If a fashion obsessive were to close their eyes and dream up a fantasy Met Gala experience, it would probably look a lot like Wendy Yu’s. The founder and CEO of Yu Holdings—a platformed designed to strengthen ties between China, where Yu is from, and the rest of the world through investments, technology, philanthropy, and the arts—Yu splits her time between Hong Kong, Shanghai, and London. Her interest in fashion led her to dedicate a sector of her business to the industry, aptly titled Yu Fashion, and her most recent power play was gifting The Metropolitan Museum of Art an endowment for the position of Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute; that role belongs to longtime Met curator Andrew Bolton.
When you wield this much influence, you don’t just walk into a boutique and buy your Met Gala dress off the rack. You don’t even dial a stylist who can get you one straight off the runway. Instead, you have a chat with Anna Wintour, decide that you *must* wear Oscar de la Renta, then watch Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim sketch you a gown that their team will spend weeks making by hand. Of course, you’ll need to document this, so you invite Coveteur to your fitting. (Great decision!)
Ahead, Yu walks us through the making of her custom Oscar de la Renta gown, and what goes through her head when she hits the red carpet.
“I had an initial meeting at the Vogue offices in New York in late March to discuss what I would wear. The Vogue team kindly pulled together an inspiration board for this year’s Met Gala theme, including looks from various different designers. I was particularly struck by some of Oscar de la Renta’s looks and have always loved the brand. Anna Wintour’s office then arranged for me to visit Fernando [Garcia] and Laura [Kim] that afternoon. We sat down together, and they sketched a few ideas and options, and it was decided very soon.”