6 MAY 2008

Click for gallery of more fabulous gowns

Aside from the Oscars no other showbiz gathering draws big name guests quite like New York's glittering Costume Institute gala. Rock icons, the movie elite and fashion gods and goddesses all step into the limelight for the annual Metropolitan Museum event.

This year the ball, which is a barometer of all that's happening on the celebrity scene, was celebrating the museum's latest exhibition, 'Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy'.

And the evening's hero was undoubtedly Giorgio Armani, the co-chair and the designer behind much of the VIP guests' splendid attire.

The Italian maestro shared a laughter-filled conversation with fellow organisers, screen heart-throb George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who dazzled in a platinum Armani Prive lame sheath. "It takes extra powers to stay up this late," joked the mother of three, flashing her famous megawatt smile.

Also stepping out in Armani were the Beckhams, who reinforced their Hollywood status by sharing the red carpet with Tinseltown pals the Cruises and Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria.

Posh spiced up the proceedings in an unusual vintage, beaded coat dress in cream lace, while her pal Katie Holmes was just as eye-catching in an orange affair accessorised with bright blue pumps.

Another big name getting the flashbulbs going was newly engaged Scarlett Johansson, who happily showed off her diamond sparkler - though Canadian actor fiancé Ryan Reynolds wasn't in attendance.

Fashion was represented by supermodels Iman - with husband David Bowie - and Kate Moss, who attended with her designer buddy Stella McCartney. Meanwhile, Jimmy Choo boss Tamara Mellon was escorted by handsome boyfriend Christian Slater.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Co-chairs George, Julia and Giorgio Armani celebrate the success of the glitzy extravaganza. "Giorgio very sweetly asked if I could be his date," revealed the gorgeous actress Photo: © spgitalia.com Click on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Cruises and the Beckhams - along with their friend Eva - were among a host of famous names attending the Costume Institute Gala Photo: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Movie beauty Naomi Watts was among those paying homage to the evening's superhero theme Photo: © Getty Images
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