Everyone knows what it feels like not get an invitation slipped under your Trapper Keeper in English class to an amazing party. The curators of Brooklyn’s interactive pop-culture gallery THNK 1994 just lust after better parties — and stage their own when the invitation is lost in the mail.
Previous parties they haven’t been invited to but faithfully recreated include Nicole Richie’s 2007 Memorial Day BBQ, and now in anticipation of next month’s Met Gala there is Celebrities Smoking in the Bathroom at the Met Gala. The annual costume ball in honor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, partially curated by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, is of course strictly A-list, strictly black tie, and strictly proper. That is it was, until the Olsen twins came along.
It was 2005 when Amanda Peet went running through the Met’s marble halls after finding the Olsens lighting up cigarettes during the event. Of course they did it first. It wasn’t until the 2017 Gala that all the cool kids decided to take the party into the Met’s bathroom. Add a few ballgowns and lushe poses, and you’ve got the makings of an iconic moment: Rita Ora Snapchatted it; Dakota Johnson looked hotter than in any of the 50 Shades of Grey movies. Courtney Love, Paris Jackson, P. Diddy, Marc Jacobs, the list goes on and on. As no less an authority than Harper’s Bazaar put it, The Real Met Gala Party Was in the Bathroom.
“It’s such a random grouping of celebrities, and they’re all acting like teenagers,” says co-curator Matt Harkins. “It’s celebrities acting like how you imagine if you were a celebrity you would act.”
For Celebrities Smoking in the Bathroom at the Gala, they’ve decoupaged the entire gallery to create a replica of the famous facilities, plus lots of related artwork (all for sale). It all begins with an opening night bash on April 20 with drinks and candy cigarettes — Harkins and co-curator Viviana Olen are trying to quit smoking, plus, lighting up indoors remains illegal for normal people — included in your $15 ticket.
The exhibit is also accompanied by some on-theme events. Consider that runway models might fall as part of the show in Performance Art on the Runway (April 21) and now that E! is out of the red carpet criticism game, fill the void with A Definitive History of Met Gala Looks (April 28).
And before your parents come for us — yes, the one thing the scientific community can definitely agree is bad for us is smoking. Even vaping, which some people seem to think is okay to do on the subway, damages your health. So consume your cigarettes like gargantuan milkshakes: for photo ops in the Met bathroom, not as a way of life.
Celebrities Smoking in the Bathroom at the Met Gala runs through May 7. THNK 1994 is located at 1436 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, open Fri-Sun from 12-7 p.m., thnk1994.com.