East met West on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Monday (4 May). The costume institute debuted its newest exhibit, China Through the Looking Glass.

The exhibition shows the influence of Chinese art, imagery and culture, from Imperial China to the present day, on Western fashion and design.

Considered the biggest night in fashion, ten of China's top film stars including Li Bingbing and Gong Li rubbed elbows with some of the West's biggest celebs including Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian West.

Liu Wen, who is considered China's first supermodel, was proud her culture is the subject of this year's exhibit and said the night is more than about celebrating.

"I don't think this is a party, this is all about art. And I've been here almost like six times so every time is different for me because each year they are doing different things. And then this year there is a special focus on Chinese so I feel very special, so I just enjoy it."

Cher hit the red carpet with designer Marc Jacobs. Singer Rihanna, who was the night's entertainment, reigned over the Metropolitan steps in a dress designed by Chinese designer Guo Pei.

Model Naomi Campbell considered the night a chance for fun and reconnecting.

"I want to see Rhianna's performance, I can't wait. And just seeing everybody decked out. Just reuniting with people I haven't seen in a while," said Campbell.

With 150 dresses, gowns, costumes and accessories from 40 designers on display, China Through the Looking Glass, which runs from 7 May to 16 August, is one of the biggest exhibitions undertaken by the museum.

More than two years in the making, the show encompasses 30,000 square feet of galleries over two floors. It takes visitors on a journey showing how Western designers found inspiration in all things Chinese, from the elaborate embroidered costumes of Imperial China to Shanghai in the 1920s, up to the military garb of the Cultural Revolution.