Beyonce attends the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City

Beyonce attends the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City

*Celebrities from music, film and the fashion world swarmed the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday evening for the annual Costume Institute gala, the main event on New York’s fashion calendar.

Whereas last year’s theme was colorful punk, this year was all about flowing gowns and white tie attire under this year’s theme: “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.” James, who died in 1978, was a mid-20th century designer who specialized in spectacular, sculptured gowns made with intricate draping techniques.

It’s the inaugural exhibit of the new, $40 million Anna Wintour Costume Center, named for the Vogue editor. It opens to the public on Thursday.

Actress Lupita Nyong’o, the fashion star of awards season, wore a short brown sheath covered by a beaded and feathered overlay in bright green, with a matching headband and a bright green clutch. She went for it in “divisive Prada,” as one critic noted.

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

lupita nyongo met gala2

 

Beyonce wore a dark, sheer, low-cut beaded black Givenchy ensemble with a veil.

Beyonce

Beyonce

 

beyonce met gala2

Beyonce

Beyonce

Beyonce

Although “white tie” technically involves a black jacket with tails, Jay Z sported a white tuxedo jacket, sans tails, also by Givenchy.

beyonce jay z met gala

Jay Z and Beyonce

 

In midnight blue and black, Kim Kardashian, walked the red carpet in a belted Lanvin with a very high slit in front, accompanied by her fiancée, Kanye West.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

 

Rihanna

Rihanna

In all white, Rihanna wore a sleek, midriff-baring McCartney design, with a high jeweled neck and pointy padded shoulders, worn with a matching long pleated skirt that had a foldover at the rear.

rihanna met gala2

rihanna met gala3

 

Zoe Saldana sported a boldly shaped Michael Kors dress.

zoe saldana met gala

 

Actress Rashida Jones in a lavender Tory Burch gown said, on the red carpet, “If I stop moving, I might fall.”

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones

 

Erykah Badu wore a trouser-and-trench outfit from Givenchy, accented with a hat that put Pharrell’s to shame.

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu

 

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie