Movie stars, business titans and bold fashion collide at Met Gala

The red carpet for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual fundraiser attracted the hottest celebrities and trendiest fashions, reports CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers.

On the surface, it's a charity dinner raising money for the Costume Institute at New York's preeminent art museum, but dig below the surface, and you find movie stars and business titans. At the center of it all is the fashion world's arbiter of all things chic, Vogue's Anna Wintour, who also co-chairs the event.

The Met Ball has become synonymous with springtime in New York. The dresses were so elegant and elaborate, it took a team of four people to help Rihanna and her extraordinary train navigate the red carpet.

Sarah Jessica Parker, a symbol of bold fashion choices, topped her look with a headdress befit for royalty.

Fashion model Karlie Kloss ported Versace and said jade was her theme accessory.

The Met Ball began in 1948 as a way to raise money for the museum's costume department.

"This is the best people-watching night of the year: New York, LA., anywhere," CBS Corporation president and CEO Leslie Moonves said. "This is a lot of fun. I look forward to it."

The night combined established pairs, like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and produced some unlikely duos: Cher and Mac Jacobs.

113506636.jpg
Musicians Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala on May 2, 2011, in New York
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

"She's an inspiration, she's a talent, she's just a voice and a vision and someone I've respected and admired and loved," Jacobs said.

With groups of celebrities gathering on the red carpet at once, it took some planning and coordination to really make an entrance.

Around 10:30 p.m., two and a half hours after the red carpet officially closed, music royalty Jay Z and Beyoncé gave new meaning to the phrase fashionably late.

While we can't speak for the event's hosts, those following online excused the tardy entrance.

The annual event celebrates the opening of the Costume Institute's spring exhibition. This year's "China: Through the Looking Glass" celebrates China's influence on Western fashion. It was evident in the head pieces, silks and chinoiserie worn by many at the gala.

"It's about an imaginary China. It's the China that exists really in our imagination and a China that is mythical and fantastical," Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton said.

More than 100 pieces of clothing are on display on three floors inside the museum.

"This show is about the cultural interplay between East and West told through cinema, fashion and art," said the exhibit's artistic director and Chinese film director Kar Wai.

As the worlds of fashion and Hollywood keep getting closer, the bold faced names will continue to pay homage to the Met Ball.

Since Anna Wintour began hosting the gala, the event has raised more than $145 million for the Costume Institute with attendees shelling out $25,000 for an individual ticket.