Karrueche Tran attends the Gold Gala 2024. Tommaso Boddi/

By Stephy Chung, CNN and Leif Coorlim, CNN

Move over Met Gala. On Saturday, stars gathered on the steps of The Music Center in Los Angeles for the Gold Gala — a celebration of Asian Pacific influential talent across entertainment, fashion, technology and more, hosted by the non-profit Gold House.

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And they were dressed to represent — many proudly embracing Asian designers and cultural heritage through their red carpet looks.

Actor Karrueche Tran stunned in a striking red ao dai with a sheer overlay and headpiece by Vietnamese American fashion designer Thai Nguyen. “I knew I had to represent my culture, half of who I am, in a major way,” she wrote on Instagram. Tran has a Vietnamese mother and African American father.

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Watch: CNN interviews celebrities at the Gold Gala

01:56 – Source: CNN

Taiwanese drag queen Nymphia Wind, who recently won “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” told CNN that her ensemble by Singaporean designer Sheng Cheong — a dress and cape featuring a bold print of neon yellow and white “laser cut clouds” — was intended to “reimagine what club kids would look like in the Forbidden City.”

Elsewhere, Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar wore an ornately embroidered suit jacket by Rimple and Harpeet — an Indian fashion brand that specializes in handcrafted pieces inspired by ancient crafts and vintage textiles — and Indonesian singer Agnez Mo accessorized with golden hair pins and an elegant hand fan.

Actor Eugene Lee Yang attends the Gold Gala in an eye catching ensemble.

Actor Eugene Lee Yang attends the Gold Gala in an eye catching ensemble. Charley Gallay

Musician Agnez Mo, who is the most awarded artist in the history of Indonesia, arrived in a black and gold look.

Musician Agnez Mo, who is the most awarded artist in the history of Indonesia, arrived in a black and gold look. Araya Doheny

“Anything goes here and that’s what is so celebratory,” TV personality Jeannie Mai told CNN of the event, which is sometimes described as the “Asian Pacific Met Gala.” “It’s the one place where you can really represent and be invited to do so.”

The glitzy affair honors the Gold House’s annual A100 list — one hundred Asian Pacific leaders who have made a significant impact on culture and society. Author and TV host Padma Lakshmi, actor Lucy Liu and the cast and creator of Netflix’s Emmy-award winning series “Beef” were among honorees.

For actor and comedian Joel Kim Booster, the significance of a gala feting so many people in the AAPI community, was not lost.

“Events like this are so exciting to me because when I was coming up, I think there was a lot of energy like, there’s only going to be one of us in the room,” he said.

“It’s so rewarding to be in a space like this where we’re all coming together and supporting each other. It’s not something that I grew up imagining I’d have for myself.”

Lucy Liu, wearing a gown by Bibhu Mohapatra, and Karan Johar exchange a greeting at the Gold Gold 2024.

Lucy Liu, wearing a gown by Bibhu Mohapatra, and Karan Johar exchange a greeting at the Gold Gold 2024. Michael Kovac

From left to right, Shelby Rabara and Harry Shum Jr. attend the Gold Gala.

From left to right, Shelby Rabara and Harry Shum Jr. attend the Gold Gala. Monica Schipper

There have been barriers across industries; in Hollywood, Asians have historically been underrepresented or stereotyped. But that has changed in recent years.

A joint study by Gold House and the USC Annenberg found the percentage of speaking Asian characters in top box-office films in the US rose from 3.4% in 2007 to 15.9% in 2022. The roles themselves are more complex.

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