The Met Gala is supposed to be a fundraising ball for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City, and it is. But equally as important, the Met Gala is the night where A-list celebrities show up in extraordinary, ornate and arguably ostentatious fashion befitting the Gala's annual theme, also the theme of the Costume Institute's spring exhibition. This year's theme was China: Through the Looking Glass, which raised early concerns about cultural appropriation and potentially offensive ensembles. Stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Karen Elson really went for it at Monday night's event while other celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Anne Hathaway went for a more subtle interpretation.
If anyone was going to be completely over-the-top on the Met Gala red carpet it was going to be Rihanna. The Barbadian pop star did not disappoint in a golden-mustard Guo Pei gown with a spectacular, fur-trimmed embroidered train with red lining. A golden crown hairpiece and gold choker completed her China-inspired look.
Another fashion icon who took advantage of the opportunity to go above and beyond with her outfit was Solange. Her architectural knee-length Giles dress was pure art. She wisely paired the dress with plain black pumps. And Solange stuck to the theme all night with unique, elegant poses, showing that fashion goes beyond just what you wear.
Courtney Eaton, a lesser-known actress set to star in the upcoming "Mad Max" sequel made her presence known at the Met Gala in a gold baroque-style Dolce & Gabbana tea-length dress with the matching crown. The high-neck dress and dangling earrings subtly adhere to the Chinese theme.
Gold was popular on the Met Gala red carpet Monday night, and actress Anne Hathaway elegantly rocked the trend in a hooded Ralph Lauren gown. At an event that's all about taking chances, Hathaway's hood choice fit her aesthetic but still pushed formalwear boundaries.
Disney-star-turned-up-and-coming fashionista Zendaya Coleman looked like a Princess of China in a red and black high-low gown by Fausto Puglisi. Her sun arm cuffs and matching headpiece match the metallic suns embroidered on the skirt of the gown.
Jennifer Lopez was trendy in a see through, skintight Versace gown. The ombré dress faded from nude to red and paid homage to the Chinese theme with a beaded red dragon that wrapped around the bodice of the gown. Dragons are a popular symbol of power in Chinese culture.
Kim Kardashian was also among the barrage of stars with sheer dresses Monday night. Her Roberto Cavalli fit and flare gown was covered in white jewels with white feathers along the bottom of the dress and covering the impressive train.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looked beautiful in a champagne-colored Atelier Versace with a high split. The dress' cutouts and swirled beading looked subtly Asian-inspired.
Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing was elegant in a simple gold-sequin Christopher Bu gown with an emerald green cape intricately embellished with red, green, royal blue and gold designs.
Sarah Jessica Parker demonstrated why she's a renowned fashion icon with her bold, daring headwear choice for the Met Gala. SJP rocked a black, one-shoulder H&M gown with Asian-inspired trim detail, but where the actress really shone was in her fiery red jeweled crown with tassels that hung the length of her arm. While she was called out for cultural appropriation and her aesthetic similarity to "Samurai Jack" character Aku, SJP clearly took a fashion risk with this look.
Actress Gong Li stunned wearing a high-neck, oxblood Roberto Cavalli gown with black lace detail. The low back of the velvet gown was adorned with red and black floral embroidery.
Karen Elson was another celebrity who looked fiery at Monday night's gala in a Dolce & Gabanna ball gown with a jeweled bodice and a grand red tulle skirt. She completed the look with gold bracelets that matched her gown's bodice and a floral gold crown.