Glittering stars arrive for the 2022 Met Gala in New York City

Known for celebrities in over-the-top outfits, the so-called Oscars of the East Coast returned on its traditional date of the first Monday in May, just eight months after 2021's pandemic-delayed event in September.

This year’s A-list guests were told to dress in “gilded glamour” for the annual fundraiser for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Blake Lively, a Met Gala co-chair along with her husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, arrived in a glittering bronze-colored Versace dress influenced by New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

Attendants later removed a large bow and rearranged the gown’s long train to reveal a turquoise and brass look, a switch that Lively said was an ode to the greenish patina that bronze buildings develop over time.

“Empire State of Mind” singer Alicia Keys also celebrated New York, wearing a Ralph Lauren dress with 200,000 crystals arranged to look like the city’s skyline.

The invitation-only Met Gala marks the opening of the annual fashion exhibition at the museum’s Costume Institute. This year’s exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” caps a two-part exhibition and focuses on the history of American dress.

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she was attending for the first time in 20 years to celebrate the fashion and spirit of America. Her burgundy gown featured subtle embroidery of the names of 60 famous American women including abolitionist Harriet Tubman and Madeleine Albright, the late secretary of state.

Another political figure, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, wore a tuxedo jacket with symbols of New York’s subway system and “End Gun Violence” written on the back. He took the opportunity to note the economic struggles that many people experienced during the opulent Gilded Age of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Although we had some great inventions and some great architecture … it was also a dark period and we should never forget that,” he said.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who organized the gala, wore a colorful Chanel dress with feathered cape and an American tiara, a family heirloom from 1910.

Actor and musician Janelle Monae donned a black Ralph Lauren gown with a silver- and black-striped hood that she described as “the gilded age of the future.”

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