Dramatic Red Carpet Fashion at the Met Gala

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual fundraising gala offers some of the most exciting gowns seen on red carpets all year.

73 photos
1/73
Getty Images
Scarlett Johansson attends the Met Gala benefiting the Costume Institute wearing Dolce & Gabbana.
2/73
Getty Images
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual fundraising gala offers some of the most exciting dresses seen on red carpets all year, earning it the nickname of the Oscars of the East Coast. At this year's ball, the evening's co-chair Carey Mulligan dazzled in a gold Prada dress.
3/73
AP
This year's Costume Institute exhibit is called "Impossible Conversations," and imagines a dialogue between the designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. Anna Wintour wore a custom gown with a glittering lobster by Prada, which was apparently inspired by Schiaparelli.
4/73
Getty Images
Metallics were a major theme of the evening. Scarlett Johnasson wore a dress by Dolce & Gabbana that featured gold embroidery, a tulle skirt, and loads of sex appeal.
5/73
Getty Images
Singer Lana Del Rey wore a silver gown by It-designer Joseph Altuzarra (who also walked her down the red carpet). Reviews on her black cape, however, were mixed.
6/73
Getty Images
Karolina Kurkova looked almost like an award statuette in her gold foil-esque gown (and matching turban!) by Rachel Zoe.
7/73
AP
Camilla Belle wore a slinky '30s-inspired gown by Ralph Lauren.
8/73
Getty Images
Kate Upton wore a similarly slinky sequined number by designer Michael Kors.
9/73
Getty Images
Jessica Alba was a vision in bronze in this one-shoulder, liquid-like metallic gown by Michael Kors.
10/73
Getty Images
Similarly, this Stella McCartney gown looked as though it had been poured onto svelte star Cameron Diaz.
11/73
Getty Images
"Mad Men" star Jessica Pare wore a glamorous gold sequin gown by L'Wren Scott.
12/73
Getty Images
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the eccentric nature of Schiaparelli and Prada's aesthetics allowed for some more adventurous dressing. Christina Ricci's playful gown by Thakoon featured a spectacular bow at the back.
13/73
Getty Images
Florence Welch was a confection in layers of ivory by Alexander McQueen. Her twirl on the red carpet was absolutely dazzling.
14/73
Getty Images
Elizabeth Banks opted for a bold printed dress by rising star British designer Mary Katrantzou.
15/73
Getty Images
Style-setter Giovanna Battaglia (accompanied by Vladimir Restoin) wore a spectacular gown by Dolce & Gabbana that featured floral embroidery and a flaming heart on the front.
16/73
Getty Images
Model Jessica Stam's spectacular John Galliano for Christian Dior gown was so ornate and sculpted, it seemed more like a suit of armor than a dress.
17/73
Getty Images
Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo was one of the few ladies on the red carpet to really go for a brave, Schiaparelli-inspired look, complete with gilded headpiece, bright pink gown, and embellished cape.
18/73
Getty Images
In a bold move, Coco Rocha sported a vintage yellow Givenchy pantsuit that had previously been worn by none other than Elizabeth Taylor. The model also dyed her locks a bright pink to fulfill one of the evening's rumored requirements -- wearing something pink!
19/73
Getty Images
Sheer, lacy pieces also represented a major theme at the gala. Rooney Mara arrived on the arm of Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, who created this custom black lace-and-leather gown just for her.
20/73
Getty Images
Beyonce arrived at the tail end of the red carpet also wearing Givenchy haute couture -- a moody black and purple creation that, while elaborate, was not necessarily flattering.
21/73
Getty Images
Marion Cotillard's strapless Dior dress was sophisticated and simple on top, then diaphanous and sexy on the bottom.
22/73
Getty Images
Escada created a custom dress for Heidi Klum that was nearly all lace, with a delicate slip underneath.
23/73
Getty Images
While the event brought out elaborate trains and tiers of fabric, some stars opted to go short. Gwyneth Paltrow wore a platinum-colored mini-dress with embellished pockets by Prada.
