When Beyonce is the second to last celebrity to arrive on the red carpet and Kanye West takes to the stage in a studded mask to perform new, unreleased music, these two factors alone secure the fashion-filled, annual Met gala as "the party of the year."
Stars like Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart and Miley Cyrus thoughtfully considered their choices for Monday evening's affair celebrating the opening of the Costume Institute's big exhibit, "Punk: From Chaos to Couture."
J. Law (Jennifer Lawrence) looked positively punkish in a strapless black gown designed by Christian Dior's Raf Simons, a Jennifer Behr Voilette and bright red lips, while J. Lo (Jennifer Lopez) chose an elaborate, sequined, leopard-patterned, black gown by Michael Kors.
Stella McCartney arrived with Cameron Diaz and Stewart, both in the British designer's creations.
Diaz, dressed in a cobalt-blue-hued dress, told reporters she was influenced by punk rock in her youth, while Stewart, a more likely contender for the music genre, arrived in a rouge, laced pantsuit, paired with severe red eye makeup.
Not to be overshadowed, Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway arrived in a Valentino gown and debuted a short, new hairdo with her hair dyed blond. She told the Associated Press her ensemble was inspired by Blondie's Debbie Harry - or secretly Miley Cyrus - though both were present at the affair in different designer looks.
Cyrus arrived in a floor-length, mesh gown over a sheer slip by Marc Jacobs and her recognizable punk-ish, spiky hair. The actress, who is currently reveling in her status as No. 1 on Maxim's hot 100 list, actually looked the part of Morticia Addams from the popular TV show on Monday - an observation she proudly shared with Vogue.
Nicole Richie sported a similar hairdo, though the socialite arrived in a sleeved, white, floral gown. Meanwhile, Met gala staple Sarah Jessica Parker, a fashion stunner at practically every red carpet event, wore a Giles Deacon graffiti gown and a rather large feather mohawk created by Philip Treacy.
Two Pa. natives were also invited to the ball Monday evening, with both opting to show some skin. Taylor Swift chose her go-to designer J. Mendel, but the singer's gown was anything but blase. Swift's black piece was crystallized and studded with shiny objects and lace inserts to give her sleeveless look a heavy-duty effect. Swift's gown was made availalbe almost immediately on Moda Operandi.
Amanda Seyfried, on the other hand, arrived at the event in a vintage Givenchy and a bold, smoky eye.
The big winner of the night, in fact, was Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, also an event chair, who managed to finagle his gorgeous gowns on multiple celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Rooney Mara and Beyonce.
Kim K, whose man surprised guests with a performance at the gala, donned a high-neck, floral gown with a high leg slit by Tisci, as she hugged her beautifully-bulging belly.
Beyonce, the honorary chairwoman of the event, wore a fiery gown, something straight out of the Hunger Games in effect, with its flaming orange train paired with her long gloves.
Other highlights courtesy of the Associated Press:
—Katy Perry: beaded Dolce & Gabbana dress with a "Joan of Arc" vibe — complete with crown.
—Jessica Biel: Giambattista Valli snakeskin gown with macrame pants underneath.
—Jessica Alba: laser-cut leather fishtail gown by Tory Burch.
—Ashley Greene: Gold leaf-covered dress by Marchesa.
—Gwyneth Paltrow: long-sleeve, hot-pink Valentino gown.
—Claire Danes: chainmail-embroidered gown by Oscar de la Renta.
—Hailee Steinfeld: Donna Karan Atelier leather-corset dress decorated with antique gold safety pins.
—Gisele Bundchen: chain-neckline minidress by Anthony Vaccarello.
—Gwen Stefani: black bow-top gown with white bottom by Maison Martin Margiela.