Hundreds of A-listers dressed to the theme of "gilded glamour" gathered Monday in New York for the annual Met Gala extravaganza known as "the party of the year.
The fundraiser is back in its usual early May slot after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event and delayed last year's edition to autumn.
Some 400 celebrities from the worlds of music, film, fashion, sports and more strutted their stuff at the over-the-top costume parade on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's carpeted steps.
The invitation-only guest list is a closely guarded secret, but frequent attendees have included Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and Elon Musk.
Some of the more eye-catching outfits worn over the years have included Beyoncé's "naked dress" and Kim Kardashian's face-covering black bodysuit.
In 2019, the last edition before the pandemic, Lady Gaga did a striptease of four different outfits, starting in a billowing fuchsia dress and ending in black lingerie.
Also grabbing headlines that year was singer and actor Billy Porter, who dressed as a sun god. With outstretched golden wings, he was carried in by six shirtless men.
At last year's event, held in September, left-wing politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caused a stir by wearing a dress emblazoned with the slogan "Tax the Rich."
That struck a nerve at the celebration of fashion where tickets cost $35,000 and tables go for up to $300,000.
The gala — overseen by the high-priestess of fashion, Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour — raises millions of dollars for The Met’s Costume Institute.
Last year, the event raised more than $16.4 million for the institute.
The dress code comes from the annual exhibit that the party coincides with. This year's is "In America: An Anthology of Fashion," a retrospective from the late 19th century to the present.
Monday's gala was co-hosted by actor-couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Oscar-winning actress Regina King, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the Broadway hit "Hamilton."
This year's honorary presidents are Instagram boss Adam Mosseri and designer Tom Ford, who was expected to dress many of the attendees.
The gala was first held in 1948 and was for a long time reserved for New York's high society. Wintour took over running it in 1995, transforming the event into a catwalk for the rich and famous.
Source: Voice of America