When it comes to red carpet fashion, the real action doesn’t happen at the Oscars. No, it happens two months later at the annual Met Gala, where every style star you could think of—from models and actresses to musicians and more—shows up dressed in their finest (and sometimes most insane) ensemble of the year.
I’ve been obsessed with this event for years, and I absolutely love watching the red carpet live stream and reliving all of the great (and insane) gowns that have walked down the Met Gala red carpet in the past. Since there was no live stream this year (tragedy!), I was left to obsessively refresh my Getty Images feed, waiting for each and every last photo from the red carpet to pop onto my screen. And was it worth it? You better believe it.
This year’s Met Gala celebrated couturier Charles James, who designed gorgeous, sculptural gowns and works of art for the fanciest of ladies in the ’40s, ’50s and beyond. Thanks to the Charles James: Beyond Fashion theme, stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce, the Olsen twins and more showed up decked out in stunning, high-fashion and ultra-glam gowns that were a feast to the eyes for someone like me, who absolutely adores over-the-top red carpet fashion.
There were so many amazing looks to hit the event last night (and yes, there were plenty of bad ones, too—ahem, Maggie Gyllenhaal) that I could barely narrow down all of my favorites. But I managed somehow, and here are my top 13 outfits from last night’s red carpet:
British model Suki Waterhouse looked divine in this tiered-tulle Burberry gown that blended perfectly with her fair skin, while 50 Shades of Gray actress Dakota Johnson was so elegant in her minimal, sequined tank and full, flared skirt. And seeing as Carolina Herrera is one of my all-time favorite designers, you know a floral-print ball gown on Emmy Rossum would make it to my best-dressed list any day.
After faltering for a while, my love of velvet has had a resurgence, and this silver velvet-paneled Donna Karan gown on Nicole Richie looks absolutely gorgeous against her olive skin and lavender locks. Naomi Watts, meanwhile, can do no wrong in my book, especially when she’s wearing a couture creation from one of the greatest design labels around. Diane Kruger is another of my style icons, and I love that she opted for a sleek, perfectly fitting gown this time around instead of something a little edgier or envelope-pushing (as I would have expected).
Marion Cotillard is one of those Parisian ladies I’d emulate in a second, especially if it means I could own something as chic as that plunging, perforated Dior dress. As for Olivia Munn, this may be the best the actress has ever looked on the red carpet, thanks to the way that gorgeous dandelion yellow pops against her dark skin. And when it comes to Emma Stone, I love that she opted for a two-piece ensemble that was spring-ready, understated and just the perfect amount of sexy.
Leighton Meester dazzled in this plunging, boho-chic Pucci number, and young Hailee Steinfeld was a classic black-and-white dream in this super-slimming and delightfully dramatic Prabal Gurung gown (which got its inspiration from James’s classic Four-Leaf Clover dress shape).
I can’t stop staring at this sculptural work of art that is Karolina Kurkova in a stunning floral-print Marchesa number, and I don’t think any lady at the event could have pulled it off better. But for me, the absolute best dressed of the evening came from a surprising source (surprising, because it wasn’t Beyonce or Lupita Nyong’o): Victoria’s Secret Angel Lily Aldridge. The gorgeous model looked unbelievable in this liquid Michael Kors number, which fit like a glove and breezed down the red carpet effortlessly. Oh, and that killer diamond necklace and those beautiful brows didn’t hurt her case either.
So what do you think: Who was your best (and worst) dressed at the 2014 Met Gala?