Spring's Gorgeous Gowns

See the night's most darling dresses on the Olsens, Nicole Kidman and 10 other starlets at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala. By Emily Fromm and Rebecca Paley

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MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN

MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN
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Vintage was the style of choice for the sisters, who held hands throughout Monday night's Costume Institute Gala at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ashley (right) picked an Oscar de la Renta design while Mary-Kate donned a lacy frock from the upscale N.Y.C. shop What Comes Around Goes Around.

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NICOLE KIDMAN

NICOLE KIDMAN
WENN/Landov

Kidman, the face of Chanel No. 5 perfume and cochair of the night's event celebrating the House of Chanel, wore – what else? – Chanel. The gown was handmade especially for the Interpreter star and was accented with a diamond necklace by Fred Leighton.

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JESSICA SIMPSON

JESSICA SIMPSON
Dara Kushner/INFGoff

Simpson arrived with two dates: best friend CaCee Cobb and Michael Kors, who designed her skintight gown. The Dukes of Hazzard star, who'd flown in to New York earlier that day, had only an hour to get ready. "My dress wouldn't zip up, so I'm basically stuck in it," she said.

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JENNIFER CONNELLY

JENNIFER CONNELLY
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Connelly accessorized her feathered Balenciaga dress with a letter "P" necklace (for her husband, Paul Bettany). Her favorite thing about the party? Just being at the Met. "Since I was a kid, I had a fantasy that I would find myself locked in the museum at night," the New York native said. "With or without the dress, the museum is so extraordinary."

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ELLE MACPHERSON

ELLE MACPHERSON
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The supermodel took the comfortably elegant design of her Calvin Klein gown a step further – by wearing flip-flops. "I'm a surfer chick. What can I say?" explained Macpherson, who came with fiancé Arpad Busson for "a romantic weekend in New York. The kids (Flynn, 7, and Aurelius, 2) are back in London where we live. We've been looking at exhibitions and hanging out."

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SELMA BLAIR

SELMA BLAIR
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Wearing a vintage Chanel ball gown, Blair snuck out of the party early. "I have to catch a plane," she confessed. "I feel like a Cinderella jetting off." She was due the next day on the Vancouver set of The Fog but came that night for Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld. "He made my wedding dresses," said Blair, who's married to Ahmet Zappa. "He is precious to me."

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NAOMI WATTS

NAOMI WATTS
Peter Kramer/Getty

The King Kong star described her Calvin Klein Collection gown as "angelic, but a bit ice-queen-y." She had an admirer in fellow partygoer Jake Gyllenhaal, who called her dress "gorgeous – a cloud."

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MELANIA TRUMP

MELANIA TRUMP
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In an Alexander McQueen gown and plenty of body shimmer, Donald Trump's new bride had a blast dressing for the gala. "I like having fun when I'm getting ready with hair and makeup," she said. "It's like a small party every time." Said her proud husband: "She has great fashion sense."

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AMANDA PEET

AMANDA PEET
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The A Lot Like Love star looked radiant in a Marc Jacobs dress and Fred Leighton diamond headband – but she was more impressed by her fellow guests. "Everyone is so beautiful," Peet gushed. "It's overwhelming." Having ended her Off-Broadway run in Neil LaBute's play This Is How It Goes, she's enjoying some down time: "I'm seeing my friends and a lot of theater."

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MARCIA CROSS

MARCIA CROSS
Dara Kushner/INFGoff

Clad in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton, the Desperate Housewife said she came to the gala for a very simple reason: "I was invited." And though Cross doesn't have a favorite Chanel piece, she said, "Right now I would like anything warm."

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RACHEL WEISZ

RACHEL WEISZ
Gilbert Flores/Celebrityphoto

The Constantine star wore vintage Chanel, even though Weisz admits that "I always wear Narciso Rodriguez." And on her arm for the night was her director boyfriend Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), who joked about the fashion-conscious evening: "I have an issue with museums, so I'm glad I don't have to look at the art while I'm here."

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SHERYL CROW

SHERYL CROW
Evan Agostini/Getty

The singer, in Ralph Lauren and vintage Cartier gems, had no trouble getting prepped for the event: "I had a staff of people getting me ready," Crow said. "I just sat there and had them work their magic." Her beauty secret? "Chapstick."

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