The color red made a dramatic show Monday night in the grand parade of fashion at the Met Gala, including co-chair Katy Perry’s look, as did glittery gold and blue feathers on the back of Blake Lively. But many of the evening’s highlights were courtesy of luminaries who channeled honoree Rei Kawakubo, including Rihanna encased in fluttery petal-like pieces by the Japanese designer.
WATCH: Met Gala Red Carpet Looks
Rihanna gestured to the crowd from the carpet in her Commes des Garcons look with stagey pink on her cheeks. Her look was two pieces and a sliver of stomach peeked out from the freewheeling design.
Perry wore a veiled dress created just for her by John Galliano, while Pharrell’s wife, Helen Lasichanh, wore one of Kawakubo’s avant-garde, bulbous and armless jumpsuits. Lively’s movie star gown with the feathered train was Versace.
While some of the celebs from the worlds of film, TV, fashion, sports and music were inspired by Kawakubo, others made a splash in more classic looks, including Jennifer Lopez in 1950s elegance, a baby blue Valentino gown by Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Perry wore a silver head piece and black accents around the eyes with an embroidered wool coat layered over a red tulle and silk chiffon dress, her sleeves elongated in a nod to Kawakubo, all by Maison Margiela Artisanal.
Music mogul Diddy, meanwhile, laid down on the carpet to watch girlfriend Cassie pose in a black gown with a huge, spikey train she wore with large, glittery ear cuffs. He wore an embellished cape in a spider web design that carried over to his Rick Owens tuxedo.
“It took a half-hour to get ready. We dress like this on the weekends,” he joked.
Speaking of the weekend, Selena and her date -The Weeknd – smooched on the carpet in a classic white, delicately embellished gown from Coach designer Stuart Vevers. Madonna went for green camo from Moschino, Tracee Ellis Ross in royal blue Comme des Garcons and Kim Kardashian West – without husband Kanye West – in understated, long-sleeve white from Vivienne Westwood.
Nicki Minaj, in a black bustier romper with a huge black-and-red cape from H&M, is a pro when it comes to arrivals.
“I stood up in the van the whole way,” she said of her trip to the Met in her larger-than-life ensemble.
Missing from the carpet: Stalwarts Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
Serena Williams in green Versace put in her first carpet appearance since announcing her pregnancy. Kylie Jenner was whisked up the stairs in a revealing sheer gold Atelier Versace gown, her platinum locks styled close to her head. Sister Kendall Jenner stunned in a revealing black look covered in 85,000 hand-painted crystals from La Perla Creative Director Julia Haart. It included a wide diagonal slit from shoulder to below the waist and took more than 160 hours of work by 26 craftsmen in five cities, the designer said in a statement.
Lasichanh, her blond hair high on her head, smiled from within her signature Kawakubo suit. Claire Danes also channeled the Japanese designer, whose work is featured in the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute’s spring exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between.” The sleeves of Dane’s flurry of ruffles in a white blouse extended well beyond her hands, paired with a simple pair of black pants.
Vogue’s Anna Wintour kicked off the star-studded gala a bit earlier as one of the evening’s co-host. The gala feeds the annual budget of the Costume Institute. Wintour opted for encrusted gold and ostrich feathers from Chanel and said of Kawakubo and her brand: She’s a genius. Not only does she think outside of the box, she doesn’t acknowledge the box.”
Priyanka Chopra’s floor-sweeping trench coat evening gown in camel from Ralph Lauren took up a lot of real estate on the carpet, which is actually blue this year. Gigi Hadid went with the color fawn in a geometric design that was short on one side and longer on the other. Her sister, Bella, dressed in a sexy sheer catsuit by Alexander Wang.
Thom Browne dressed Solange Knowles in a black coat dress, a quilted down-filled puffer with a train and a pair of his ice skate-inspired booties on her feet.
Lilly Collins, her hair in a black, banged crop with dark red lips, paid homage to Kawakubo in a black strapless bodice paired with a high-waisted full skirt in pink, from Giambattista Valli. Zendaya, was just Zendaya, her hair down and red parrots adorning a full, off-the-shoulder ball gown in gold by Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda.
Celine Dion, in a silver bodysuit by Versace paired with high hair sculpture, was the last to walk, praising Kawakubo and saying: “To wear something, to be recognized, the whole thing is overwhelming. It’s great to be here.”