Ladies and gentleman, unleash your hoop skirts! Big ball gowns, super-long tailcoats and a return to formalwear were on full display at Monday night's Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute Gala in New York City.
The Met Gala honored the late mid-century couturier Charles James, an English-born American designer known for his structured wiring and lavishly heavy gowns, and it attracted a mosaic of Hollywood heavyweights and fashion industry favorites. The benefit's guests had to channel James' formal aesthetic using a dress code (or dress suggestion) of gowns for ladies and white tie (with decorations) for men.
The annual affair's latest exhibit, "Charles James: Beyond Fashion," focuses on the so-called Great American Couturier and emphasizes technology. One section highlights the hat designs from his early work as a milliner. James' work is said to have influenced numerous modern-day designers, including Christian Dior, Michael Kors and Zac Posen.
Here are a few of our favorite things, and a couple that we wouldn't necessarily classify that way. As always, there were several hits, many misses and numerous "What dress code?" moments:
Is that a window on the back of your dress, SJP? Parker opted for a black and white Oscar de La Renta gown with white elbow-length gloves. And if you didn't know that her petaled gown was by the famed American designer, a large lattice pattern down the back of Parker's train pointed directly to his emblazoned red signature to clear up any confusion. Hey, at least there wasn't a mohawk headdress.
Red carpet darling Lupita Nyong'o has her first red carpet fail: The Oscar winner split the critics with her daring costume by Prada. Perhaps the actress' love of fashion finally got the best of her? The culprit: a forest green crocheted Prada ensemble complete with feathers and vintage Cartier headband. Multiple choice: Was she a) a bird? b) a palm tree? c) a flapper? d) a bedazzled net? or e) all of the above? Answer: E. Seriously, who told her this was a good idea?
Beyonce's covered-up top, sheer jelly on bottom: The "XO" singer, accompanied by husband Jay Z, went coquettish with a black veil that partially concealed her face. But the sheer lower half of her Givenchy gown reminded observers she's still "Bootylicious." Cutest thing that happened all night? Some bling fell off her outfit and her husband of six years staged a mock proposal on the red carpet to return it to her. Now that's what we call a power couple.
Johnny Depp's latest accessory is a cane: First he had a hat and glasses, then it was fiancee Amber Heard, then it was Heard's too-big engagement ring and now we won't be surprised if he incorporates the supportive walking stick into his wardrobe all the time.
Kim and Kanye redeem themselves: Sartorially, anyway. Both in Lanvin by friend Alber Elbaz, reality star Kardashian threw back to her everyday sex-kitten style in a high-slit, strapless gown. West opted for a tie-less tux. The pair definitely made up for Kardashian's couch-upholstery Givenchy atrocity from last year's gala. Pregnant or not, that outfit was just bad, bad, bad.
Janelle Monae, caped crusader: The Grammy-winning singer wore a crimson Tadashi Shoji cape over her signature white blouse and black trousers.
Hailee Steinfeld knows how to glam it up: The 17-year-old "True Grit" actress shined in an elegant black and white gown by Prabal Gurunt, keeping her her hair pulled back and her makeup fresh and simple. Vogue darling Kendall Jenner, 18, turned up the glam dial with a cream-colored trumpet gown by teen brand TopShop. They grow up so fast...
Lake Bell shows off her baby bump: The "Million Dollar Arm" star showed off her baby bump in a red gown by Tommy Hilfiger just two weeks after the Tribeca Film Festival event in which she revealed that she and husband Scott Campbell are expecting. Ain't nothin' like cupping a baby bump to say, "There's a kid in there, not lunch."
Sandra Lee is a fairy godmother. Or Cinderella. Or a freakish exploding love child from both. The "Semi-Homemade" host must have been channeling Cinderella's stepsisters in a gown that had tulle in the back, ruched and billowing satin in the front and mess all over. Seriously, this is the stuff wedding gown nightmares are made of. Now contrast that with...
The Beckhams -- back in a big way: Designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham owned the red carpet with husband David Beckham as the couple went matchy-matchy: a white column gown of her own design for the lady and a white jacket for him. And we're still not done staring at their perfection.
Bradley Cooper and Suki Waterhouse show up, but not together: The Oscar-nominated actor and his model girlfriend hit the red carpet, but not together. He wore Tom Ford, while the face of Burberry wore a blush tulle-layered Burberry Prorsum gown.
Michael Kors makes red carpet calls: The designer and "Project Runway" judge rushed to the hem of actress Zoe Saldana's tiered gown to make a last-minute adjustment. And he was photographed in the process. Kors also dressed Jessica Pare in a similar black-and-white printed number, and Victoria's Secret Angel Lily Aldridge wore one of his designs too.
Erykah Badu gives Pharrell Williams' hat a run for its money: The singer donned a tall topper by Givenchy and we're not gonna lie, we wouldn't mind seeing it on the "Happy" guy.
Taylor's secret: Taylor Swift had a wardrobe mishap just before hitting the red carpet in a blush-colored gown. "That moment when your cat casually walks up, then abruptly ATTACKS your custom satin Oscar de la Renta gown during your fitting for Met Ball," she tweeted before the event. Eek. It turns out pal and VS Angel Karlie Kloss, also in De la Renta, got ready with the country crooner and they had a dance party.