Met Gala 2011

Last night marked the 63rd annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, otherwise known as our favourite evening of the year. While we always adore this red-carpet occasion--it is the fashion industry's biggest event and always boasts the most daring, directional, and down-right interesting ensembles--this year is particularly special, thanks to its Alexander McQueen-honouring theme.

The party serves as the spectacular kick-off for this year's exhibition--Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty--which celebrates the designer's work from his 1992 Central Saint Martins postgraduate debut to his final runway collection, which was presented after his death last spring. Officially opening on Wednesday, May 4th, the exhibition features approximately 100 ensembles and 70 accessories created by McQueen, which were gathered from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, the Givenchy Archive in Paris, and private collections. In addition to the magnificent show, last night's gala feels like a fitting tribute to McQueen's genius. We love the fact that so many attendees wore archival McQueen pieces (Sarah Jessica Parker, Karen Elson, and Daphne Guinness, to name a few) and how other designers interpreted McQueen's singular sensibilities.

In tribute to the Met Gala, we've complied a smattering of our favourite looks from the event and are pleased to present them in this very special edition of What They Wore. As always, be sure to let us know which gowns are your favourites--and why!

WHO: Ashley Olsen
WHAT: Designer/stylesetter
WEAR: Vintage Christian Dior Haute Couture dress with white puff sleeves; Judith Leiber Flip Top Clutch in Capri; Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery; Christian Louboutin shoes.

WHO: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
WHAT: Model
WEAR: Custom-made Burberry Prorsum rose silk gown, nude python clutch and heels; vintage Fred Leighton jewellery.

WHO: Anna Dello Russo
WHAT: Vogue Japan Editor-At-Large
WEAR: Alexander McQueen black duchesse satin tailcoat, white shirt, and gold fern-embroidered trousers from the S/S 11 collection; Alan Journo egg hat; Alexander McQueen gold snakeskin hobnail boots from the S/S 11 collection.

WHO: Jessica Stam
WHAT: Model
WEAR: Tommy Hilfiger dress; Judith Leiber clutch; Chopard heart-shaped diamond bib necklace and diamond earrings; Cathy Waterman rings; Roger Vivier shoes.

WHO: Ginnifer Goodwin
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Custom-made green silk twist-front Topshop Unique gown; Kotur clutch; Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery; Aperlai heels.

WHO: Blake Lively
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Chanel beige tulle, paillette-embroidered dress with chiffon sash from the F/W 09 Haute Couture Collection.

WHO: Mary-Kate Olsen
WHAT: Actress/designer/stylesetter
WEAR: Vintage Givenchy dress; Judith Leiber Tessen Clutch in Siam; Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery; David Webb emerald rings; Nicolas Kirkwood platform sandals.

WHO: Diane Kruger
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Jason Wu nude Chantilly lace top and black silk chiffon draped skirt from the F/W 11 collection; Jimmy Choo Lina Clutch; Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery; Manolo Blahnik heels.

WHO: Liv Tyler
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci tulle degrade gown with quilted and appliqued motifs and ostrich feather embroidery at the hem; Givenchy mimosa satin clutch; Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery; Givenchy mimosa satin sandals.

Photos of Ashley Olsen, Diane Kruger, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jessica Stam, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Liv Tyler, and Anna Dello Russo, courtesy of Getty