Go inside the fashion world's biggest night with Ivanka Trump

By Alex Apatoff
May 08, 2014 01:00 PM

While the annual Met Gala is technically about art, for attendees (and onlookers, too!) it’s really all about the gowns. Ivanka Trump, 32, is well-acquainted with the world of N.Y.C. society and haute couture, and even she gets excited for fashion’s biggest night. Below, Trump shares an inside look at her getting ready process, walking the red carpet and hob-nobbing with Hollywood’s elite inside this luxurious affair.

Courtesy Ivanka Trump

The designer and real estate mogul ran straight from work to prep at home with her glam squad. Trump jokes that husband Jared Kushner (looking on behind her) “got ready in the amount of time it took to color my lips red. Must be nice!” (Jokes aside, she did call her “handsome husband … the unsung fashion hero of the evening.”)

Courtesy Ivanka Trump

For an event that is about the best in designer fashion, Trump chose a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta ball gown, saying it embodied the designer’s motto, “Elegance is a way of life.” Trump adored the embroidered chartreuse number, saying, “From every angle of this dress, the attention to detail is stunning.” Daughter Arabella (who will soon turn three) couldn’t have agreed more. “She said I looked like a princess, specifically a cross between Rapunzel and Elsa,” Trump tells PEOPLE.

The mother-daughter beauty moment was especially poignant to Trump, who distinctly remembers watching her own glamorous mother, Ivana, get ready for big events. “I hope these memories will be just as special to her one day,” she says of her daughter.

Courtesy Ivanka Trump

Trump attended the event with quite the power team, including husband Jared (the publisher of the New York Observer), his brother Josh, Kevin Systrom (creator of Instagram), and Wendi Murdoch. She navigated the “dauntingly long and intimidating” red carpet with ease, striking a pose for paparazzi alongside celebrities including Margot Robbie and Lupita Nyong’o (at left).

As she entered the grand ballroom, Trump noted there was “no shortage of amazing gowns.” Some of her favorites? Marchesa-clad Karolina Kurkova, who “really embraced the shape and sentiment of what makes Charles James an icon.” Trump also cast a vote for team Oscar de la Renta, saying Taylor Swift looked “flawless” in her pale pink dress, calling the pop star, “fresh, elegant and beautiful.” Another winner in her book: Blake Lively, wearing Gucci on the arm of husband Ryan Reynolds. “She always is the perfect combination of stylish and sexy,” she says.

Courtesy Ivanka Trump

Inside the event, Trump checked out the Charles James exhibit while greeting celebrities like Taylor Swift and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, whom she proclaims “Two of the most beautiful, intelligent and charming women!” She was also excited to meet Lena Dunham for the first time and even took a moment to chat with fellow new mom Kim Kardashian (above, with fiancé Kanye West). But her most important interaction of the evening was with Idina Menzel, of course, because, “Arabella was thrilled when I told her I met Queen Elsa from Frozen.”

Courtesy Ivanka Trump

Alas, even after a big night out, there’s no sleeping in for this mommy — the following morning was all about “snuggling early with Arabella,” who was dressed to the nines in her princess costume. The twosome chatted about the evening and the beautiful dresses, while mom assured her, “your turn will come soon enough!”

For more insider photos, check out Trump’s Tumblr, and tell us, how gorgeous is her dress? And how cute are the photos of her and her family?

–Becky Randel