Nylon Nights

A Minute-by-Minute, Post-Met Gala Report From The Mark Hotel Lobby

Where returning celebrities cause as much of a scene as the main event itself.

by Tim Latterner

Between the Met Gala red carpet and the after-parties, one thing must happen: The guests have to get changed... somewhere.

That’s why, while other reporters were trying to chase down Mercedes sprinter vans for a glimpse of some actor or singer, I was staked out at the Mark Hotel on May 6. The Mark functions as a home base where many out-of-towners and locals alike end up getting a room — either to stay the night or to use as a small holding area before the big show. (You can’t exactly fit your dress into an Uber when it’s the size of a carousel.)

Just after 9 p.m., I made my way past the security barricades with a little white card with the hotel’s logo on it and picked a spot near the doorway to see people return in fancy suits and dresses, many of whom were now second-guessing their elaborate costumes as they fumbled back through the hotel lobby. Here’s what happened.

9 p.m.

I approach the barricades on the corner of 77th and Madison, and am told to call the publicist to get a small card to pass here. There is no check-in desk.

9:07 p.m.

After texting the rep for the hotel, I’m given a card and wait around outside the front of the hotel where the “red carpet” for the returns is. There’s a photographer standing next to me clearly waiting for celebrity photographs. I ask him what outlet he’s working for. “I’m here for everyone,” he tells me. “They all want this stuff.”

9:38 p.m.

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1 / 2

I’m brought into the lobby interior, where a cart by Jean-Georges Vongerichten is passing out hot dogs and fries to anyone who wants them.

9:42 p.m.

There aren’t many people in the lobby. It’s mostly me, publicists, hotel staff, security guards, and what appears to be a group of two moms and three tween girls who have abandoned their dinner reservation to stake out the scene.

10:03 p.m.

A couple passes in a suit and a beautiful gown, but not a Met Gala-attendee-level suit and gown. Surely they weren’t at The Big Event. Nonetheless, they stop and pose for the photographers outside.

10:10 p.m.

Alexandra Daddario enters the lobby as the first to return (by my watch). The lace Dior dress is still intact, and she’s still wearing the snake headpiece.

10:21 p.m.

I start to wonder what it’s like to be the first celebrity to pull the trigger to leave. If you leave a party like the Met Gala first, how long do you stay for actually boring things like a nephew’s christening or something?

10:32 p.m.

Erykah BaduCobrasnake
Erykah BaduCobrasnake
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Erykah Badu makes her re-entrance, entering with a team of people helping her navigate the lobby in a gorgeous (but cumbersome) Commes des Garçons dress. She glides past everyone and gets into an elevator.

10:41 p.m.

Are there celebrity babysitters all over the city right now who are waiting for these people to come back in ornate, massive dresses and give them like $80?

10:47 p.m.

The next man through the big lobby entrance is dressed in a suit holding a stack of four pizzas. He’s clearly a celebrity’s staffer. Whatever was on the menu inside the gala tonight, someone still felt a little peckish.

10:51 p.m.

Ivy Getty & Connor IvesCobrasnake

Ivy Getty makes her way back into the lobby, wearing a dress by Connor Ives.

10:53 p.m.


Camera shutters start to whir, flashes go off, and from the street, I can hear the screams of normal people who can’t contain themselves at what they’ve seen.

10:54 p.m.

Kylie JennerCobrasnake

Kylie Jenner and Rosalía skip past the crowd holding hands and make way for the elevators.

10:58 p.m.

Lily Gladsone enters with a handler helping her with the long, black train of her Gabriela Hearst dress.

11:04 p.m.

I wonder to myself what leaving a party like this entails. Maybe it’s like all other parties, where you say you’ll leave at 10 p.m. but then inevitably have to go around to everyone and tell them you’re leaving, which then turns into a new mini conversation. And before you know it, another hour has passed.

11:05 p.m.

Cardi BCobrasnake
Cardi BCobrasnake
Cardi BCobrasnake
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Cardi B enters to a chorus of cheers from fans calling her name outside.

11:07 p.m.

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Tyla returns. There’s no hourglass prop to be seen. Instead, she’s using her hands to hold her dress up while she passes through the lobby with a security team.

11:08 p.m.

Wisdom Kaye enters, not not looking like Carmen Sandiego.

11:09 p.m.

Colman Domingo comes in with a perfect post-gala look: jacket open, carrying a bouquet of flowers, feeling good going into the after-parties.

11:12 p.m.

Rachel Sennott & Emily RatajkowskiCobrasnake
Rachel SennottCobrasnake
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I make awkward eye contact with Rachel Sennott, whom I went to college with a long time ago. It’s unclear if she recognizes me, but for a moment I do regret not pursuing stand-up more after college.

11:22 p.m.

Gayle King starts to enter, but pulls to the side of the entrance to un-snag a part of her dress. I’m honestly shocked this is the first time this has happened to a celebrity tonight. Leave it to Gayle King for a relatable, human moment.