NEW YORK • Everywhere, gold crosses, halo-inspired headdresses and angel wings filled the red carpet on Monday, as celebrities kept faith with the theme of Heavenly Bodies: Fashion And The Catholic Imagination at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute ball.
Pop singer Rihanna, one of the co-hosts, answered prayers from some journalists for at least one celebrity who dared to be different.
She wielded a jewel-encrusted mitre with matching mini-dress and priestly-style cape designed by Maison Margiela.
Singer Katy Perry caused a flutter with enormous, feathered white wings resembling an archangel over a Versace gold mini-dress paired with thigh-high gold boots.
The Met Gala is a fund-raising benefit for the New York museum. It also marks the opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibition.
This year, the exhibition details how Catholicism has influenced fashion and designers through the decades. It features more than 50 vestments and other religious items from the Vatican.
But on Monday, model Bella Hadid opted for the darker side of the religious-inspired theme. She wore a Chrome Hearts black latex and leather outfit with long black gloves, and a black gold-embroidered veil trailing to the floor.
Headpieces, often halo-style, were in abundance, favoured by the likes of singer Rita Ora, actress Anne Hathaway and rapper Cardi B, as were trains flowing for metres down the long museum steps.
Crosses were also ubiquitous, worn around necks, hands or belts by the likes of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, actress Uma Thurman and actress Lily Collins.
The red carpet was followed by a sit-down dinner and a tour of the Heavenly Bodies exhibit.
But if the guests wanted morsels of trivia, there were plenty to chew on. United States President Donald Trump proposed to his wife, Melania, at the event in 2004.
Tickets cost US$30,000 (S$40,000), but you cannot just buy one - Wintour, one of the chairmen of the gala, approves attendees.
Some guests presumably shared stories of how they had gone the extra mile for the occasion.
"They had to sew me in on the way here," said actress Olivia Munn.
Her dress, by H&M, was inspired by Crusade-era chain mail.
Hadid said of her veil: "It's sewn into my head. The things we do, darling."
Others were ready to take the evening less seriously.
Where were his kids, actor George Clooney was asked. "They're under the dress," he said, waving towards an enormous train on the outfit worn by his wife, Amal, one of the event's chairmen.
But a feeling of religiosity did suffuse the evening.
"Yeah, I love God," said comedian Tiffany Haddish. "God loves me - look at my career."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, NYTIMES