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Black and white ruled the night at the Met Gala, with some stunners and bummers of all colours

Singer Rihanna arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating

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Singer Rihanna arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" on Monday, May 5, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - There were stunners, snoozers and bummers at the Met Gala, the former led by Sarah Jessica Parker, Karolina Kurkova and Sarah Silverman in stunning princess ball gowns and the latter led by, well, many.

Erykah Badu took Pharrell's hat to new heights with a swath of added bling, Maggie Gyllenhaal wore dots — albeit Valentino dots — and Lupita Nyong'o went for it in "divisive Prada," as one critic noted, dressed in parrot green flapper gear that included a jeweled cage overlay with large feathers on each side and a short brown sheath underneath.

Kristen Stewart wasn't far behind with an uh-oh moment of her own in busy, busy Chanel that was bejeweled, befeathered, nubby and metallic, cut in the middle by a wide waist band of some sort.

Black and white ruled the evening Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in honour of a new Costume Institute exhibit showing off the classic work of designer Charles James.

Parker's hair was high for her walk up the elegant staircase as she channeled James in black bodice, long white gloves and full gown by Oscar de la Renta. The designer even signed the look in red at the bottom of the back hem.

Silverman wore a classic strapless silhouette in maroon by Zac Posen and Kurkova was in a soft blue, tiered gown with floral touches from Marchesa.

The Jamesian black-and-white colour combos — Badu's badass trouser-and-trench outfit was from Givenchy — were joined by pops of yellow: Thank you, Olivia Munn, in low-cut Diane von Furstenberg, Jourdan Dunn in custom Topshop and a floral from Carolina Herrera on Emmy Rossum. Reese Witherspoon added some hot pink in a simple, strapless Stella McCartney.

Some other moments, both grand as befitting the year's big fashion night, and not so much:

RIHANNA: Her below-the-breast tattoo peeked out from under a white midriff top with a high jeweled neck and pointy padded shoulders, worn with a matching long pleated skirt that had an unfortunate foldover at the rear.

KATIE HOLMES: Mustard yellow, by Marchesa, off-the-shoulder and jacked from Belle in "Beauty and the Beast."

SHAILENE WOODLEY: Puffy sleeved brown met metallic grey at the chest, with sheer floral embellishment over short shiny brown underneath, a la Rodarte.

BEYONCE: The queen was in low-cut beaded black with a veil, joined by hubby Jay Z in the white jacket donned by many of the guys, including some who went for tails.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS and DAVID BURTKA: They took the tux to a faraway place. Their cropped jackets had long tails and their trousers bared ankle. Burtka's was grey, black and white argyle and stripes.

KIM KARDASHIAN: No couch fabric floral this time around. She wore belted Lanvin in a midnight blue and black. Perhaps not the best fit. There was lots of fabric.

KIRSTEN DUNST: Rodarte might just be the most misunderstood designers of the evening. The sister duo provided Dunst with a large splotch of metallic silver around the knees of her black gown and one shoulder loaded down with fabric while the other was a barely there sheer.

BLAKE LIVELY: She wore Gucci in blush for a polished look that included a caped effect from shoulder to the end of her train.

SOLANGE KNOWLES: It was orangey peach. It was floppy with fabric. It was short. It was by Phillip Lim. She was without her big hair.

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