Rihanna, left, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kanye West are seen arriving at the 2012… (Getty Images / Associated…)
The Costume Institute Gala held at the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is excessively referred to as "fashion's Oscars," and the Ministry is always proud to see our Hollywood favorites bring their sartorial A-game.
Monday evening saw another year of major celeb presence for the annual fete, this year showcasing "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," the museum's new exhibition.
Gala chairs Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue magazine, newlywed actress Carey Mulligan and designer Muccia Prada received the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kanye West, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, Rihanna, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks and Scarlett Johansson, to name a few.
PHOTOS: Met Gala 2012
Fashion appreciation abounded, like Justin Timberlake's moment celebrating his tuxedo designer Tom Ford.
"He's a beautiful man and makes beautiful suits," Timberlake, with fiancee Jessica Biel on his arm, told Vogue's carpet host William Norwich.
Style-heavy show "Mad Men" had two lovely ambassadors in Jessica Paré, the current Mrs. Don Draper on Matthew Weiner's AMC drama, and January Jones, who cut a slim post-baby figure in an electric yellow Versace gown.
"I was with my baby in the hotel room," Jones told Vogue of her pre-gala preparations. "I had makeup, and then hair and then bath for baby."
Brooke Shields turned up nursing a potential injury, as she accessorized a black evening gown with a cane for support. Funny couple Amy Poehlerand Will Arnett got points for their refined looks, as did fellow pair Cory Monteith and Lea Michele, who was in a skin-tight Diane Von Furstenberg number.
Rooney Mara, she of the "Dragon Tattoo," came rocking her award season favorite Givenchy, whizzing by Lana Del Rey in a gothic-glam creation from Joseph Altuzarra.
After the record-breaking success of "The Avengers," Johansson showed up in a custom Dolce & Gabbana gown, an appropriate solid gold creation to match her box-office triumph.
While Kanye attended sans girlfriend Kim Kardashian, he surely had acquaintances in Jay-Z and Beyoncepal Paltrow. Gwyneth showed off her Tracy Anderson-toned legs in a Prada mini with embellished pockets.
Speaking of embellished, big shout-out to "Twilight Saga" star Kristen Stewart -- for her third Met outing, it seems Stewart is really coming into womanhood and her own personal style. With designer Nicolas Ghesquiere by her side, Kristen wore a multi-patterned Balenciagamini with tousled hair and killer heels.
It was Rihanna, however, who pulled the evening's trump card: the pop singer came late, moments after the red carpet closed, in a body-hugging Tom Ford gown, an alligator skin in black with some major fingernails to match.
"The dressing part was easy," she said, running into the museum, "my nails took forever. They're like claws."
RiRi also hinted that some designing of her own is headed to shelves, saying "designing is definitely in the near future for me. We're working on it as we speak."
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2010 Met Gala: Celeb arrivals at the Costume Institute bash
Met Gala 2011: Madonna, Kristen Stewart, Kanye West work the red carpet [Pictures]
Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter @mattdonnelly.