NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Celebrities were out in full force Monday night for one of fashion’s biggest events, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual gala fundraiser to benefit the Costume Institute.

Stars from Hollywood, the music industry and the sports world walked the ivory and blue carpet Monday night as the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were transformed into a runway.

“No matter how dressed up you get and how much time you spend getting ready, you get here and you go ‘I should have spent more time getting ready, I should have put more thought into this,'” said Julie Chen, co-host of “The Talk.”

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This year’s theme Commes des Garçons: Art of the In Between honors the work of Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. Her quirky and unconventional designs have been called “anti-fashion.”

Vogue editor-in-chief and co-chair of the event Anna Wintour calls Kawakubo a genius.

“I think she’s been described as a designer that not only thinks outside the box she doesn’t even acknowledge the box,” Wintour said.

Women’s Wear Daily’s Style Director Alex Badia says the stars who stayed true to the night’s theme had to basically get into character to pull off the fantastic fashions.

“She inspired everybody to take risks. Every designer, every celebrity – they had to go out of their comfort zone,” he says.

As celebrities incorporated that way of thinking into their outfits some of the results were truly unique like the outfit worn by singer Pharrell Williams’ wife and the mysterious red ensemble worn by singer Katy Perry.

Other outfits that have people talking include the one worn by singer Rihanna. She’s getting praise for keeping with the theme of the event, as is former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, who wore a Kawakubo design.

Badia says the night was all about fashion as art.

“That’s the whole purpose of the event — to think outside the box,” one New Yorker said.

Madonna, on the other hand, missed the mark by some people’s estimation in a camouflage gown.

Others whose attire is drawing criticism include the Olsen twins, Thandie Newton, and supermodel Giselle Bundchen, who showed up in a dress many felt they’d seen her wear before. Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress is being called boring.

“She looks beautiful, but yeah the ponytail, the exposed back — we’ve seen it before,” Badia said of Bundchen’s look.

Oddly, reality star Kim Kardashian went for an understated look and is being complimented by many who say the look is outside the box for her.

Plenty of other stars opted for more traditional red carpet gowns like Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes and Reese Witherspoon.

But the night’s fashion choices included everything from ribbons and pearls, to spikes and sequins, to plaid and platinum.


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