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Kim Kardashian closed the red carpet at the Met Gala on Monday in one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic dresses, Monroe donning the gold-beaded body as she sung sensationally Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy 60 years ago.

Kardashian had to lose 16 pounds to fit in the dress, which was designed by Jean Louis and purchased in 2016 by Ripley’s Believe or Not! Museum in Orlando, Florida, $4.81 million.

“It was such a challenge,” she said. “I was determined to match it.”

The dress originally cost $12,000. It was so tight, Monroe had to be sewn inside when she read the phrase “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” on May 19, 1962, at a fundraiser in Madison Square Garden. She died three months later. It has since been known as the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress.

With boyfriend Pete Davidson at her side, Kardashian paired the dress with Cartier diamond and white gold earrings and a short white fur jacket, which she kept strategically low to cover her backside. Her hair was platinum and pulled tightly into a bun.

Earlier, Blake Lively smiled for the cameras in an oversized Atelier Versace gown, with husband Ryan Reynolds in a brown velvet, Billie Eilish wore a recycled green lace dress by Gucci and Cynthia Erivo and a crisp white Louis Vuitton with a matching headpiece as the Met Gala returned to its mooring On the first Monday in May after years of epidemic turmoil.

Blake Lively, left, and Ryan Reynolds attend the Metropolitan Institute of Art’s Fashion Benefit Ceremony to celebrate the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/

The celebration of American design was themed with gilded glamour, with classic black tuxedo suits featured for many men and plenty of black and white dresses for women. Others actually lauded New York City, the home base of the Gilded Age, still shimmering in metallic gold and silver.

“Black and white are the colors of the evening,” said Holly Katz, fashion designer and host of the Fashion Crimes podcast.

Lively, one of the evening’s co-hosts, wore a bronze and rose gold look that turned into a shimmery coat of light blue when pulling the big bow. Its appearance was inspired by the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the blue roof of Grand Central Station.

“Instead of looking for fashion to influence the dress, I looked at the architecture of New York City,” Lively said.

Cardi B, accompanied by Donatella Versace, was a lavish golden goddess in a mesh and chain dress, a birthday-appropriate for the designer.

“I wanted to give to a woman, and Donatella to bring in,” said Cardi, who recently had a baby. The inspiration was the modern Gibson Girl.

Gigi Hadid was more of a catwoman redefined than a golden girl. She wore a skin-tight red latex catsuit with a belted bodice and an oversized, heavy Versace quilted coat. She walked very carefully up the stairs.

Meanwhile, Lizzo sparked cheers from the crowd as she played the golden flute for the crowd who were watching the fashion parade outside. She wore a black dress under a stunning black gold-embroidered coat, all by Thom Browne.

Camila Cabello worked in a massive white dress with a midriff blouse, by Prabal Gurung, while stage producer Jordan Roth made his own reveal, removing an egg-like black shell into a puffy suit, all by Tom Brown. Janelle Monae delivered a regal ripple in a dazzling black and white helmet piece and elegant headpiece gown.

“Amazing. I’m proud to be American. I’m proud to wear Ralph Lauren. That’s amazing glamor from the future,” Monae told The Associated Press.

New York Mayor Eric Adams put politics front and center in a tuxedo emblazoned with “End Gun Violence” on the back. Former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton wore a burgundy gown designed by Joseph Altuzarra with the names of historic women sewn into the hem and neckline. Among them are Abigail Adams, Shirley Chisholm, and Madeleine Albright.

Clinton’s last concert was a while ago.

“I told Anna I would attend every 20 years,” she said.

The cast of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” joined forces in Prada’s sparkly suits, gowns, and gowns. The movie’s star, Austin Butler, wore a short bodysuit and silk scarf with a bejeweled brooch. Luhrmann said his film is, after all, about America.

Maude Apatow, in an off-the-shoulder black Miu Miu, accessorized with accessories by Cartier, including a diamond necklace.

Vogue live co-host Vanessa Hudgens walked the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a fuzzy black Victorian lace dress with a long train by Moschino. She was joined by La La Anthony, fellow Vogue hostess who wore a deep red look with cut-out shoulders by Laquan Smith.

“I’m practically naked,” Hudgens joked.

“Those stairs are scary,” said Anthony.

And if the return of the Met Gala seems like one of those moments it really is.

It’s been less than eight months since the last gala, an annual fundraiser that collects eight figures for the Met’s Costume Institute. More than $16.4 million was raised last year. The star-studded event is the institute’s primary budget feeder.

