Over the years, the Met Gala has evolved from an exclusive, industry-centric museum fundraiser to a pop cultural tentpole known for having a red carpet showing that rivals the Oscars — as well as for the celebrity drama that often goes down behind closed doors. The first Monday in May gave the world the backstory of Beyoncé's "Lemonade" (you may remember Solange and Jay Z's elevator quarrel caught on video); it's when Taylor Swift began her very public (if not short-lived) romance with Tom Hiddleston, a man who was very much not her boyfriend Calvin Harris; and it's emerged as platform for A-list couples to their official relationship debuts arm-in-arm. However, the Met Gala is an event that is first and foremost about the fashion, and while there's generally enough headline fodder to keep gossip columnists busy for days, the clothing rightfully falls at the center of most discussions surrounding it.
The 2018 Met Gala celebrates the new exhibition "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," which is the largest-ever staged by the museum, spread across two separate locations. While the religious theme initially raised some eyebrows, guests clearly did their homework this time around — something that's been lacking in recent years, particularly in regards to the "China: Through The Looking Glass" and "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between" exhibits. Attendees turned to tasteful interpretations of classic Catholic iconography and dress, from angelic halos and traditional lace to rich Renaissance-inspired embroidery and modern takes on modest robes.
Narrowing down our list of best dressed gala-goers was particularly challenging this year; it's not every day that you see Rihanna show up dressed like the actual pope, Chadwick Boseman wearing a cross-adorned cape, Cardi B making her Met Gala debut in a blinged-out madonna ensemble, and Kate Bosworth in a stunning cathedral veil that commanded the crowd's attention.
Based on commitment to theme, willingness to take a risk and good old-fashioned creativity, we edited down the red carpet arrivals to our 29 best dressed guests at the 2018 Met Gala. Let these fine folks take you on a Monday evening trip to sartorial church.
In case you feel like browsing every single look that came down the red carpet — or, rather, up the Met staircase — we've got you covered with our full gallery from Monday night below.