This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Tuesday night, at the Met Gala, while Twitter retweeted the musicians and actors dressed like the pope, and everyone learned Elon Musk was dating Grimes and soon started incessantly writing about it, two VICE street photographers stood outside the red carpet. The theme this year was "heavenly bodies," but nothing was more heavenly, hand to God, than Julian Master and Chris Maggio, dressed in black jeans and tuxedo tops, snapping away at the completely obscured fashion on display. Is that Rihanna dressed like Pius XII? Can Katy Perry fly? Are people really watching this thing through binoculars? Who's to say...
For photos of celebs you can turn anywhere—there's lots of coverage from inside the museum's doors and the stars just outside. But seldom documented is the crowd that amasses outside to watch the pageantry. This is an equally important tradition—the closest New York City comes to the fervor outside the Oscars. On this night, a very public-facing institution becomes one of the most exclusive parties in the city. Appropriate, maybe, now that the Met itself has become a little more exclusive in its day-to-day operations, charging out-of-towners the newly mandatory admission fee.
Below Master and Maggio capture onlookers, paparazzi, protesters, and not much more.