The Oscars of Fashion

Met Gala 2012 Red Carpet: Best Dressed from Costume Institute Gala

Rihanna stuns in Tom Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow and a sea of others dazzle in Prada, and Marc Jacobs wears a lace dress. See our gallery of the red carpet at the 2012 Met Gala.

Rihanna stuns in Tom Ford; Gwyneth Paltrow and a sea of others dazzle in Prada; and Marc Jacobs wears a lace dress. See our gallery of the red carpet at the 2012 Met Gala.

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Beyoncé

The new mother was a late arrival in a black lace (completely see-through) Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci dress with a long train of purple feathers.

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Carey Mulligan

The Drive actress wore a gold-and-silver-sequined Prada mermaid dress, which she claims she saw only the day before the big event.

Kevin Mazur

Rihanna

“It’s really stretchy, and very cleverly made,” Rihanna said of her black Tom Ford dress. She explained that getting dressed was easy, but added: “my nails took forever.” She paired the look with Christian Louboutin Pigalle heels.

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Gwyneth Paltrow

Paltrow looked sleek in a steel blue duchesse halter neck dress with inverted black pleats by Prada and jewels by Anna Hu.

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Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake

“This is the dress Mrs. Prada picked for me,” Biel said of her ivory dress with jade green stones. Timberlake looked dashing in a Tom Ford tux and a Cartier steel and rose gold Tank Anglaise watch, which is going to be on sale in June.

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Karolina Kurkova

The leggy blonde wore a glittering gold dress and matching turban designed by stylist Rachel Zoe and Sergio Rossi shoes.

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Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady

The model looked stunning in a black beaded Givenchy dress and David Yurman jewels. Brady wore a Tom Ford tuxedo.

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Rooney Mara

“Romanticism and the strains of a woman, which is Rooney,” said Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci of his inspiration for the dress he designed for Rooney Mara. But the dress also had hints of Elsa Schiaparelli, who, he explained, conveyed the “the idea of a woman wearing confident clothes.”

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Sarah Jessica Parker and Valentino

“I’m wearing Valentino, the maestro,” Parker said of her floral dress. “The dress in particular reminded me of a different time.”

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Ana Wintour and Bee Schaffer

“I’m wearing Prada’s homage to Elsa Schiaparelli,” Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour told Vogue’s Billy Norwich on the red carpet on her way into the event. Her cream-colored dress with gold embroidery was made specifically for this event. Wintour, who has raised $11 million so far, said this year’s gala is the biggest one yet. And in a nod to the exhibition, "Impossible Conversations," Wintour called Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli two “women who believe in breaking the rules of fashion, and obviously I do too.” Her daughter, Bee Shaffer, wore a stunning blue dress by Erdem.

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Scarlett Johansson

The Avengers star wore an off-the-shoulder gold dress by Dolce & Gabbana and Christian Louboutin bronze Turbella heels.

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Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton wore a show-stopping red strapless dress.

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Jessica Chastain

The Help star Jessica Chastain, who says she passed on making Iron Man 3 because she’s too busy, wore a blue silk dress by Louis Vuitton.

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Sofia Vergara

The Modern Family star wore a figure-hugging Marchesa dress and Harry Winston jewels. Marchesa designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman were elsewhere on the red carpet.

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Florence Welch

“I was so nervous,” Welch said, wearing a 3D dandelion embroidered organza tiered dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, recalling her performance at the gala last year. 

Dimitrios Kambouris

January Jones

The Mad Men star wore a yellow Versace dress with a Cartier yellow gold, diamond, and turquoise necklace from 1955 with a Cartier gold leather clutch. “I like to lean towards the avant-garde when I get the chance,” she said.

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Renée Zellweger

Zellweger showed some back cleavage in a low-cut black mesh design by Emilio Pucci.

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Tom Ford and Chanel Iman

"I go back to the 80s" says Ford of the Met Galas he's attended. The designer walked the red carpet with Chanel Iman, who wore a black and white mesh dress of his design and Cartier white gold and diamond errangs, a Cartier white gold and diamond cuff, and white gold and diamond ring.

Dimitrios Kambouris

Christina Ricci

The raven-haired actress looked architectural in a Thakoon dress and Tiffany jewels.

