The Mark and The Met


It’s that time of year again! The first Monday of May is tomorrow, and that means the Met Gala is tomorrow night.

If you’ve not yet seen the documentary film The First Monday in May, I highly recommend it! (You can rent or buy it on Amazon Prime or AppleTV). The film follows the creation of the most attended fashion exhibition of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the 2015 Met Gala—with Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine and Met Gala chair, and Andrew Bolton, the curator. That year’s theme was China: Through the Looking Glass.

This year, The Costume Institute’s spring 2024 exhibition, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion, opens May 10th and runs through the summer until September 2nd. We have a very special opportunity to share with you from one of our favorite New York City hotels, The Mark.  

This summer, if you reserve a stay for three nights at The Mark, your third night is complimentary, which is available for stays between 27 June – 3 September. And we can arrange a unique tour of the Sleeping Beauties exhibit with your own personal guide.

Images provided by The Mark Hotel

I love The Mark. When my father had a stroke ten years ago, I would stay there when I traveled north to see him and spend time with him. They took very good care of me there. The service and personalized attention is unparalleled, as I can attest. I love this chic and comfortable hotel.

And the location could not be better, nestled within the venerable confines of a stately 1920s edifice gracing the intersection of 77th Street and Madison Avenue, right in the best blocks of the Upper East Side.

Combining classic opulence and cutting-edge design, The Mark epitomizes the pinnacle of five-star luxury, seamlessly blending timeless comfort with state-of-the-art amenities. The interiors, spearheaded by the esteemed designer Jacques Grange, embody a fusion of French elegance and American sophistication. Each room or suite within The Mark is furnished with sumptuous furnishings crafted from ebony, sycamore, and nickel, while the resplendent marble-clad bathrooms evoke the glamour of Art Deco. They embrace digital sophistication by integrating cutting-edge technology into every facet of their accommodations seamlessly and easily. Trust me, it’s easy.

The Mark’s comprehensive fitness center, available 24/7, beckons with top-tier equipment and bespoke training sessions with esteemed fitness guru Dan Flores. The illustrious Frédéric Fekkai presides over a sanctuary of beauty and wellness, offering guests an exclusive retreat tailored to their individual needs.

Images provided by The Mark Hotel

For dining on site, there’s The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges, which tantalizes with a repertoire of European delicacies. Caviar Kaspia, the storied Parisian institution, opened its first US location at The Mark. There, you can savor the finest caviars and gourmet accompaniments. I love Sant Ambroeus, which is right around the corner; the folks there took very good care of me, too, as I ate there nearly every day.  Finally, there’s the Mark Bar, where you can grab a cafe or freshly-pressed juice before you head out for your day.

Images provided by The Mark Hotel

I also love how The Mark adds a fun flare with neat drawings that evoke the famed New York Times illustrator Al Hirschfeld. (I loved finding all the Ninas)

About the Exhibit

The Costume Institute exhibit this year is very exciting and innovative. Around 250 pieces spanning four centuries will be selected from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection, including some seldom exhibited publicly. The gowns and garments to be featured have been selected because the designers took inspiration from nature.

And those designers range from Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Connor Ives to Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, and many other canonical fashion creators.

The curators’ goal is to reanimate these masterworks in the Museum’s collection through “first-hand research, conservation analysis, and diverse technologies—from cutting-edge tools, artificial intelligence, and computer-generated imagery to traditional formats of X-rays, video animation, light projection, and soundscapes.”

Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, said this exhibit will “invite us to experience the multisensory facets of a garment.”

The exhibit aims to highlight fashion’s fragility and ephemerality and spotlight how fashion is a vehicle to examine the cyclical themes of rebirth and renewal. It will breathe new life into the renowned objects, such as an Elizabethan bodice and a silk satin ballgown by Charles Worth. Through creative and immersive exhibit design, viewers will awaken to smells, sounds, textures, and motions of garments that can no longer directly interact with the body. The number of these significant and aesthetically beautiful pieces from the collection is said to be around fifteen.

These fifteen highlighted pieces inspired the title Sleeping Beauties. Hundreds of other beautiful, distinguished pieces of fashion will be displayed with them. 

I find this ironic given Kim Kardashian’s wearing and ruining of Marilyn Monroe’s fragile and ephemeral gown at the Met Gala in 2022. Fashion legend Bob Mackie created Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress in 1962, sixty years earlier.

The Possibilities

Your private tour of the Sleeping Beauties exhibit lasts 90 minutes and includes all the highlights. The guide has a minimum of 2 hours, so you can include other parts of the museum in your personalized tour if you would like. There’s so much to see at The Met!

While in Manhattan, you can sail through the New York Harbor on The Mark’s 70-foot sailboat, take The Mark Pedicab for a picnic in Central Park, or borrow one of their Mercedes-Benz e-bikes. Or relish one of the acclaimed very dirty martinis at Bemelmans Bar around the corner at the Rosewood’s Caryle. Browsing the books at the Assouline at the Mark shop right there is a favorite pastime of mine. Or you could take in a jazz show around the corner at the Cafe Carlyle, which embodies the golden age of New York cabaret. After a long day at the hospital, I somehow managed to talk my way in there to hear Alexa Ray Joel perform at a sold-out show.

Images provided by The Mark Hotel

Let’s head to New York City this summer and delight in the fun and wonder of Manhattan. In the meantime, enjoy the guests’ dresses and fashion as they arrive at the Met Gala on the first Monday in May. I will be keen to see. And many of the most famous attendees stay and emerge for the first time from The Mark!

All images in this post have been provided by The Mark Hotel and are used with permission. Thank you!


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