Paulina Porizkova has opened up about the one and only time she attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit, saying she went home early after being told last minute that she and her husband Ric Ocasek would have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for their seats.
The supermodel took to Instagram on Tuesday, the day after the 2021 Met Gala, to share a photo of herself at the exclusive event in 2009 wearing a $300 Halston dress she bought herself because she couldn’t find a designer who was willing to dress her.
Porizkova, 56, explained in the caption the theme that year was ‘Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion,’ and one of her modeling photos was featured in the museum’s exhibition.
Keeping it real: Paulina Porizkova (pictured in July) has opened up about the one and only time she attended the Met Gala, saying it was ‘disappointment’
Looking back: The supermodel took to Instagram on Tuesday, the day after the 2021 Met Gala, to share a photo of herself modeling a $300 Halston gown at the event in 2009
‘I attended the Met ball only once. I was invited that year since the theme was “Muses.” At least that’s what I thought,’ she wrote.
‘One ticket at the gala costs an astonishing amount of money, often, a designer or company will buy a table and then invite whomever will best promote their brand.’
Tickets for this year’s Met Gala cost up to $35,000 each while a table sold for an estimated $275,000. Guests included Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Lil Nas X, Jennifer Lopez, Channing Tatum, and Rihanna.
‘At this point in my life, my career had very much taken a backseat to family life, so I wasn’t exactly a hot commodity,’ admitted Porizkova, who shares two sons and four stepsons with the late Ocasek.
‘As immediately apparent when I called designers to borrow gowns, and all of them didn’t even bother to respond, except one, who thanked me for my interest but had nothing for me. That was a cold glass of water — dumped on my head.’
The model said she decided she would just wear something ‘exceedingly simple’ and ‘be comfortable’ instead of donning a ‘noteworthy’ dress.
Too pricey: Porizkova said at the last minute she and her then-husband Ric Ocasek were told they would have to pay for their tickets at the benefit, which would cost tens of thousands
Honest: The model recalled walking the red carpet, seeing one photo of herself in the exhibition, and then going home early, saying: ‘I guess I wasn’t much of a muse’
Wise choice: Porizkova (pictured with her family in 2016) explained that she ‘declined’ because she wasn’t willing to pay the cost of ‘two years of college’ for one of their sons on the event
In the photo she shared, she is modeling a cantaloupe-orange chiffon gown paired with a beaded necklace and a gold clutch.
‘I got this dress from Halston, (it was maybe all of three hundred dollars). Did my own makeup and hair,’ she recalled. ‘And THEN I was told it would be appreciated if we bought our own seats at the tables. As in, you must buy your seat.
‘Between my husband and I, that would be two years of college for either one of our four sons that still needed it. And so I declined,’ she continued.
‘We got to walk up the stairs to the Met, had a few uninterested photographers snap a pic, stood in line with other celebrities, walked through the exhibition of “muses” where my modeling career had been reduced to one Sport Illustrated cover and went home. I guess I wasn’t much of a muse.’
While the night wasn’t what she had imagined, she revealed that it ended up changing her life for the better because it helped launch her writing career.
Meant to be: There was a happy ending for the model (pictured on set at a shoot in LA last month), whose said her essay about the event helped launch her writing career
Still a fan! Porizkova added that despite her negative experience, she still enjoys the Met Gala and watching people get dressed up for it
‘The disappointment of the night prompted me to write a silly little piece about it, published on Modelinia, and that was the turn of the faucet,’ she explained.
‘I became a blogger for Huffington Post, and got to finally inhabit myself as the writer that I prefer to be. Nothing like a little humiliation to push you out of your comfort zone. And now I’m grateful for it.’
Porizkova added that despite her negative experience, she still enjoys the Met Gala and watching people get dressed up for it.
‘BTW, I think the event is rather a wonderful spectacle; personally I love seeing all the creations that fashion can dream up, it’s an escape from the ordinary, AND it funds the Costume Institute, (which is self funded) so it’s not just a case of celebrity masturbation,’ she concluded.
In a matter of hours, Porizkova’s post received nearly 30,000 likes and over 2,000 comments, many of which praised her for being so candid.
‘So inspiring,’ Italian model Bianca Balti wrote. ‘Thank you I needed this today.’
‘Best met gala post today,’ added producer Sean Glass, while author Jen Pastiloff cheered her on, saying: ‘Yesss! My brilliant writer friend!!’
And fellow model Carla Bruni really got a kick out of it.
‘Hahahahaha I love this post dearest @paulinaporizkov,’ she commented. ‘I love your writing.’