See the Most Avant-Garde Red Carpet Looks From the 2017 Met Gala

The Costume Institute honored Rei Kawakubo at this year's ball.

Rhianna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.
Rhianna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Over the years, the “First Monday in May” has become the Oscars of the art world, with celebrities making an annual pilgrimage to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Costume Institute Gala, first held in 1946. But without award show competition to worry about, guests can focus their energies solely on the red carpet—which includes the museum’s grand staircase—pulling out all the stops for some truly dramatic fashion.

This year’s Costume Institute exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” was particularly exciting for art audiences given 74-year-old Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo’s legendary tendency to blur the lines between art and fashion. Her label, Comme des Garçons, is known for its out-of-the-box, sometimes outright unflattering designs, and the dress code directive for the night was avant-garde.

Katy Perry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Katy Perry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

The result were some… interesting fashion choices. Katy Perry was among the night’s most memorable looks, covered head to toe in a blood-red Maison Margiela, custom made by John Galliano, with a veil and black head piece that read “Witness.”

Rihanna stunned in a Commes des Garçons number that featured multiple colors and lots of volume. Madonna, who always pushes the envelope especially hard at the Met Ball, opted for a gown featuring Army camouflage, and Priyanka Chopra wore a Ralph Lauren trench coat gown with a long train.

Priyanka Chopra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Priyanka Chopra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

There were also bold choices in the hair department: Cara Delevingne recently shaved her head for a film, and matched her silver Chanel suit by painting her skull a sparkling silver. Jaden Smith also revealed a dramatically shorter hairdo, inexplicably carrying around his shorn locks.

Kendall Jenner, meanwhile, avoided Kawakaubo’s design aesthetic in lieu of going the nearly-nude route, in a sheer, leggy number from lingerie brand La Perla that showed off her thong. Half sister Kim Kardashian kept it fairly sleek and simple in an off-the-shoulder, long-sleeved white Vivienne Westwood.

Kim Kardashian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Kim Kardashian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Kardashian’s husband, Met Ball mainstay Kanye West, was not in attendance, but there were hot new celebrity couples on hand: Jennifer Lopez stepped out with retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez, and Selena Gomez made her first red carpet appearance with the Weeknd, whose ex-girlfriend, model Bella Hadid, was also in attendance.

Hosting along with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has been running the show since 1999, were Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Perry, and Pharrell Williams. Kawakubo was the night’s honorary chairwomen along with Caroline Kennedy. Apple, Condé Nast, Farfetch, H & M, and Maison Valentino were the corporate sponsors.

As always, the Met Gala is one of the most coveted tickets of the years, with seats costing $30,000 each. (The 2016 edition raised about $13.5 million for the Costume Institute.) Wintour carefully controls the guest list, stocking the room with A-list celebrities—but even regulars, like super model Coco Rocha, who told Page Six she wasn’t invited back this year, aren’t guaranteed a seat at the table.

See more photos from the red carpet below.

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Jaden Smith at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Jaden Smith at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Pharell Williams and Helen Lasichanh at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Pharell Williams and Helen Lasichanh at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Cara Delevingne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Cara Delevingne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Kendall Jenner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Kendall Jenner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Blake Lively at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Blake Lively at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Madonna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Madonna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 Costume Institute Gala. Courtesy of Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.


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