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Charles James: Beyond Fashion and the designers who paid homage at the Met Gala

At The 2014 Costume Institute Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, designers plunged their best looks with a couture flare onto the red carpet worn by notable celebrities.

Karolina Korkova Marchesa
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Taylor Swift
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The Met Gala ushered the opening of the inaugural exhibition of the newly renovated Costume Institute. The exhibit examines the career of the legendary twentieth-century Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906–1978). Charles James: Beyond Fashion explores James's design process, focusing on his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.

The Costume Institute museum within The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses a collection of 35,000 costumes and accessories from the 15th century to present day.

This particular year is a special one for the institute. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has designated the space occupied by The Costume Institute as the Anna Wintour Costume Center. First lady Michelle Obama did the honors of cutting the ribbons at the official opening ceremony.

In her role as benefit chair and fundraiser Ms. Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue Magazine, Artistic Director for Conde Nast and Trustee of the Met since January 1999, raised $12 million dollars this year and $125 million in the 16 years that the event has been running.

The fundraising event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, acquisitions and capital improvements.

While the invitation read “evening-wear” for women and “white tie” for men, it was expected that a parade of gowns will make their debut on the red carpet. This is an event where designers make an appearance to hold their position as masters of the craft by showcasing their best work in conjunction with the current year theme.

So who measured up to the task of achieving the look for this year’s theme? See the slide show to see the masters's work.