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    Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Katy Perry Get White-Hot and Flashy at Met Gala

    Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Katy Perry, Kirsten Dunst, Diane Kruger Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images, Larry Busacca/Getty Images, Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

    Did Memorial Day move to the end of April and we missed the memo?

    Stars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute Gala benefit, which launches the "American Woman" exhibit, were gorgeous as usual, but the belles of the ball were undoubtedly those who bucked the old wives' tale and wore white.

    Taylor Swift , Emma Watson, Diane Kruger and Kirsten Dunst were simply colorless visions. Katy Perry was something else entirely...

    Since Lady Gaga didn't walk the red carpet (she was performing inside the bash), it was up to the "I Kissed a Girl" singer to bring the whimsy. And bring it she did, in a creation complete with a "trigger" that set off strings of colored LED lights built into the gown from shoulder to hem.

    Of course, the wet and windy New York City weather made that even more treacherous than those famous Met stairs.

    "There's a trigger in my dress. That's not really the best thing right now," she told E! News. "At least I'm lighting up!"

    Swift was also lighting up...with excitement for the big night, that is.

    "Everyone is beautiful and sparkly and I'm just so excited to be here," she said. "I picked out this [Ralph Lauren] dress because it looked like a gown that you would wear to a ball. I just feel being invited to a gala like this, you want to wear a gown that you would wear to a ball."

    She wasn't the only one dressed for fashion royalty.

    Kristen Stewart looked forever fierce in Chanel, Jessica Szohr was jaw-dropping in Versace and Zoe Saldana sizzled in Calvin Klein.

    Where there wasn't white couture, there was Jessica Biel, Gwen Stefani, Anne Hathaway, Eva Longoria Parker and Kate Hudson in nudes.

    Tina Fey Larry Busacca/Getty Images

    And, as usual, there were a few surprises.

    Tina Fey took an unusually daring route in a zip-up catsuit. Yep, she wore pants.

    Jessica Alba looked smashing—that's no shocker—but she was draped in the event's sponsor, Gap. Her fantastic frock was designed by Sophie Theallet for the mass retailer and it will be up for auction soon to benefit the Met's Costume Institute.

    Lastly, Oscar de la Renta-clad hostess Oprah Winfrey reminds us that the gala, benefit or whatever you want to call it, isn't just about having a ball. It's also about an educational exhibit.

    "This is about celebrating the American woman," she gushed to E! News. "I want everybody to not just look at the glamour of this evening but to actually come to the exhibit. The exhibit is spectacular! You will feel so proud to be a part of the American woman's emergence in fashion, in life, in style."

    American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 5 until Aug. 15.

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    Get more @redcarpet action in our Met Gala gallery!

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