There was more than tacos, margaritas, and all those other Cinco de Mayo staples to celebrate on May 5th, in 2008. The fashion party of the year, the Metropolitan Costume Institute’s gala, took place last night and fêted Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, an exhibition highlighting how designers have been inspired by comic book characters and superheroes.

Before dinner, which was held in the Metropolitan’s stunning Temple of Dendur, guests made their way through the exhibition to a cocktail hour in the Petrie Court.

The exhibit is open to the public from May 7th to September 1st and features approximately 60 film costume, haute couture, and high-performance sportswear ensembles organized according to different interpretation of the body.

The sections include ‘The Graphic Body’ (with Superman and Spiderman costumes and designer incarnations by Galliano, Armani, and Gaultier), ‘The Verile Body’ (with Hulk backdrops and designer incarnations by Alexander McQueen and Galliano), ‘The Paradoxical Body’ (with Catwoman costume and designer incarnations by Docle and Gabbana, Thierry Mulger, and Versace), ‘The Patriotic Body’ (with Wonder Woman costume and designer incarnations by Bernhard Willhelm and Rick Owens), ‘The Armored Body’ (with Iron Man costume and designer incarnations by Thierry Mulger, Pierre Cardin, and Balenciaga), ‘The Aerodynamic Body’ (with Speedo and Nike ensembles), ‘The Mutant Body’ (with X-Men costumes and designer incarnations by Thierry Mulger, As Four, and Alexander McQueen), and ‘The Postmodern Body’ (with designer incarnations by Walter Van Beirendonck, Alexander McQueen, and Thierry Mulger).

Of course, the fashion and Hollywood elite were all in attendance at last night’s gala and strapless frocks and sequence seemed to be the theme of the night. Some notable fashions included the dress worn by Mary-Kate Olsen, which was a sequined gold dress with a plunging neckline and Ashley Olsen who was in a black keyhole number. Both of the sisters’ dresses came courtesy of Diane von Furstenberg. Fergie was in a rather goth black satin Marchesa gown accented with a diamond brooch on her right shoulder. Katie Holmes (with hubbie Tom Cruise), donned a stunning strapless red Giorgio Armani number. Armani was also the night’s Honorary Chair. Maggie Gyllenhaal, the newest addition to the Batman franchise, sported a strapless, purple Peter Som ensemble, and Scarlett Johnson wore a strapless, bustier-style Dolce and Gabbana off-white dress. Anna Wintour, looking rather sci-fi, wore an ornately padded and structured, silver Chanel Haute Couture piece as she arrived with daughter Bee Schaffer who was in a strapless purple Nina Ricci gown.

The only downer of the night – style icons Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz were both notably absent…There is always next year! In the meantime, be sure to check out the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit at Metropolitan Museum of Art if you are in the New York City area!