Victor Glemaud is no stranger to the Met Gala. As a designer with his own, ever-expanding range of playful knitwear and considered basics, a former KCD publicist, and a current Met Gala consultant for H&M, he’s seen every side of the red carpet. However, while he usually escorts celebrities to the Gala’s cocktail portion and then dashes, this year marked Glemaud’s first Gala as a bona fide, seated guest at H&M’s table. That means that, in addition to working with stars like Luka Sabbat, Alek Wek, Lili Reinhart, and Jasmine Sanders on their H&M looks, he had a hand in his own ensemble, one that fit perfectly with the many lavish pieces on loan from the Vatican for this year’s exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Ahead of the big event, we caught up with the designer during a fitting for his custom, show-stopping, gilded H&M suit to talk Met Gala etiquette, fashion and religion, and that time he and Jennifer Hudson shocked Tom Ford.
Katharine K. Zarrella: How did this gold H&M suit come about?
Victor Glemaud: I was a last minute addition to the H&M table, which is an honor. It is my first time sitting at the Met. And luckily, I’d seen all the sketches before. I knew what they’d designed and what was available. So when it became a possibility, I was like, “The gold one.”
KKZ: And why the gold one?
VG: Why not? It’s the Met, it’s me, it’s H&M. It’s gold. It’s a no-brainer.
KKZ: Do you remember your first Met Gala?
VG: Oh my god. It was when I was working at KCD and we went to the after party. This was probably 2000 or 2001, when it was smaller and more industry focused and more New York focused. We’d have fun in the Temple of Dendur.
KKZ: So, for any first-time attendees, what would be your tips for playing it cool on the red carpet and being greeted by Anna Wintour?
VG: Well, that part is actually nerve wracking, seeing Anna and the hosts and all of that, because they are who they are. I’m looking forward to seeing Donatella [Versace].
KKZ: It’s a big year for Donatella.
VG: It’s always a big year for Donatella. But where tips are concerned, I assume if you’re invited to the Met, you know how to work a red carpet. So the fact that [celebrities] are nervous says a lot about what this event means. But, you know what? Go for it. That’s why I’m wearing a gold suit. It’s fashion. Have fun. Push yourself if you want to. If you like the look then you’ll feel good about it. And I love my look, so I’m like, Great. I can do this. I’m gonna work the carpet. And once I’m inside, then it’s really fun. Once you’re at cocktails, you have a good time, and you see the exhibition, which I can only imagine is going to be spectacular.