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A-listers dressed to the theme of "gilded glamour" sparkled on the red carpet as the annual Met Gala extravaganza known as "the party of the year" returned to its pre-pandemic schedule in New York Monday.
Co-host Blake Lively wowed in a beaded Versace gown with an oversized satin bow that unfurled to reveal a light blue train while singer Billie Eilish wore an ornate Gucci bodice with green lace sleeves.
Actress Lively, whose husband actor Ryan Reynolds wore a brown velvet tuxedo, described her dress as an "homage" to New York City architecture, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Grand Central station.
Singer Alicia Keys also paid tribute to Big Apple buildings with a black Ralph Lauren cape that portrayed the city's skyline in silver beading.
Some 400 famous names from the worlds of music, film, fashion, sports and strutted their stuff at the over-the-top costume parade on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's carpeted steps.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who oversees the philanthropic party that raises millions of dollars for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute was one of the first attendees to arrive.
The high-priestess of fashion matched a Chanel dress with a tiara as the fundraiser returned to its usual early May slot after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancelation of the 2020 event and delayed last year's edition to the autumn.
Olympic gold medalist and snowboarder Chloe Kim made her Met Gala debut in a feathered tulle ballgown, while actress Michelle Yeoh sported a flowing green Prabal Gurung gown.
And actor Riz Ahmed took a different approach to the theme, wearing a black open shirt with a white undershirt underneath and leather boots.
"This is an homage to the immigrant workers who kept the Gilded Age golden," he said.
The invite-only guest list is a closely guarded secret. Those in attendance included singers Jon Batiste, Shawn Mendes and Lizzo, tennis star Venus Williams and "The Crown" actress Emma Corrin.
Hillary Clinton wore a red Joseph Altuzarra gown. Embroidered along the neckline were the names name of 60 women who had inspired her, including Rosa Parks.
Actress Julienne Moore and reality tv star Kris Jenner honored Jackie Kennedy while Glenn Close shone in Valentino Pink.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore a Christopher John Rogers design that honored Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, who as Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker was the first Black female fashion designer in the White House.
"The idea was to highlight the dichotomy between the extravagant, over-the-top proportions of the time period, and the disparity that was happening in America at the time," she said.
- 'End gun violence' -
At last year's event, held in September, left-wing politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caused a stir by wearing a dress emblazoned with the slogan "Tax the Rich."
That struck a nerve at the celebration of fashion where tickets cost $35,000 and tables go for up to $300,000.
This time, New York City Mayor Eric Adams struck a political chord with a jacket on the back of which were the words "end gun violence."
On the red carpet, billionaire Elon Musk was asked about his $44 billion takeover offer of Twitter.
"My goal, assuming everything gets done, would be to make Twitter as inclusive as possible and have as broad a swath of the country and the rest of the world on Twitter," he said."
Last year, the gala brought home more than $16.4 million for the Met's Costume Institute.
The dress code comes from the annual exhibit that the party coincides with. This year's is "In America: An Anthology of Fashion," a retrospective from the late 19th century to the present.
Monday's Met Gala was also co-hosted by Oscar-winning actress Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Broadway hit "Hamilton."
This year's honorary presidents are Instagram boss Adam Mosseri and designer Tom Ford, who dressed many of the attendees.
The gala was first held in 1948 and was for a long time reserved for New York's high society. Wintour took over the running in 1995, transforming the party into a catwalk for the rich and famous.