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Met Gala 2014 goes "Beyond Fashion"

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The Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City was overflowing with magnificent gowns, much like the ones created by designer Charles James, whose exhibit "Beyond Fashion" debuted at the annual Met Ball last night.

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The $ 25,000 a plate fundraiser is The Costume Institute's main source of funding. Gracing the rich, red carpet were the usual celebs and A-listers. Co-chair Sarah Jessica Parker looked stunning donning a Charles James looking ball gown. My fave, Bradley Cooper, another co-chair was uber elegant in his tails. This is the 16th year that Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour has co-chaired the benefit, as well as the guest list. Check out my photos to see what her star-studded guests wore on the red carpet.

For those who didn't get an invitation to the gala, you can still get an eyeful of glamorous, one-of-a-kind gowns by visiting the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" exhibit, which opens to the public May 8. The retrospective features 65 of the designers' most notable creations over the course of his career, which spanned from the 1920s until his death in 1978. I spoke with Co-curator Jan Glier Reeder about the exhibit. "James was an artist who chose fabric and its relationship to the human body as his medium of expression. In fact, a devoted James client once said, … his work went beyond fashion and was a fine art."

Exhibit curator Harold Koda talked about James' work ethic. "He approached his work as an artistic practice rather than a commercial one. He did not care about deadlines, business partners or clients. He just cared about making original dresses."

You will definitely see some of the most amazing and "original" dresses (check out my slide show) at The Metropolitan Museum's "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" exhibit May 8 – August 10, 2014.

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