May 07, 2018 08:13 PM

After sitting out last year’s event, Met Gala MVP Sarah Jessica Parker made a show-stopping return to the red carpet. As someone who’s a “stickler for the theme” (remember her punk-themed Mohawk in 2013?) she paid respect to the “Catholic Imagination” dress code in a high-fashion, yet respectful, way.

Parker arrived on the carpet with her pal Bravo’s Andy Cohen (he’s her plus-one every year) in a metallic three-quarter-length-sleeve Dolce & Gabbana gown with long train that features gold embroidery throughout with red heart accents.

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While her train looked show stopping for her photo op on the carpet, her date for the evening was not a fan. In an Instagram story during their ride to the museum Cohen called the train of her gown “the bane of my existence.” Adding, “I’m going to step all over it, I’m going to be in charge of it.”

Put Parker’s pièce de résistance was her a towering headpiece that she told reporters is a nativity scene to scale, which directly honors the theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”

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“I am inspired by the themes,” Parker told E! “One can only do your best. This was particularly enjoyable because Dolce & Gabbana — they’re devoted observant Catholics — and so they’ve grown up with the church and imagery and they had a lot of strong feelings and beautiful sketches so it was easy.”

This year, the museum’s exhibit will display 150 designer pieces that exemplify the Catholic church’s influence on fashion designers. And despite getting the seal of approval from the Vatican, which even loaned some garments and accessories to the Met, it may still be one of the most controversial themes in the gala’s history. And the exhibit’s curator, Andrea Bolton recognized that.

“Every show we do at the Costume Institute has that potential,” Bolton told the New York Times about the ability to be provocative. “This one perhaps more than any other. But the focus is on a shared hypothesis about what we call the Catholic imagination and the way it has engaged artists and designers and shaped their approach to creativity, as opposed to any kind of theology or sociology. Beauty has often been a bridge between believers and unbelievers.”

“It’s important to have ideas that are a reflection of contemporary interests,” Bolton added. “That strike a chord or are synergistic with the collective consciousness.”

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But in all the time’s Parker’s attended, there’s never been a theme too difficult or provocative for her to pull off. She famously defended her Hamilton-inspired suit to the 2016 Met Gala when social media users accused her of not abiding by the year’s Manus x Machina theme.

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“Always welcome thoughts but I’m a stickler for the theme and pay close attention to what it means. Every year with great consideration, research and conviction,” she explained on Instagram. “The understanding of man and machine, how they intersect, when and why is what we considered. Perhaps you weren’t aware of the technology used in the details and embellishments of the design. Or perhaps you simple didn’t like that I wore which is completely fine but you can’t accuse me of not paying close attention and adhering to the theme. With respect and warmest regards, sj.”

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In addition to giving us an amazing on-theme sartorial moments throughout the years, she also is known for wearing elaborate headpieces.

She wore a Mohawk headpiece with her spray-painted ball gown at the 2013 punk-themed gala.

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And displayed a meme-inducing Philip Treacy headpiece adorned with tassels, ribbon-like flames and red pom-poms in 2015.

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