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At the heart of the Met Gala is this year’s Costume Institute exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo / Comme Des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.” The display of avant-garde styles and unusual silhouettes shaped the evening, which paid tribute to Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, founder and creative director of Comme des Garçons.

To state it best, for Kawakubo, “the whole point of clothes is to challenge the established notions of beauty,” as The Guardian reports.

And as the New York Times further points out, “ … she refuses to accept any of the rules that govern normal clothing design: that clothes need to be flattering, for example, or that they need to have armholes. Instead, she is interested in challenging our ideas about what defines beauty, identity and gender.”

For reference, scroll down to see Tracee Ellis Ross actually wearing Comme des Garçons. (Rihanna and a few others were, too). Is it fashion I’d wear? Probably not. But I can respect the style for its artfulness and the boundaries it’s pushing. Like the New York Times says, it is, perhaps, not dressing to be beautiful or sexy and not necessarily to accentuate your body type or gender.

Katie Holmes looked grand and elegant in Zac Posen, but it’s not the soft, billowing gown you first expect. On closer inspection, it’s structured and almost rigid. It’s fashion that takes what you expect and alters it slightly, and that, to me, is key to last night’s “avant-garde” theme.

It might be the Costume Institute’s gala, but I never fully enjoy the over-the-top costumes some guests wear. This year, though, I can see more and more that I appreciate the stars who take black-tie glamour one step further, altering their look slightly with an interpretation of the evening’s theme.

The 150-foot red (err, blue) carpet and grand staircase lend themselves to a lineup of gorgeous trains. There were feathers galore and leggy slits Angelina Jolie-style. Black-and-white-and-silver was a clear favorite, as seen on Cara Delevingne in a Chanel pantsuit, as well as Chrissy Teigen and Halle Berry, who added a sheer element to the monochromatic trend. Janelle Monae went extra bold in her go-to uniform of black and white.

What’s one look I can’t get over? Blake Lively’s golden Versace dress that bursts into a mermaid-blue feathered train. (Nicki Minaj was a fan of her look, too.)

Here are my 10 Best Dressed ladies from the 2017 Met Gala. Who topped your list?

1_MetGala_BlakeLively

Blake Lively, wearing Versace, with husband Ryan Reynolds

2_MetGala_ReeseWitherspoon

Reese Witherspoon wearing Mugler

3_MetGala_CaraDelevingne

Cara Delevingne wearing Chanel

5_MetGala_KatieHolmes

Katie Holmes wearing Zac Posen

4_MetGala_DianeKruger

Diane Kruger wearing Prada

6_MetGala_Zendaya_Dolce and Gabbana

Zendaya wearing Dolce and Gabbana, via Getty Images

7_MetGala_HaileyBaldwin

Hailey Baldwin wearing Carolina Herrera

8_MetGala_Fei Fei Sun

Fei Fei Sun in Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition, via Vogue.com

9_MetGala_Stella Maxwell

Stella Maxwell in H&M, via Vogue.com

10_MetGala_TraceeEllisRoss

Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Comme des Garçons

Photos by Benjamin Norman for The New York Times unless otherwise noted.

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