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Notes from the 2010 Costume Institute Gala: Jessica Stam's Torn Gown, No Armani Dresses Worn, Miuccia's Front Row Gaga Seat

Notes from the 2010 Costume Institute Gala: Jessica Stam's Torn Gown, No Armani Dresses Worn, Miuccia's Front Row Gaga Seat

>> There were no headbuttings this year at the Costume Institute Gala, but there were a few other surprises — particularly for Jessica Stam, who Tweeted last night of her slinky Rachel Roy gown: "I can't believe I put my dress on at 6pm and it was ripped all down the back. Last minute stitching before I hit the red carpet at the Met."

And there was Katy Perry, who nixed the de rigeur designer gowns in favor of a LED-flashing dress from a shop in France called CuteCircuit, earning her today's WWD cover. "I respect and appreciate Anna Wintour, but I'm doing this for me," she told StyleList. "That's what people should do, especially when they're representing true women in American fashion. [If] Anna comes over and says 'Shut that f-ing thing off,' I'll do it."

Sarah Jessica Parker debuted her first <nobrand>Halston</nobrand> Heritage design »

Wintour, meanwhile, who wore Chanel to the event for the umpteenth time, says she answers to Karl Lagerfeld. "He's the master, so whatever he says, I obey." She added that all the hoopla surrounding the Met Gala is not just to show off pretty dresses. "I want everybody to not just look at the glamour of this evening, but to actually come to the exhibit."

Co-host Oprah Winfrey, in custom Oscar de la Renta, had her own plans. "I feel so great in this dress, I will be eating and drinking a lot of tequila." And her best friend Gayle King, was pleased to announce that her date for the night was Wintour's beau Shelby Bryan. “He’s sitting with Anna. It’s just that I needed help walking up the steps.”

Another surprise of the evening: the complete lack of Armani representation — not a soul wore the usually well-represented red carpet stalwart. But a couple of others used the event to debut their new design gigs: Sarah Jessica Parker premiered her first gown as president of Halston Heritage — "I went over every inch of it and every seam" — and Erin Fetherston, Juicy Couture's new creative consultant and guest designer, whipped up a velour Bespoke Juicy Couture gown for the occasion.

Others went casual — Marc Jacobs arrived wearing a baseball cap, and both Ralph Lauren and Hamish Bowles wore jeans, the latter noting, "It's the first time I wore jeans since I was 19."

But most surprising was the lack of the night's performer, Lady Gaga, on the red carpet — she reportedly neglected to do so in favor of preparing for her four song extravaganza, but wore a "Prada black shawl-collar tuxedo," inside, a snippet of which can be seen here. Miuccia Prada didn't seem to mind — when it was time for Gaga to perform, she apparently pulled up a front row chair for an unobstructed view.

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