Inside Dan Levy’s Met Gala Fitting

“Do I smell like bacon?” Dan Levy asked, extending an arm for a sniff. This was in a fitting suite at the Carlyle hotel.

Outside, fans clustered in the rain for a sighting of one of the many celebrities billeted at the hotel for the Met Gala. Inside, the lobby and the elevators were jammed with boldface types like Jonathan Bailey, who, like Mr. Levy, is being outfitted for the big night by Loewe.

Mr. Levy, the actor-writer-director, had blown into the suite all smiles and spray-on sunshine. Yesterday he’d gotten his first ever fake tan for the event.

Did it bother him, he was asked, that bronzing chemicals sometimes leave one smelling like a Waffle House breakfast special? “That’s not such a bad thing in the right circumstances,” he said.

The outfit that the Loewe designer Jonathan Anderson had created for Mr. Levy hung by a vase of yellow tulips on a nearby rack. A deceptively simple pair of what appeared to be floral print trousers and a double-breasted black jacket with a matching pattern edging the hem and cuffs was in fact a trompe l’oeil feat of embroidered “caviar” beading adapted from a creation in Loewe’s fall women’s wear show.

Back in 2021, when Mr. Levy made his initial foray onto the Met’s red carpet, he also wore Loewe. It was one of those get-ups calculated to break the internet, which it did. That particular outfit, adapting two AIDS-political works by the artist David Wojnarowicz, evoked a “gay superhero” clad in a maximalist tumult of hand-beading, world-map colors, parachute sleeves and a quilted image across the chest of two men kissing.

“We went big last time,” Mr. Levy said. “This time we wanted a swerve to simple.”

Anyone familiar with Mr. Levy’s work as the creator of “Schitt’s Creek” and the gay rom-com “Good Grief,” knows he loves fashion and also that he instinctively understands its importance in establishing character. “Sometimes I’ll be watching a scene and think, ‘If only they’d chosen a better outfit, they could have done without a whole long monologue,’” he said.

Initially working with a limited budget for “Schitt’s Creek,” he sourced most of the costumes himself on the internet. “It was a lot of McQueen, a lot of Ghesquière-era Balenciaga bought on eBay and Yoox,” he said.

Mr. Levy, 40, grew up a closeted gay kid in Toronto and, as many others like him have, recognized instinctively that fashion had the potential to provide an expressive language for things he was not yet able to say about himself.

“All those things I didn’t get to do then I can do now,” he said, once the Loewe team had fitted the first look onto his lean frame and then switched over to some bondage-y after-party trousers. “For the longest time, men’s fashion was so square. Women had all the fun. That all changed over the past 10 years, so now I’m leaning into everything playful, flamboyant and exciting.”

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