Met Gala 2012

There's only one night a year that gathers fashion's cream of the crop--celebrities, designers, top editors, models, and muses--under one roof, an evening that celebrates the art of high fashion in an appropriately dramatic way. The occasion to which we are referring is none other than the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! The annual Met Gala has garnered mainstream attention over the past few years, but your WWW editors have long revered this star-studded soiree, where the most adventurous ensembles parade on the red carpet and push the sartorial envelope. Whether you're simply a lover of fashion or a seasoned industry veteran, you'll certainly appreciate last night's stunning array of red carpet looks. It's noteworthy to point out that a number of them paid homage to two powerful Italian female designers and the focus of this year's exhibit, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada!

As the late Schiaparelli was a prominent designer during the Art Deco era in the '20s and '30s, and Prada is one of the most influential names in fashion today, the exhibition is aptly titled Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. When the exhibit officially opens to the public on Thursday, May 10th, guests will explore seven themed galleries showcasing 90 designs and 30 accessories from both designers, as well as Baz Luhrmann-directed videos of simulated conversations between the two. Schiaparelli and Prada are known for challenging tradition and pushing the boundaries in fashion, albeit in entirely different eras, and the exhibit reveals their corresponding, and sometimes differing, aesthetic approaches.

Since the Met Gala is clearly fashion's most glamorous evening, we culled some of our favourite ensembles for today's What They Wore story. We'd love to hear which looks you love, since unlike the fictional tète-à-tètes between Schiaparelli and Prada, this conversation is entirely possible!

WHO: Solange Knowles
WHAT: DJ/trendsetter
WEAR: Rachel Roy citrus silk corset peplum gown; Edie Parker Flavia gold and silver confetti clutch; Christian Louboutin Au Palace shoes in gold; Jennifer Fisher XL Stud Spike Ring, Zig Zag Ring, and Twisted Cone Ring.

WHO: Diane Kruger
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Prada royal purple layered crepe silk chiffon V-neck gown with cascading jade green stones; Prada clutch and shoes.

WHO: Lana Del Rey
WHAT: Singer
WEAR: Altuzarra black and silver hand-embroidered gown and silk georgette cape.

WHO: Gwyneth Paltrow
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Prada steel blue duchesse halter-neck dress with inverted black pleats and macro-paillettes embroidered patch pockets; Prada shoes; Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie Summer Bamboo Earrings, Celestial Fire Lotus Ring, and Spring Orchid Ring.

WHO: Rooney Mara
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Givenchy Haute Couture gown by Riccardo Tisci.

WHO: Mary-Kate Olsen
WHAT: Designer/tastemaker
WEAR: The Row custom dress; Christian Louboutin heels; Fred Leighton jewellery.

WHO: Emma Stone
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Lanvin custom-made red satin dress with hand-embroidered crystal flowers; Lanvin black gloss leather pumps; Lanvin crystal hair pins.

WHO: Carey Mulligan
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Prada gold and silver degrade metal paillettes scaled halter-neck dress; Prada bag and shoes; Neil Lane diamond and platinum stud earrings and diamond and platinum cocktail ring.

WHO: Jessica Alba
WHAT: Actress
WEAR: Michael Kors gold lame one-shoulder goddess gown from Resort 13 collection; Roger Vivier Pilgrim Coeur clutch; Brian Atwood Bellini Platforms; Wilfredo Rosado yellow gold and diamond cuff, earrings, and ring.

Images, courtesy of Getty.