There will be plenty of Karl Lagerfeld’s beverage of choice: Diet Coke.
Karl Lagerfeld loved throwing dinner parties. (“He’d take me to chaotically planned, totally glamorous dinners at his house, and those incredible nights often ended with dancing,” Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and global editorial director of Condé Nast recently told the New York Times.) So, when choosing a culinary concept for the 2023 Met Gala, the Vogue special events department and caterer Olivier Cheng took their cues from one of Lagerfeld’s most famous soirées: the wedding reception he hosted for Paloma Picasso.
In 1978, Lagerfeld threw a celebratory dinner for Picasso and Rafael Lopez-Sanchez at his 18th-century apartment in Paris after their civil ceremony. Guests including Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, and Anna Piaggi stayed celebrating until 8 a.m. “It was my house at its best,” the designer previously told WWD.
Just like that September evening, the tables at the Met Gala are adorned with French linen napkins, varnished hand-painted candelabras, and bouquets of pink blooms including Red Command and Coral Charm peonies. “The hope is that it will feel very much like a dinner at his home,” says Eaddy Kiernan, a contributing editor at Vogue closely involved in planning the annual event.
Attendees will also be surrounded by a set that is meant to evoke Lagerfeld’s home library. (The Chanel designer was a known bibliophile, and his apartments were always filled to the brim with a wide array of books: “I go to bookshops almost every day of the week,” he told Vogue in 1992.)
For dinner, guests will dine on chilled spring pea soup with baby vegetables, lemon crème fraîche, and truffle snow, followed by Ōra King salmon with vegetable nage, asparagus, pickled strawberries, and radish—all served on vintage china.
“This menu was designed to honor the late fashion icon and pay homage to his favorite foods and global palate,” Cheng tells Vogue. “These dishes were created to maintain seasonality while using some of his favorite ingredients, such as King salmon. There is a sophisticated elegance to these pairings, one we feel that he would have truly enjoyed.”
As for drinks, there will be plenty of wine and Diet Coke: The soft drink was a favorite of Lagerfeld’s, who often was said to drink up to 10 per day.
At the end of the night, waiters will serve various petit fours as actors, artists, singers, and politicians depart the gala for the various after-parties of the night—which, surely, is just as Lagerfeld would have wanted. As Wintour wrote in her April 2019 editor’s letter following Lagerfeld’s passing: “He loved parties and could be counted on to rise to any social occasion.”
This article was originally published on Vogue.