The Glam Teams Behind Celebrity Met Gala Moments Have Their Own Party to Attend

Having perfected their celebrity clients for the Met Gala red carpet, around 100 makeup artists and hair stylists flocked to Mr. Chow for the annual Met Gala Artist Dinner Monday, where they caught up over lychee martinis and Champagne before sitting down for dinner.

What began a decade ago with 10 makeup artists and hair stylists meeting for a post-Met Gala bowl of pasta and a much-needed glass of wine at New York Italian restaurant Via Carota has now become an iconic event in its own right.

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“It started as an idea for me to host a dinner for our makeup artist friends who were in from L.A. because as a makeup artist, we really didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play together unless we saw one another at a press junket,” said makeup artist Troy Surratt, who confounded the event with hair stylist Nathaniel Hawkins. “When we got together and we got to talk beauty and talk shop, it was a really fun time. It really is the only time in New York City when all of hair and makeup are in one place. Every year thereafter, it just sort of exponentially grew.”

That growth is in part due to partnerships with Violet Grey and Instagram. Sarah Brown, chief brand officer at Violet Grey and Kristie Dash, head of beauty partnerships at Instagram, were cohosting the event alongside Surratt and Hawkins. Other cohosts included makeup artist Harold James, and hair stylists Nai’vasha Grace and Jacob Rozenberg.

Violet Grey is in its third year of sponsorship.

“As Troy was telling me about it, I said ‘Oh my god, that sounds like the Violet Grey committee brought to life’,” Brown said. “What if we could make it bigger and do this thing where we really celebrate the talent behind the talent because that really is what Violet Grey is about. So we blew it up and it was awesome. You see people meet their heroes, the biggest stars of today meeting maybe the biggest stars of yesteryear.”

Kristie Dash said partnering with Surratt and Hawkins was a “no-brainer.” “Here is almost this multigenerational reunion and meeting of people who have followed each other on Instagram through their career. Bringing that friendship from Instagram to real life is really cool.”

The guest list included Cassandra Grey, Dick Page, Romy Soleimani, Sandy Linter, Daniel Martin, Orlando Pita, Sir John, Jessica Smalls, Sam Visser, Pati Dubroff and more.

The man of the hour, however, was hair stylist Garren, who was honored for his life’s work and received a standing ovation from the audience.

“Honoring Garren this year is so fabulous because there are few people in the industry who have contributed more. Think about just the fashion and beauty history he’s contributed to with the styles that he’s pioneered, the moments he’s been part of in terms of the epic fashion photography,” said Brown. “I was the beauty director of Vogue for many years, and Garren was who we called when we needed to transform somebody, when we needed a major editorial picture and we needed to give a model or a celebrity a radical new haircut. It was Garren every time.”

Garren, who hails from Buffalo, N.Y., moved to New York City to become the go-to stylist for Farrah Fawcett, Madonna and Victoria Beckham.

“There’s so many talented people,” he said. “I just had my dreams, movies and actresses. Farrah was my American dream and Madonna was my Marilyn Monroe. I had Victoria Beckham cut her hair all off so she could become a businesswoman and that she is. But there’s just so many more — Linda, Naomi, Kate, Amber. They let me play with their hair and it was because of one photographer, Steven Meisel.”

Launch Gallery: Inside the Met Gala Artist Dinner

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