This year’s gala coincides with the opening of the second part of a two-part exhibition at the Costume Institute focusing on American fashion and style. The evening dress was a gilded sparkle and white tie, in the style of the Gilded Age, that turbulent period between the Civil War and the beginning of the 20th century known for its robber barons, drama and grandeur.

Some of the stars included extra touches. Gabrielle Union said the red jewelry in her hair with her silver Versace dress represented the blood of people of color during the Golden Age. The dress included a large red rose embellishment at the waist.

Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who has run the party since 1995, wears a Chanel and feathered tiara that’s been in her family since 1910. She went on as one of the honorary heads of the night, along with designer Tom Ford and Adam Mosseri of Instagram. The other two official co-chairs for 2022 are Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Eilish wore the look of a custom Gucci corset in ivory and duchy satin with green lace and a quilted bustle. Erivo’s appearance came with a big train as Sarah Jessica Parker, who wore Christopher John Rogers, wore a black and white striped Cinderella dress with a towering pink and black feather headpiece by Philip Treacy.

Parker’s dress was inspired by the work of Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, the White House’s first black fashion designer, girlfriend of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

Inspired by her native New York City, Ralph Lauren’s Alicia Keys dress, with a gown that evokes the New York City skyline outlined with tiny, hand-laid crystals. Her husband, Swizz Beatz, who is also a Native New Yorker, wore a New York track jacket.

Keys said her dress was meant to “represent an imperial state of mind and the City of Gods here tonight.”

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, showed up with his mother, May Musk, a former model adorned with Chopard pearls and other jewellery. Her son went in a classic attire with tails.

Meanwhile, Tessa Thompson opted for a bright cotton and ink tulle dress by Carolina Herrera, designer Wes Gordon at her side. She said that her look was made of 200 meters of tulle. Gordon said Thompson told him pink was her favorite color and he took it from there.

Ariana Deboss was radiant in a gold Moschino gown by Jeremy Scott.

“This guy turned me into a fashion Oscar,” she said.

The ceremony included a marriage proposal. Former state assembly candidate Bobby Deji Olisa got down on one knee to pose the question to Laurie Combo, the city’s commissioner for cultural affairs.

What’s a Met Gala without more than one Kardashian, or six. The whole family showed up, including Kylie Jenner in a white ball gown with a matching hat and older sister Kourtney Kardashian in a Thom Browne break-up to go with a Travis Parker Thom Browne suit. Kendall Jenner was dressed in Prada in black as she played “The Devil and Angel” with Kylie. Sister Khloe Kardashian wore gold by Moschino and Queen Kris Jenner wore canary yellow from Oscar de la Renta, an ode to Jackie Kennedy Onassis—her ’60s hair.

Megan Thee Stallion was also a golden goddess. Her Moschino gloss had wings at the shoulders. Kwanna Rose wore a blue embroidered strapless gown created in partnership with original designer Lynez Umeso.

For Gwen Stefani, gilded sparkle meant a neon green Vera Wang dress complete with matching long opera gloves and a cropped bodice that matched her floral ball skirt.

Sans husband Justin Bieber walked Hailey Bieber in an elegant Saint Laurent dress by Anthony Vaccarello with a white feathered coat.

Katy Perry, who’s usually a bitch like cheeseburger and other weird looks over the years, wore Oscar de la Renta this time.

While he wore many European brands, the American vibe remained, said Rachel Tashjian, director of fashion news at Harper’s Bazaar.

“Many of the best looks were the most obvious. Kate Moss in a velvet Le Smoking Tuxedo dress, Hailey Bieber in a soft ice-coloured silk dress and Marabou feathers, for example. They were both at Saint Laurent, which of course isn’t an American brand, but The simplicity and directness of her beauty and charisma was so unusual and patriotic. ”

Todd Snyder, a New York-based designer, appreciated the night’s many interpretations of the white dress code.

Seeing how he pushed people beyond the expected interpretation was refreshing this year. I loved Austin Butler in a custom Prada where she swapped out the classic tie for a silk scarf over a short tux jacket. Ryan Reynolds and Reg Jane Paige reminded us of the elegance of velvet in a tux. While That the era on the outside was lavish, Riz Ahmed’s statement to wear a work uniform inspired by the dress code to represent the migrant workers who kept the golden age going is a statement not to be forgotten.”

Associated Press writers Nardos Healy and John Karocchi in New York contributed to this story.

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