Paolo Sebastian is 1 of only 5 Aussie designers to make a Met Gala dress. Here's what happens behind the scenes.

For those who keep up with fashion, the Met Gala is the biggest night of the year, not just for enthusiasts, but for designers too

For them, showcasing their creation on the steps of the Met is a career highlight, a pinnacle of success.

Watch: The Wildest Met Gala Looks of All Time. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

In case you don't know, each year the Met Gala gives attendees a theme to follow, and this year, it's 'The Garden of Time' inspired by J.G. Ballard's short story of the same title.

Designers set the lofty goal of creating a gown or a suit that fits the dress code, the celebrity and the gravitas of the evening. Of our homegrown talent, only five Australian designers have had their work worn at the Met Gala, one of them being Paul Vasileff, founder and designer at Paolo Sebastian.

His stunning gown was worn by Canadian television presenter, Keltie Knight. The ethereal dress featured a sheer cape, cascading down to the floor, along with embellished details all throughout. 

Keltie Knight wore Paolo Sebastian at the 2018 Met Gala. Image: Getty.


"The Met is the only red carpet that is so fashion-focused," Paul told The Quicky. "It is such a huge deal, particularly for an Australian brand to get a placement. It's really the only red carpet where you're focusing solely on clothing, and you've got the room to play, experiment and think outside the box, so it's a huge honour."

Because of the secrecy surrounding the Met Gala, we mere mortals welcome any sort of insight into what really goes on in the lead-up to the major event. So, when Paul himself sat down on The Quicky to share some behind-the-scenes goss, we were all ears.

Listen: Paolo Sebastian Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of The Met Gala. Post continues below.


Here's what we learnt.

Fittings aren't always a smooth process. 

Because Paolo Sebastian is an Australian label, creating a dress for a Canadian attendee wasn't exactly straightforward. 

"We worked with Keltie for a number of years now, so we have quite a good relationship with her. Because the majority of our clientele is overseas, we've got quite a process in place when it comes to fittings," said Paul.

"Once we have the measurements, we make a mannequin to that client's proportions in-house so we have something to fit to.

"When they approached us about making the gown, which is actually from our Disney collection, 'Once Upon A Dream', we took the dress, made the alterations and made sure it was fitted to her proportions. Then we sent it over and thankfully it fit her perfectly."

The deadlines are extremely short.

Just last week, Zendaya's stylist Law Roach caused quite the stir when he revealed that the actress' dress isn't ready yet, despite the Met Gala being... in 24 hours.

"They won't fit till Saturday," he told the New York Times last Thursday. 

While some questioned how honest he was being, it's not entirely unusual for a dress to be finalised at the eleventh hour.

"[The celebrities try on the dress] two to three months beforehand, and that's quite a short lead time when we're talking about a couture dress," said Paul.

"These pieces are handmade, hand-embroidered, and a lot of people going to the Met don't find out till the very last minute. And that's the deal with a lot of red carpets.


"So, it is working to quite tight deadlines."

Creating a dress worthy of the Met Gala is hard work.

The Met Gala stands out as one of the few red carpet events solely dedicated to fashion, making nailing the look even more important.

For certain designers, this represents their sole opportunity to showcase their creations, making every detail crucial.

When Paul received the call from Keltie's team, it was all hands on deck. Each member of his team contributed to perfecting this single dress, ensuring it met the highest standards.


"These gowns are worked on by our whole team, not just designing but cutting, pattern-making, fitting even before the dress is made in the actual fabric," he said.

"We actually make a prototype beforehand of the design, where we work out the design-line, the fit, the thread colours and all of that. It's months and months of work."

Designers are on the edge of their seats before the gala.

After months of meticulous work, numerous fittings, and countless hours spent beading, sewing, and cutting, the day arrives for the dress to grace the Met Gala carpet.

While we all admire the dresses from a distance, designers anxiously hold their breath, hoping their gown catches attention and that their tireless efforts prove worthwhile.

"My team and I — particularly the girls that worked on it — have a really strong personal attachment to the piece, so when you see something go out there you're immensely proud," Paul admitted.

"You hope it gets photographed the right way and that someone lays the train out correctly. In this case, if you look at any of the photos of Keltie, she looks incredible. 

"But you hold your breath as you see your dress go down the red carpet."

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Feature Image: Getty.

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