NEW YORK: Madonna and Rihanna stunned as fashion high priestesses on the red carpet at New York’s Met Gala, headlining the most sought after invitation in the celebrity universe.
Madge, the Catholic girl from Michigan and queen of pop whose 1989 hit “Like a Prayer” remains a dance-floor classic 30 years later, presided over the “Sunday Best” theme dressed head to toe in Jean Paul Gaultier.
The 59-year-old mother of six balanced a golden crown studded with crucifixes on her head, shrouded her face in a black fishnet mantilla and donned a very flouncy, very full and very black gown.
Held every year on the first Monday in May, the black-tie extravaganza is the chief source of income for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, reportedly raising more than $12 million in 2017.
The gathering of A-list models, musicians and movie stars, dubbed “the Oscars of the East Coast,” saw Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Donatella Versace join Vogue supremo Anna Wintour as this year’s co-chairs.
Tickets are said to cost $30,000 each or $275,000 for a table, but all guests must be invited, ruling out all but the most elite Hollywood actors, music superstars, top models and fashion designers.
If A-listers have shunned the theme in the past, this year’s “Sunday Best,” a nod to the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition at The Costume Institute, proved popular.
Meanwhile, Rihanna, the Barbadian superstar and one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, proved her red carpet pulling power in a jewel-encrusted gown from John Galliano’s Maison Margiela and bejeweled bishop’s hat.
Katy Perry dressed as an angel with enormous feathered white wings that towered over her petite frame and trailed the floor, a Versace chain-mail gold mini-dress and thigh-high stilettoed gold boots.
Jennifer Lopez stepped out in a beaded and feathered gown with a giant mosaic crucifix on the front.
Sarah Jessica Parker, a doyenne of New York high society and the “Sex and the City” fashionista, walked the red carpet in full-length gold brocade by Dolce and Gabbana and an astonishing head piece.
Rounding up the list of favorite dressed are “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman who came in white Versace ensemble and Blake Lively who donned an elaborate Versace gown.