Forget the Oscars, the Met Gala is the most glamourous event on the social calendar. Undoubtedly the most important red carpet event of the year, American Vogue's Anna Wintour annually invites the fashion elite to the opening of the latest exhibition at the Costume Institute at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year's retrospective, Savage Beauty, honoured man-of-the-moment Alexander McQueen fresh off the heels of that royal wedding dress.
Just like your high school prom, it's all about who asks you to be their date. Bonus points always go to the lucky young ingénues chosen to be dressed by and accompany designers to the soirée as their date. This year saw Erdem choose supermodel Lily Donaldson, Jason Wu chose Diane Kruger, Yves Saint Laurent's Stefano Pilati picked Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine fame, and Karl Lagerfeld took faux New York society brat, Gossip Girl's Blake Lively.
McQueen was well represented on the red carpet as well as in the exhibition:
Woman-of-the-moment, Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton wearing McQueen.
Longtime friend to Lee McQueen, Daphne Guinness wore a Spring/Summer 2011 Alexander McQueen creation.
Another longtime friend of the designer, supermodel Naomi Campbell opted for a couture Alexander McQueen gown.
Supermodel Gisele Bündchen wore an Alexander McQueen gown from Autumn/Winter 2005, with husband Tom Brady.
A previous date of McQueen to the Met Ball, Sarah Jessica Parker also wore a dress from Alexander McQueen's Autumn/Winter 2005 collection.
Salma Hayek showed off her curves in couture Alexander McQueen. Hayek is married to Francois Henri-Pinault, chairman of PPR which owns the McQueen brand.
US Vogue's Hamish Bowles wearing Autumn/Winter 2006 Alexander McQueen.
American model Hilary Rhoda in McQueen.
Actress Chloe Sevigny in McQueen.
Here is a selection of the best outfits of the evening:
Lily Donaldson wearing one of my favourite looks from Erdem's Spring/Summer 2011 show, accompanied by the designer himself.
Fashion's latest darling Elle Fanning wearing Autumn/Winter 2011 couture Valentino.
Lara Stone in Calvin Klein.
Alexa Chung in next season Christopher Kane.
A contender for my favourite look of the night - model Doutzen Kroes looked stunning in Giambattista Valli.
Model Miranda Kerr in Marchesa and Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, with husband Orlando Bloom.
Ginnifer Goodwin in Topshop Unique! (I couldn't believe it was Topshop either, it looks amazing!)
14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld obviously got the memo and wore the most popular designer of the evening, Stella McCartney. With Nicholas Kirkwood shoes.
Shockingly one of Stella M's besties, Liv Tyler, opted for Givenchy Spring/Summer 2011 haute couture.
Diane Kruger in Jason Wu, accompanied by the designer.
Leelee Sobieski in Vionnet.
Blast from the past Lucy Liu in Vionnet. Seriously where has she been hiding?!
Karolina Kurkova in Jean Paul Gaultier.
Jennifer Lopez in Gucci.
Possibly my favourite look of the evening - Dakota Fanning in Valentino.
Emma Stone in Lanvin.
Florence Welch in Yves Saint Laurent, with the designer Stefano Pilati also in YSL.
One would be forgiven for thinking the exhibition was honouring Stella McCartney as it appears her designs were overwhelmingly represented on the red carpet by the likes of Madonna, Colin Firth's Vogue-blogging wife Livia, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal, her soon-to-be-step-mother Nancy Shevell and Kate Hudson to name a few..
Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney and Christian Louboutin shoes.
Eva Mendes in Stella McCartney.
Naomi Watts in Stella McCartney.