EFEBy Nora Quintanilla. New York City, US

Celebrities paid tribute to the United States on Monday during the return of the Met Gala in New York City with the colors of the American flag, iconic fabrics such as denim, patriotic creations by designers and expressions of multiculturalism.

The gala, an annual fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art held on the first Monday in May, was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and postponed this year to September to coincide with the end of New York Fashion Week.

The event's dress code is inspired by the theme of the year's annual fashion exhibit curated by the Costume Institute, the museum's fashion department, and this year was "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion."

The event kicked off in true American style, with a marching band, whose members dressed in red, white and blue tracksuits took over the white – not the usual red – carpet.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, who organizes the gala, which was live-streamed for the first time, arrived early and told media that the Met's exhibition is "very diverse, it’s very inclusive, very sustainable" and "symbolizes that America is made up of so many different cultures."

Tennis player Naomi Osaka, one of the hosts of the event, wore a Louis Vuitton gown that drew inspiration from her Haitian and Japanese roots, while the lead singer of Blondie, Debbie Harry, wore a hoop skirt of red and white stripes with a blue denim jacket.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian wore a head-to-toe black ensemble by Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia in contrast to her stepsister, Kendall Jenner, who opted for a sheer, jeweled dress.

Singer Billie Eilish also ditched her signature punk style for a nude tulle Oscar de la Renta princess dress by with hair styled in a Marilyn Monroe-esque bob.