The Met Gala accessory of the night

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(CNN) — With a dress code honoring America's Gilded Age, the Met Gala's guests looked to the past for inspiration. And there was one accessory that stole the show Monday night: the vintage tiara.

Actress Tommy Dorfman and YouTuber Emma Chamberlain were among the celebrities sporting generations-old crowns. However, it was the editors of Vogue magazine — organizer of the glamorous annual fundraiser -- who led by example.sc

The evening's host, Anna Wintour, swapped her signature sunglasses for a glittering tiara. Speaking to reporters on the red carpet, Vogue's longtime editor-in-chief revealed that the jewel-encrusted item was a family heirloom dating back to around 1910.

The magazine's global editor-at-large, Hamish Bowles, meanwhile opted for a gold feather tiara, lending some sparkle to his white-tie outfit. In an Instagram post he revealed that it was designed by Fulco di Verdura, an Italian duke and jeweler who worked with Chanel in the 1920s and '30s.

Bowles explained that it had been designed for philanthropist Betsey Whitney to wear to a ball at London's Buckingham Palace in 1957 — and it has not been worn in public since, he added.

"I saw it (at) chez Verdura a decade or more ago, fell in love with it and never thought that one day I would have my Eliza Doolittle moment wearing it," he explained in the caption.

The theme spanned generations, with Chamberlain sporting a tiara made by Cartier in 1911 — nine decades before she was born. She completed the look with a Louis Vuitton crop top and floor-length white shirt.

Elsewhere, Dorfman accessorized her daring Christopher Kane cut-out dress with a bag reading "Protect Trans Kids" and an elegant vintage tiara. She told People magazine that her crown was "almost 200 years old, which is pretty sensational."

There was plenty of other headwear on display, with hats and fascinators seen throughout the evening. Among the most dramatic was model Winnie Harlow's headpiece, designed Iris Van Herpen. Sarah Jessica Parker meanwhile enlisted master milliner Philip Treacy for her towering feathered design.

One of the night's co-hosts, Blake Lively, took a more contemporary approach in a tiara custom-designed by jeweler Lorraine Schwartz.

Honoring the architecture of the Gilded Age in New York City, the star's outfit nodded to the Statue of Liberty, with the crown's 7 spikes — like Lady Liberty's — symbolizing the seven continents. Lively also asked Schwartz to feature 25 stones to represent the iconic statue's 25 windows.

"'Who's actually going to be counting the stones?'" she recalled Schwartz asking her. "'Me," she replied with a laugh. "I'm a Virgo."

This story was first posted on CNN.com, "The Met Gala accessory of the night"