The Met Gala
is fashion's big night out -- and celebrities are known for saving their most striking outfits for its often-theatrical red carpet.
Stars across industries including TV, film, politics and sport did not disappoint, bringing exaggerated silhouettes, elegant accessories and moments of drama to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday evening.
Pandemic-related rescheduling meant it had been less than eight months since the (normally) annual fundraiser was last held, giving designers less time to think about the event's dress code
, "Gilded Glamour and White Tie." The theme continued 2021's exploration of American style
-- in keeping with the Costume Institute's accompanying two-part exhibition, "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" -- and many attendees took direct inspiration from the Gilded Age, an era that saw America transformed at the end of the 19th century.
At a press event before the gala, First Lady Jill Biden used her opening remarks to emphasize American design's "rich and deep" history.
"It is a story of innovation and ingenuity, of rebellion and renewal," she said. "It has often been written by those in the shadows, not recognized for their influence and art, but here at the Met their stories are told."
Several guests chose to pay homage to the historical theme with vintage jewelry. Actress Tommy Dorfman, YouTuber Emma Chamberlain and Vogue magazine's Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles were among the celebrities who accessorized with vintage tiaras
Gala co-host Blake Lively meanwhile paid tribute
to New York City's Gilded Age architecture. With the assistance of several helpers, she undid the enormous bow of her shimmering Versace gown on the steps of Met, unveiling a hidden train in an aged copper color inspired by the patina of the Statue of Liberty.
Prior to Monday evening's red carpet, one of the quintessential American designers, Tommy Hilfiger
told CNN that the event offered designers a chance to "showcase their unique interpretations of fashion and pop culture. "The Met Gala is all about having an open mind and thinking outside the box," said Hilfiger, whose work features in the Met's new exhibition, via email.
Former Yeezy designer Maisie Schloss, who now runs her own LA-based label Maisie Wilen
, said the fundraiser's combination of high fashion and mainstream appeal makes it a "unique" red carpet.
"The events embraced by industry insiders and the masses alike allow for peak creativity," she said via email.
Scroll down to see some of the event's best fashion.
Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress -- the one she famously sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" in at John F. Kennedy's birthday fundraiser in 1962. Pete Davidson kept things simple in a suit and sunglasses. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Nicki Minaj stepped out in a custom Burberry look by Ricardo Tisci which featured a black leather baseball cap, tiered gown and sparkling body crystals. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Emily Ratajowski arrived in a beaded vintage 1992 Versace ensemble originally worn by the supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Billie Eilish stunned in an upcycled Gucci dress with a corseted bodice and sheer sea-foam-hued gloved sleeves. Every part of the dress was made from "already existing materials" she said, nodding to its eco-friendly design. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds embraced the theme, with Lively in a glittering Versace beaded gown with an oversized coppery satin bow and matching gloves, and Reynolds in a classic tuxedo. Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
Kylie Jenner gave her bridal gown a streetwear twist with a veil covering her backwards baseball cap. The outfit was designed by Off-White's late founder Virgil Abloh. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Actor Louisa Jacobson is no stranger to tonight's theme. She was in HBO show "The Gilded Age," which premiered earlier this year. Credit: John Shearer/Getty Images
Emma Chamberlain in a cropped, two-piece look with a modernized nod to 19th-century tailoring. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
With her outfit and jewelry both designed by Louis Vuitton, actress Gemma Chan arrived in a crystal-embellished leather cape and a dress with theatrically exaggerated hips. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Megan Thee Stallion opted for a golden gown with sculpted feather-like shoulders by Moschino and attended the event alongside the brand's creative director Jeremy Scott. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Kaia Gerber in vintage Alexander McQueen. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum
Alessandro Michele and Jared Leto in matching Gucci. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Tessa Thompson's pink Carolina Hererra gown featured one of the evening's most dramatic trains. She completed the look with vegan Piferi boots. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Jessica Chastain wore an embellished ruby Gucci gown with a matching turban. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz both opted for Maison Valentino creations, with Peltz wearing a neon pink gown with a plunging neckline in contrast to Beckham's ivory suit. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Fredrik Robertsson in Iris van Herpen. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum
Rapper Cardi B turned to Versace for this chain-embellished dress, which was made from a mile of golden chains according to the brand. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, right, and Tracey Collins Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, right, and Tracey Collins Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Stormzy departed from his usual wardrobe of dark clothing for a pristine white caped look by Ricardo Tisci for Burberry. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Alicia Keys in Ralph Lauren. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
While many celebrities opted for tiaras, singer Janelle Monáe went for a full glimmering gown with a full blinged-out headpiece and matching wrist cuffs. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Winnie Harlow and Teyana Taylor dazzled in Iris van Herpen ensembles and headpieces. Harlow opted for a black-and-white sculptural dress, while Taylor wore a gauzy purple gown. Taylor told Vogue on the red carpet that it was a "futuristic" take on the "Gilded Glamour" theme but also like the villain Ursula from "The Little Mermaid." Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
Olivia Rodrigo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Anderson .Paak in head-to-toe Gucci. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
NBA star Russell Westbrook wore a Thom Browne kilt and matching black top hat. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Imagesfor The Met Museum/Vogue
Camila Mendes opted for a fringed gold dress with sequined top and cut-out. Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
Lizzo stepped out in a black Thom Browne corset dress and a trailing gilded coat, and played a golden flute.
Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
Kris Jenner in Oscar de la Renta. Credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Michelle Yeoh wore a strapless, caped emerald green dress. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Gwen Stefani opted for a neon ensemble by Vera Wang. Credit: John Shearer/Getty Images
Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner both wore Louis Vuitton, with Jonas sporting a white womenswear jacket and Turner in a long-sleeved embroidered dress. Credit: John Shearer/Getty Images
Musician Jon Batiste's Ralph Lauren tuxedo featured a black velvet dinner jacket and silk satin bow tie. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Hillary Clinton wore a custom Joseph Altuzarra design featuring the embroidered names of 60 women who inspire her, from Rosa Parks to her own mother. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Vanessa Hudgens in an elegant black Moschino gown. "It's a gothy, witchy fantasy," she said of her dress. Credit: Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images North for The Met Museum
Broadway producer Jordan Roth arrived in a suitably theatric Thom Browne coat that later transformed to form part of his skirt. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Amber Valletta's pleated gold gown was actually a vintage piece from the Azzaro label's archive. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Sarah Jessica Parker in a black-and-white Christopher John Rogers dress with a structure 19th-century-style skirt and a feathered headpiece by milliner Philip Treacy. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Musician Kacey Musgraves arrived with an oversized feathered fan, wearing an embellished low-cut black Prada dress with a front bow. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Conan Gray sparkled in a crystal-embellished outfit by Valentino, featuring a sheer mesh shirt, cape and sky high white platforms. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Chef Melissa King added an edgy golden touch to her look, wearing striking nail guards by jeweller Chris Habana. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Quannah Chasinghorse wore Indigenous jewelry that holds significance to her community. "Being welcome the way I am is beautiful... but it should have happened a long time ago," she told reporters on the red carpet. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Marvel star Sebastian Stan could be seen a mile away from the Met Gala's red carpet, choosing a neon pink Valentino look. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Vogue's Anna Wintour chose Chanel haute couture by Virginie Viard for the evening, but her outfit has a personal touch: a tiara from 1910 that's a family heirloom. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian wore complementary Thom Browne looks to the Met Gala, with the designer explaining Kardashian's look was a "deconstructed interpretation" of Barker's tailcoat, kilt and cumberbund. Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
Cynthia Erivo swept down the red carpet in a white lace Louis Vuitton gown with a ruffled skirt, alongside a white headwrap and a golden necklace. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Musician Kid Cudi became the first celebrity to wear a custom look by Kenzo's newest creative director Nigo, donning a blue suit and matching cape for the gala. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Bad Bunny put a spin on Burberry's classic trench coat with a puff-sleeved dress created by Ricardo Tisci. Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
From left to right, Amy Schumer, Venus Williams, Xiye Bastida and Gabriela Hearst in Chloé. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Designer Tom Ford naturally wore an outfit by his own brand, choosing a white-tie suit for the event. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
LaLa Anthony arrived in a burgundy high-slit two-piece ensemble by LaQuan Smith with decadent jewelry and intricate headpiece. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum
Vanessa Nadal in Oscar de la Renta and Lin-Manuel Miranda in a suit by Paul Tazewell, the costume designer for the Broadway show "Hamilton." Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum
West Side Story star Ariana DeBose added a dose of glamour to her black and golden Moschino outfit with a pair of opera gloves and jewelry inspired by her gown's swirling motif. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Elon Musk arrived in Tom Ford with his mother, the model Maye Musk, who was wearing Dior. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Fashion editor Hamish Bowles wearing Ralph Lauren and a tiara. He told CNN that in his opinion, "the second Gilded Age of New York was the '80s." Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Supermodel Naomi Campbell chose an equestrian-printed custom Burberry look by Ricardo Tisci for the event, coupled with embellished gloves matched to her dress and face jewels. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Supermodel Shalom Harlow wore a red Ralph Lauren Collection silk top with a huge bow and an equally eye-catching train. Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Top image: Gigi Hadid, whose all-red Versace outfit was completed with an outsized puffy coat that trailed behind her on the steps of the Met. (John Shearer/Getty Images)