Beyonce, Kristen Stewart, And Rihanna Stun At The 2012 MET Gala

What do cascading feathers, lemon yellow peplums, errant capes, pops of hot pink, and gigantic gold sequins have in common? They all get top billing at the 2012 Met Gala! Arguably fashion’s equivalent to the Oscars and prom all rolled into one magical night hosted by Vogue magazine to celebrate the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gala is the one event of the year where you go big, bold, bright, and brilliant or you get booed off the crimson carpet. (Seriously, the paparazzi this year were INSANE with their commentary, and one photog’s hilarious banter was picked up by Vogue’s live stream all night.) Thankfully, there was a steady stream of stunners down the carpet and up the steps. From see-through mega gowns and a dress made entirely of red plastic flowers to mismatched cocktail numbers and the Longest Donna Karan Train in the World™, we bring you our top picks of the night.

BEYONCE

Beyonce at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Raise your glasses, coffee mugs, celebratory baby bottles—what have you—because pop icon and new baby mama Beyoncé brought the Met Gala tent down. You guys, LOOK AT THIS DRESS. Words cannot convey the magnificence that is this jaw-dropping Givenchy show-stopper. What’s more, when everyone was inside and the press was about to pack up their gear and go, Bey decided to saunter on up the carpet in all her lens shattering glory like, “Oh, hi! Am I late? Did I miss anything?” NO, B, we missed YOU. From the sleek-swept ponytail to the utter see-through mastery of this dress, your eyes barely know where to focus before exploding along with the black to purple ombre feathers (FEATHERS!) pooling around her ankles. This is how you do the Met Gala. Period.

CAREY MULLIGAN

Carey Mulligan at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Carey Mulligan was one of the co-chairs of the evening and chose a gold sequined Prada dress in honor of Miuccia Prada, who is sharing the Met exhibit with legendary designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Besides the fact that this dress is stunning in shape and razzle-dazzle power, we love that it needs no accessorizing whatsoever. Mulligan’s smile is the best accessory along with the modern upward sweep of her blonde bangs and the simplicity of her shimmery gold heels. Are you dying to see her upcoming turn as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby as much as we are? Can’t. Wait. Also, bravo, Miss Mulligan. This dress is a gold statuette winner.

SOLANGE KNOWLES

Solange at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Not to play favorites or anything, but Solange Knowles looked INCREDIBLE in
Rachel Roy. When she stepped onto the carpet, the paps went crazy, and rightfully so. How can you not gasp at the the sheer boldness of this structured peplum wonderment in the most delectable shade of sunshine yellow? With a gorgeous crown of curls, bold eyes, pale lips, and sparkling clutch, Solange pretty much stole the show (along with her sister, that is). Remember how we said there was only one right way to do the Met Gala? This is another way. #PERFECTION

EMMA STONE

Emma Stone at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Emma Stone never disappoints. She’s always up for wearing something totally fun and age-appropriate that commands attention. Her red Lanvin cocktail dress was yet another winner in her pantheon of style-slaying red carpet moments. With a modest structured bodice and youthful flounce to the skirt, this dress is full of peppy exuberance and pairs well with nothing but a simple pair of black heels. *Hand claps* to the minimal makeup and easy-going hair, too.

CAMILLA BELLE

Camilla Belle at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Whoa. Camilla Belle killed it in a silver beaded, body-contouring Ralph Lauren gown. Very Gatsby-esque in feel, yet modernized with that dramatic deep-cut neckline, we like that this is a classic look updated with bold brows and super dark lips. She’s elegant and intimidating all at the same time, and undeniably stunning.

DAKOTA FANNING

Dakota Fanning at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Dakota Fanning! It’s fun to say Dakota Fanning’s name in your head imagining exclamation points at the end of it. The same can be said about this muted lilac Louis Vuitton gown. (Louis Vuitton!) Chosen specifically for Miss Fanning by the house of V, it feels spring-like in hue and shape. With a modest neckline and corseted bodice that gives way to a voluminous skirt frilled-out in spiral-shaped ruffles, this dress is very belle of the ball (or queen of the prom, take your pick). It’s refreshing to see Dakota keeping her hair simple, too, with the only adornments being small flower clips in the back, which is a welcome change from those golden hair chains of yore. All in all, a vision of loveliness.

NINA DOBREV

Nina Dobrev at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Alright, it’s time for a collective gasp in honor of Nina Dobrev and her black and gold Donna Karan Atelier gown. Aside from the one-shouldered draping, body-grazing contouring, and spray-painted effect of the gold, this dress is all about that train. WOWZAS. This is mayjahh moment right here. It’s like she’s a reincarnated Cleopatra or some sort of mythical fairy creature with lit-from-within luminescence. Also, it’s like she was born with a permanent fash-stance prowess that makes for perfect picture taking at any vantage point. Look up the word GLAM, and this is what you should see.

KRISTEN STEWART

Kristen Stewart at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Leave it to Kristen Stewart to mix up the red carpet gala rules by choosing a short, mismatched Balenciaga cocktail dress with strappy white heels. Nicholas Ghesquière is known for his modern minimalism and seemed proud to parade K-Stew down the carpet in something so astonishingly different from everyone else. Not only does this dress pick up on the mixed print trend, it throws in color-blocking and hints at rockabilly heat with that slick pencil skirt. It’s just so different from the usual gown-y-ness of this event that we had to applaud the audacity of it (not to mention Stewart’s trademark natural hair and makeup game). Fresh, modern, and gutsy… like Kristen herself.

LENA DUNHAM

Lena Dunham at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

We’re big fans of Lena Dunham here at MTV Style and watch her new HBO show Girls religiously. Thus, we were thrilled to see her at the Met Gala and on the arm of longtime Vogue editor Hamish Bowles. Dunham chose an emerald green Wes Gordon dress in a subtle mullet cut that allowed her bright pink Stella McCartney heels to stand out. We love the dark-lined eyes and pulled-back hair, too. Full of enthusiasm and witty banter while being interviewed, we’re guessing the Dunham-Bowles table had the most fun of the night.

RIHANNA

Rihanna at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

Oh, Rihanna, how you never fail to render us speechless with your utter gown gorgeousness. Slicked from neck-to-toe in shimmering black alligator scales courtesy of Tom Ford, we can’t help but open mouth breathe at the sight of this thing. As you know, Ri always goes for it in the style department, and though this dress looks somewhat tame in its full coverage from the front, rest assured that there’s plenty of bareness going on in the back. With a simple updo and flawlessly elegant makeup, we’re liking this chic, grown-up look—super long nail talons and all.

BONUS: LANA DEL REY

Lana Del Rey at the ’Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7 in New York.
Photo: Getty Images

We threw in a bonus look just for your style-gazing pleasure! And how could we not when it was none other than Lana Del Rey? Not only did the “Born to Die” singer cause a frenzy in her silver Joseph Altuzarra Met Gala gown, she made headlines with a darker hairdo. Also, she paired her new look with the darkest of lipstick and a goth cape. THIS is the bold, craymazing kind of ensemble we’ve been hoping for! Though the theme last year was Savage Beauty and Superheroes reigned the year before that, we think Lana is channeling both of those years into this year, which is awesome. #SHAZAM

+ CHECK OUT MORE RED CARPET PHOTOS FROM THE 2012 MET GALA

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