Dimitrios Kambouris

Amy Adams

The actress looked stunning in a white-and-black Giambattista Valli Haute Couture dress, Brian Atwood heels, Fred Leighton jewels, and a Judith Leiber bag.

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Chloë Sevigny

Sevigny showed some leg in a short black Miu Miu design.

Larry Busacca

Kirsten Dunst

Dunst wore a custom pumpkin crepe double lapel dress by Rodarte, and Neil Lane and Van Cleef & Arpel jewels.

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Greta Gerwig

The Damsels in Distress actress wore an emerald green design by Prabal Gurung, and attended with the designer. Gerwig said that if she could have an “impossible conversation” with anyone, she’d choose John Milton or William Shakespeare.

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Camilla Belle

Belle wore a Ralph Lauren Collection ivory tulle beaded dress with python sandals and vintage Ralph Lauren jewels.

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Zac Posen and Amber Heard

Heard wore a strapless magenta dress by Zac Posen, and attended with the designer on her arm. She paired the look with Tiffany jewelry and "Lady Peep Strass" Christian Louboutin heels.

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Jessica Alba

Alba opted for a gold one-shouldered Michael Kors goddess dress with Brian Atwood black-and-gold platforms.

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Leighton Meester

The Gossip Girl star wore a gold Marchesa beaded dress, Harry Winston jewels, and Tabitha Simmons shoes.

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Heidi Klum

The Project Runway host wore a midnight-blue custom-made midnight French Chantilly lace dress by Escada and Christian Louboutin Super Vic Strass heels in hematite.

Larry Busacca

Eva Mendes

The actress wore a Prada tangerine silk strapless peplum gown with a plexi and resin stone embroidered bustier.

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Hilary Swank

Swank looked stunning in a red Michael Kors dress with a cinch at the waist with snake chain ankle wrap stiletto sandals and jewels by Fred Leighton. 

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Claire Danes

The Homeland star wore a white J. Mendel design with a plunging neckline and "Very Prive" ivory Christian Louboutin heels.

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Michelle Dockery

The Downton Abbey star hit the red carpet solo on Monday night in a Ralph Lauren beaded evening dress and Ralph Lauren Vintage Collection rock-crystal earrings from 1880.

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Brooke Shields

Shields wore a blue-lace one-shouldered dress and Tiffany jewels.

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Lana Del Rey

Del Rey wore a sequined silver dress with a black cape by Joseph Altuzarra, who was her date for the evening.

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Lena Dunham and Hamish Bowles

Girls writer, creator and star Lena Dunham cleaned up in a Wes Gordon Duchess satin gown and Stella McCartney shoes Hamish selected from Dunham's own closet. “If I wasn’t here, I’d be studying pictures as they appeared,” Dunham said of the gala. “I’m feeling like a real princess.” 

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Dakota Fanning

The teenage star wore a lavender dress by Louis Vuitton, and said that if she could have an “impossible conversation” with anyone dead or alive, it would be Adele.

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Emma Stone and Alber Elbaz

The Help star wore a short Lanvin dress with 3,000 plastic flowers attached. She attended with Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz. “I was so stressed that I sat in my room and sketched my next collection, so now I’m pretty much relaxed,” Elbaz said when asked if he was nervous for the evening.

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Ivanka Trump

Trump, whose father also attended, showed off new bangs and a blue-velvet Peter Pilotto design. 

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Amber Valetta

Legendary model Amber Valetta wowed in a black-and-white Prada design.

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Rachel Zoe

The diminutive stylist looked glamorous in a white fringe dress and chunky jewels.

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Anja Rubik

Model Anja Rubik pulled an Angelina on the red carpet in a white Anthony Vaccarello dress.

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Coco Rocha

Rocha wore a yellow embroidered vintage Givenchy jumpsuit that once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor. According to USA Today, Rocha said, “If you look carefully, you can see the suit has this very faint red-wine stain on it. After I had it cleaned I took it to show the editors at Vogue and we could still see the stain. We all agreed that since it was Liz Taylor’s wine stain, it’s OK to wear as is.” She paired the jumpsuit with pink extensions and Sergio Rossi "Milady" pumps.