating [to say no]but it’s the right decision for the dress. “
Read more: Met Gala 2022 Red Carpet
Karefa-Johnson herself commented that it seemed impossible that Akech’s was the only Lacroix present on the night of the gilded glamor celebration, but countless factors could have barred others from wearing the killer archival look of the lavish French designer. Number one? Money. “People act like ambassadors of the label and are paid to wear that label,” Cherie said. Next: consumer thinking towards the news. “Fresh off the runway will always be tempting for some, and it’s fun to see things first interpreted,” Balch notes, adding that ego comes into play: “Sometimes current designers prefer their work to shine over the work of a previous designer. [at a house]. ” Then, you have a question about celebrity preferences.
“You can see it getting more and more intricate, and the opportunity for vintage is narrowing,” Balch continues. “And although there may seem to be an endless harvest, truly amazing pieces are special and rare. Finding countless haute couture dresses is not as easy as it seems. ”