The Met Gala Comes to Jesus. Rihanna Comes as the Pope.

Each spring, a gala serves as the opening of the annual blockbuster present at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute. Hundreds of celebrities arrive in a frantic seasonal migration for that occasion.

This yr, that exhibition is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” — and the selection of a spiritual theme gave numerous gala attendees a scorching likelihood to tee off to the line of reporters on the occasion’s packed crimson carpet on Monday evening.

“I’m a pagan,” stated the actress Frances McDormand. “Aren’t you?”

“This is like my skin, I’m proud to be in it,” stated Lena Waithe, the actress and author, who was regally wearing a black swimsuit and cape that turned a broad rainbow. “I’ve got the community on my back to make sure they know I’ve got them all the time.”

“The theme to me is like be yourself,” Ms. Waithe stated. “You were made in God’s image, right?”

Not each outfit was political. “I’m the back wall of the Sistine Chapel,” stated Ariana Grande, the singer, whose costume was a mass of papal conclave shade. “I feel fairly important in this outfit, I have to say.”

Building a relationship with the Catholic Church took important work by the Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. Eventually, the church lent greater than 40 gadgets to the exhibition, which encompasses an unlimited 58,600 sq. ft and extends to the Cloisters. A papal tiara, with 18,000 diamonds, was flown to New York with a bodyguard.

The Met Gala could also be the world’s fanciest occasion. The ceremonial crimson carpet procession was to be adopted by cocktails, then dinner (lobster with gold flakes was on the menu), then a dessert buffet. President Trump proposed to his spouse, Melania, there in 2004. Tickets are $30,000, however you’ll be able to’t simply purchase one — Anna Wintour, the creative director of Condé Nast who’s one in every of the chairwomen, approves attendees.

And its crimson carpet entrance is one in every of the premier showcases of celeb manufacturers, for musicians, actors and style of us alike.

“This carpet is one of the most important carpets of the year,” the mannequin Bella Hadid stated.

A employees member dipped to regulate the prepare of the designer Ariana Rockefeller, David Rockefeller Jr.’s daughter.

“Leave her alone, she’s perfect,” a photographer shouted.

“We based the dress on a tapestry from the Cloisters museum,” Ms. Rockefeller stated. “And of course my great-grandfather John D. Rockefeller Jr. founded the museum, so we really wanted to incorporate family history as well as honor the theme tonight.”

Unlike in the Crusades themselves, there was little or no blood shed this night. “They had to sew me in on the way here,” stated Olivia Munn, who was bleeding very barely. Her costume was impressed by Crusade-era chain mail, by H&M.

“It’s sewn into my head,” Ms. Hadid stated of her veil. She was carrying Chrome Hearts. “The things we do, darling.”

And, in what has change into one thing of a practice, one attendee used the evening to seize consideration.

While all these celebrities flirted with the theme of Catholicism this yr, none took it on as fearlessly as Rihanna, a chairwoman for the occasion who dressed like the feminine pope the Vatican has by no means had.

Rihanna’s hat was paying homage to the papal tiaras worn by popes from the medieval period till the mid-1960s.

Others had been prepared to take the night much less severely.

Favorite a part of the evening? “Eating a vegan cheeseburger right before,” stated the poet Cleo Wade.

Eva Chen wore an outfit impressed by Joan of Arc and stated the toilet was the place to be. “The secret is that is where people are partying,’’ she said. “No, I’m joking.”

Where had been his children, George Clooney was requested? “They’re under the dress,” he stated, waving towards the huge prepare on the outfit worn by his spouse, Amal, one in every of the occasion’s chairwomen.

“I forgot my ticket, do you think they’ll let me in?” requested the performer Rita Ora as she approached the entrance to the Met. They may, in the event that they know who you’re!

But a sense of religiosity did suffuse the night.

Katy Perry arrived in huge white feathered wings. “I feel very angelic, celestial, ethereal,” Ms. Perry stated on the crimson carpet.

“Yeah, I love God,” stated the comic Tiffany Haddish. “God love me — look at my career.”

The occasion is underwritten by Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, and by Versace. In addition to Rihanna, Ms. Wintour and Ms. Clooney, Donatella Versace can also be a chairwoman.

Ms. Wintour has led the gala since 1999. The occasion, stated Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, “has gotten better and better each year.”

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