24/73
WireImage
Kate Bosworth dressed up her spectacular ombre feathered dress by Prada with a dark lip and a severe updo.
25/73
Getty Images
Indie darling Chloe Sevigny has always favored bold red carpet looks, and the Met Ball was no exception: The actress sported a mirrored mini-dress by Miu Miu.
26/73
Getty Images
Emma Stone channeled the perfect mix of girlish charm and fashion-forward chic in this red Lanvin dress, which featured 3,000 little flowers.
27/73
Getty Images
While Jessica Biel's previous Met Ball visits have featured massive gowns and slinky dresses, the actress sported a vintage-inspired cocktail dress by Prada for the evening.
28/73
Getty Images
Kristen Stewart walked the red carpet with Balenciaga's Nicholas Ghesquiere, and also sported a quirky, color-block dress by the designer. While the look was a refreshingly bold choice, the dress seemed ill-fitting on the young actress.
29/73
Getty Images
Kristin Wiig wore a lacy dress with a midi hem-length by Stella McCartney.
30/73
Getty Images
"Girls" creator Lena Dunham sported an emerald green dress by rising New York star Wes Gordon. She also embraced the evening's "wear pink" directive with bubblegum pink pumps.
31/73
AP
Aside from pink, the Met Ball's red carpet was awash in vivid colors. Amber Heard wore a dramatic dusty rose gown by Zac Posen.
32/73
WireImage
Solange Knowles walked the red carpet with designer Rachel Roy wearing a crisp, lemon-yellow gown by the designer that featured the season's on-trend peplum waist.
33/73
Getty Images
January Jones also went yellow for the gala, though she made some fashion-forward with her accessories -- pairing her bright Atelier Versace gown with a blue necklace by Cartier.
34/73
Getty Images
Dianna Agron wore a lush green gown by Carolina Herrera, cinched with a matching belt.
35/73
Getty Images
Not only was the rich purple color of Diane Kruger's Prada gown absolutely show-stopping, but the feathery details at the hem were also incredibly extravagant. The actress boldly paired the purple gown with a bright red clutch.
36/73
Getty Images
Kirsten Dunst skipped a gown in favor of a trim, retro-inspired skirt suit from Rodarte's Fall 2012 collection. Barely visible in this photo are a smattering of gold stars that were pinned in her hair.
37/73
Getty Images
Paula Patton embraced the evening's pink theme with a pastel strapless gown by Vera Wang.
38/73
Getty Images
Emma Roberts' Escada gown had a simple, strapless silhouette -- letting the citrus hue do all the talking.
39/73
Getty Images
Katharine McPhee also opted for a simple gown with a rich, orange color, though her sequin Elie Saab gown was fitted absolutely to a tee.
40/73
Getty Images
Ginnifer Goodwin wore a bold, tangerine gown that was made custom by Monique Lhullier.
41/73
Getty Images
Eva Mendes also went for a warm, tangerine hue with this bold Prada gown, which featured black-and-white embellishments and a peplum waist.
42/73
Getty Images
Designer Tory Burch paired her white-and-red embroidered gown with bold green earrings for a fresh, festive look.
43/73
Getty Images
Hilary Swank's rusty-red Michael Kors gown was swept up on one side with ruching and layers, while her hair was carefully swept to the other.
44/73
Getty Images
Prabal Gurung escorted actress Greta Gerwig to the gala, dressing her in a luxurious emerald-green gown.
45/73
Getty Images
On the cooler side of the temperature palette, Jessica Chastain's icy Louis Vuitton gown had a '50s-inspired quality.
46/73
Getty Images
Model Caroline Trentini wore a smoky blue strapless gown topped with an elaborate woven top by Olivier Theyskens.
47/73
Getty Images
Apart from all the color, there was quite a bit of edgy glamour at this year's Met Gala. Rihanna arrived late to the festivities, wearing a skintight gown by Tom Ford that seemed to mimic lizard skin.
48/73
Getty Images
Cate Blanchett walked the red carpet with McQueen's Sarah Burton, and wore a dark gown by the label that looked almost entirely covered in black feathers.
49/73
Getty Images
Actress Nina Dobrev may not be an A-list name, per se, but she scored one of the most ornate gowns of the evening -- a Donna Karan Atelier gown with elaborate gold embroidery.
50/73
Getty Images
Leslie Bibb wore one of the biggest gowns of the evening -- a midnight-blue strapless dress with a full skirt by Zac Posen.
51/73
Getty Images
Mary-Kate Olsen wore a covered-up black gown from her own label, The Row.
52/73
Getty Images
Renee Zellweger channeled the backless look she sported last year with this elegant Pucci gown, which featured sheer sleeves and a dramatic train.
53/73
Getty Images
Gisele was one of the many celebrities to wear Givenchy on the red carpet (including one Kanye West). Her gown was a cool mixture of black sequins and a ruffled hemline.
54/73
Getty Images
Linda Evangelista took a break from her courtroom drama to hit the red carpet and fete the exhibit, wearing Prada of course.
55/73
Getty Images
Liv Tyler wore a moody black sequin gown by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy.
56/73
WireImage
Tom Ford brought model Chanel Iman as his date to the Met Gala, dressing her in a gown that mixed the classic glamour of a strapless white gown with the edginess of sheer black sleeves.
57/73
Getty Images
Kanye West kept it classic in a simple tuxedo by Givenchy, paired with a gold bracelet.
58/73
Getty Images
Some stars skipped moody glamour in favor of more whimsical looks, like Dakota Fanning, whose Louis Vuitton gown seemed like something out of a fairy tale.
59/73
Getty Images
Sarah Jessica Parker's floral Valentino gown may have steered a bit too close to "Little House on the Prairie," but she managed to carry it off.
60/73
Getty Images
Channeling two of the evening's major dressing themes -- metallics and sheer -- Leighton Meester opted for a fairy tale-inspired Marchesa gown.
61/73
Getty Images
Actress Leslie Mann attended the exhibit opening with her husband, Judd Apatow, wearing a floaty, ruffled gown by Nina Ricci. The black belt and shoes help toughen up the look.
62/73
Getty Images
Claire Danes kept it simple and elegant with a crisp white gown by J. Mendel.
63/73
Getty Images
Amy Adams telegraphed classic Hollywood glamour in this Giambattista Valli gown, topped off with a golden bow belt.
64/73
Getty Images
Ashley Greene absolutely nailed it in this simple-yet-sexy white Grecian gown designed by Donna Karan Atelier.
65/73
Getty Images
Model Anja Rubik went full-throttle on the sex appeal in an Anthony Vaccarello gown that showed almost everything.
66/73
Getty Images
True to form, Rachel Zoe opted for something retro-looking and bold: a shoulders-to-toes fringe gown rendered in cream.
67/73
Getty Images
Street style blogger Hanneli Mustaparta kept it simple for the evening, wearing a minimalist white gown with peek-a-boo detailing by Calvin Klein.
68/73
Getty Images
Sofia Vergara looked like a pale blue confection in this shimmery Marchesa gown.
69/73
Getty Images
New York Jets QB Tim Tebow made a splashy entrance on the red carpet wearing a Ralph Lauren tuxedo. (Sadly, there was no Tebow-ing during the evening's festivities.)
70/73
Getty Images
Shailene Woodley walked the red carpet with designer Christopher Kane, and wore a bold floral gown by the designer that seemed to mesh well with her youthful look.
71/73
Getty Images
Anna Wintour's daughter, Bee Shaffer, wore a gorgeous printed gown by Erdem.
72/73
Getty Images
Designer Chris Benz and Julie Macklowe sported matching dyed-pink 'dos on the red carpet, which provided a playful contrast to Macklowe's dazzling printed gown.
73/73
Getty Images
Rashida Jones opted for a more relaxed brand of sex appeal with this floral, off-the-shoulder gown by Tory Burch.
Contact Us