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It was all about backs, back-to-back backs, bare backs, backs dipping all the way down to bottoms, and no backs at all. It certainly wasn’t the evening for busts. Busts bit the dust. For some reason, bosoms in all shapes and sizes, which have been in everyone’s face lately, were tucked away for the night. And necks, you never saw so many long necks. Diana Vreeland, who thought the world of beauty revolved around a neck and a nose, would have been in Vreeland heaven.
"Goddess" was the name of the museum’s exhibit, and while goddesses did not exactly abound among the paying customers, there were certainly enough to go around. If ever there is to be a master class in stardom, call in Nicole Kidman to show them how. From the Oscars to the Metropolitan Museum Monday night, Nicole exemplified the word "star" and "goddess" in a way we haven’t seen since, oh, Rita Hayworth. She knows how to make an entrance and she wears clothes like, well, a goddess. She arrived at the Museum of Arts Costume Institute Gala on the arm of Adrien Brody in a giant black SUV, which is a heck of a lot easier to get out of when you stand so tall. And that’s another thing, Nicole is impossibly tall, impossibly svelte, impossibly soignée and impossibly gracious.
Everyone who reads should know by now that she wore a shimmering, white, one-shouldered Gucci gown, covered in more crystals than there are in Salzburg. It clinged, clanged, clung in the front and dipped, scooped, swooped in the back. Her blonde hair was pulled back in a free-falling ponytail and she wore diamond earrings to her shoulders that gave new meaning to the word waterfall. Her complexion is translucent and so was the glowing skin on her backless dress. She is every inch the star, that woman.
When she arrived at exactly 7:45 p.m., more than 200 screaming photographers and TV crews lined both sides of the museum’s staircase. She worked them endlessly, ignoring the minders who tried to hurry her along. It took her 16 minutes to climb the steps and satisfy the howling throngs. Adrien stood still for what seemed like a hundred pictures with her and then climbed the stairs leaving her to bask alone in thousands of flash bulbs. Waiting for his date at the top of the steps, Adrien said in a rather resigned way, "So this is what happens when you go out with a goddess." Did you forget that he won an Oscar this year, too?