(Reuters) – Katy Perry came as an archangel, Rihanna dressed like the pope, and Kim Kardashian was a golden goddess for New York’s Met Gala on Monday on a night of high fashion inspired by religion.
Bejeweled crosses, veils and halo-inspired headdresses ruled on the red carpet, dubbed the Oscars of the east Coast for its celebrity guest list and stunning outfits.
From saints to sinners, guests took to heart the 2018 theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute ball.
Although some commentators had feared the Catholic theme might yield the most controversial Met Gala ever, most of the actors, models and music stars stayed on the right side of propriety in colors of red, white, gold and black.
Rihanna, one of the Met Gala co-hosts, dressed like a pope, sporting a head-turning, jewel-encrusted mitre with matching mini-dress and a priestly-style cape designed by Maison Margiela.
Katy Perry wowed in enormous, feathered six foot high white wings teamed with a Versace gold mini-dress paired with thigh-high gold boots.
The invitation-only Met Gala is a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and also marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition.
The 2018 exhibit shows how Catholicism has influenced fashion and designers through the decades and features more than 50 vestments and other religious items direct from the Vatican.
Madonna, a key religious provocateur early in her pop career, turned demure in a black, long-sleeved gown, with a huge gold crown, and a full face veil.
Kim Kardashian, appearing without husband Kanye West, kept it simple in a curve-hugging, gold metallic floor length dress with plunging neckline by Versace.
“Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker opted for a gold Dolce & Gabbana gown embroidered with sacred hearts and a towering nativity scene headpiece.
Jennifer Lopez chose a Balmain dress, split to the hip, with a large cross across the breast and a black feathered train.
Model Bella Hadid was among those opting for the darker side of religion, wearing a Chrome Hearts black latex and leather outfit with long black gloves, and a black veil trailing to the floor.
Actors Olivia Munn, Zandaya and Priyanka Chopra went for Crusades-inspired chain-mail outfits, while “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman was among the few men going avant-garde in an ivory cape with gold beaded crosses, an embellished suit, and gold colored shoes.
Other guests chose looks ranging from heavenly white (Dakota Fanning) to angelic yellow (Amanda Seyfried) and skin-baring black lace (Zoe Kravitz).
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Leslie Adler and Darren Schuettler