It’s finally here! Tonight’s annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala kicked off with a generous serving of gorgeous gowns. This year’s exhibit showcases the work of Anglo-American couturier Charles James, whose influence could be seen in many of the evening’s show stopping ensembles. The proceedings called for artistically excessive ball gowns, mostly in black and white, for ladies (James is most famous for his sculpted frocks made of luxe fabrics) and white tie (a tailcoat, waistcoat, wing-collared shirt, or white bow tie) for the gents.
Let’s see how the guests adhered to the night’s theme!
Anna Wintour was in a springy mood, choosing a blooming Chanel couture dress for the night.
E! News Correspondent Alicia Quarles was one of the first to light up the proceedings in a navy Zac Posen creation.
Rihanna took the red carpet in optic white Stella McCartney separates, showing off her toned tummy in a crop top with strong shoulders. Digging this look on Rih! And the messy high ponytail added some edge, which just worked.
Optic white was also the call for Naomi Campbell, who looked her usual gorgeous self in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. Those feathered floaties might not have been the best addition to the gown…
Churning out another perfect Met Gala moment is Beyoncé, in a black beaded Givenchy haute couture gown, complete with a veil that would have been right at home in her “Partition” music video. The girls? Oh, they can’t come to the phone right now…they’ve been slain. As to be expected, Jay Z also looked effortlessly dapper in Givenchy.
Firmly avoiding any possible couch-related internet memes was Kim Kardashian, who looked beautiful in a navy blue strapless Lanvin dress with Lorraine Schwartz jewels. Kanye West made sure not to upset his new ally Anna Wintour, and came dressed according to the rules.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen both donned Ralph Lauren. John complied with Anna’s strict white tie dress code while Chrissy’s slinky silver piece showed off her form. A few Instagram followers alluded to a baby bump. Hmm, what do you think?
Elaina Watley and Victor Cruz made an appearance, with Elaina in a pool blue strapless sweetheart gown and Victor Cruz in a custom Public School suit. A little prom fabulous, but they’re adorable, no?
Kendall Jenner looked every bit the model in a custom Topshop gown.
Kendall’s Topshop cohorts Jourdan Dunn and Toni Garnn weren’t far behind. I’m absolutely loving the color on Ms. Dunn. Sizzling!
Diane Kruger looked lovely in Jason Wu.
Rashida Jones‘s Tory Burch dress was nice… needed a little oomph, but the actress looked gorgeous all the same.
Solange Knowles tried something new in a peachy 3.1 Phillip Lim dress with copious layers of fabric and a straightened hairstyle. Hmmm…She usually kills it, but this look isn’t a favorite. The Liza Minnelli-inspired ‘do isn’t it either. Her makeup, however, is on point!
The furniture meme might go to Zoe Saldana, who was literally engulfed in Michael Kors‘s taffeta sculpted skirt.
Cara Delevingne, Kate Bosworth, and Reese Witherspoon all posed with Stella McCartney in ensembles of her design.
The evening definitely called for a little Oscar de la Renta gorgeousness, no? Sarah Jessica Parker went with this black and white gown from the designer, serving Old Hollywood glamour perfection. But check the train…
A fantastic modern take. Loved this!
Claire Danes also opted for Oscar in a strapless frock mixing berry tones and blush pinks.
Do mine eyes deceive me? Is this Taylor Swift NOT wearing a glittery, champagne-colored dress? This beautiful Oscar de la Renta piece was a great choice for the country singer.
Rounding out the Oscar De la Renta crew was Amy Adams, who shined in light catching silver.
This purple lip Joan Smalls rocked was a bit unexpected for her Vera Wang gown, but it definitely worked. She’s hot! She accessorized with Gaydamak bracelets.
Lala Anthony also worked a purple pout, and looked positively regal in a cut out Cushnie et Ochs number. The girls are *perched* tonight!
Zoe Kravitz kept her look tonal in a custom red Topshop ensemble.
Lupita Nyong’o‘s Prada dress was definitely one of the more polarizing looks of the night. The actress shirked the dress code in a feather, beaded frock from the Italian fashion house, topped off with a sparkly headband and a pompadour. I applaud her for taking a risk, but this isn’t my favorite look from Lupita. But, she looks out-of-control beautiful, so carry on, queen!
Gabrielle Union‘s Prada separates definitely didn’t fit the desired dress code.
Hailee Steinfeld absolutely nailed the theme in this black and white Prabal Gurung dress, clearly inspired by Charles James’s work. Look of the night? This is a possible contender…
Rosie Huntington-Whitely looked feral and fabulous in Balmain Pre-Fall 2014.
Future struck a pose next to Calvin Klein’s Men’s Creative Director Italo Zucchelli.
This ruffled mustard Marchesa frock did nothing for Katie Holmes, skewing more broke-down Belle than bodacious Met Ball beaut.
Olivia Munn got the citrusy tone right in a custom Diane von Furstenberg gown and a Fall 2014 Flirty Minaudiere in Champagne Foil Metallic Leather.
Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci blessed Adriana Lima with this Queen of the Damned-esque gown.
Janelle Monae was a vision in brocade, going with Tadashi Shoji separates for the evening. What a great take on her traditional tux!
They were going to let Frank Ocean in no matter what, as he provided the musical entertainment for the festivities. He went with a white jacket and black tie, but I think we can all agree that we wish he’d dressed up a little bit more.
Kirsten Dunst‘s Rodarte gown played on the Star Wars theme that permeated the label’s Fall 2014 collection.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw has found a fan in Alber Elbaz! The Belle star posed with Lanvin’s creative director in a strapless gown from the French house.
Blake Lively gave us a fair dose of old Hollywood glamour in this beautiful champagne spangled Gucci number. Gorge!
Lena Dunham should have known to pull her shoulders back when she’s wearing a beautiful Giambattista Valli couture dress! That said, I actually really like this combination.
Displaying what a perfect marriage of menswear and womenswear looks like was Charlize Theron in a stunning Dior ensemble.
Nicole Richie‘s textured Donna Karan piece was a bit of a punky departure from the night’s theme.
Repping Italia to the fullest was Giovanna Battaglia, who went with a black sheer Dolce & Gabbana dress sprinkled with pink floral appliqués.
Drama, anyone? Karolina Kurkova served up a generous helping in this floral-painted greyish-blue Marchesa piece. Shut it down, why don’t you?
Rita Ora served budget Swan Lake realness with an antique matte gold sequined silk tulle asymmetrical Donna Karan gown accessorized by a Thalé Blanc bag. There seems to be way too much tulle here, and the custom Casadei gold leather embossed gladiator boots just read too ballerina with that ribbon. And just because you’ve got fabric left over doesn’t mean you need to use it… I’m looking at you Mr. weirdly-placed arm band!
Bradley Cooper‘s beard was a little on the scruffy side, but his Tom Ford tux gave his look some polish. Can’t go wrong with a man in a suit!
Leighton Meester looked simply gorgeous in a gilded Emilio Pucci frock.
Suki Waterhouse smoldered in a nude and soft pink degrade layered silk organza gown by Burberry.
Dita von Teese gave all sorts of body in Zac Posen. Mr. Posen really put his foot into these gowns, no?
Poor Giuliana Rancic was betrayed by her makeup, but tried anyway in this furry black Zac Posen number. It’s a great dress, but her makeup could have been softer.
Liu Wen did Zac Posen proud in this voluminous stunner. Beautiful!
Emmy Rossum promised bright colors, and delivered in this blooming Carolina Herrera piece.
There are tons more pictures coming down the pike!
Keep refreshing as we update throughout the evening!
Until then, who do you think is best dressed thus far?
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