In recent decades, red carpets have become an event in their own right, with celebrities being judged and remembered by the looks they turn out – some go down in history, some are happily forgotten.
The annual Met Gala event is arguably the most iconic red carpet event of them all, with celebrities from all industries gathering at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts to serve high fashion in front of Anna Wintour herself. Each year the theme of the Met Gala changes, making for fresh concepts and unique looks every single time.
All that said, here are ten of my favourite looks from the past decade of the Met Gala:
Dua Lipa, 2019: Versace
The 2019 Met Gala was its most fashion-forward yet, without question (as you’ll probably guess, seeing as it has multiple entries on our list). First up is Dua Lipa, wearing a shiny psychedelic Versace bodysuit that incorporated an open-front skirt and bouffed bows around the side and back of the garment. Bearing in mind this was her first time attending the Met Gala, the “Don’t Start Now” singer came with no holds barred, hitting the nail straight on the head and delivering an iconic red carpet moment.
Rihanna, 2018: Maison Margiela
2018’s theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” was a reinvention of sorts for the Met Gala, a theme like no other that was interpreted in so many different ways by guests and designers. Rihanna was undoubtedly the highlight of the night, arriving in a pearl and crystal delicately embellished Maison Margiela gown which featured a regal cut open overskirt and a matching statement headpiece. The internet broke for this one; leaving Rihanna keeping her crown for ultimate Met Gala attendee.
Cardi B, 2019: Thom Browne
In her second appearance at the event, Cardi B made sure all eyes were on her as she pulled up in a Thom Browne designed gown so extreme, it needed its own entourage to help transport its never-ending train. The details are what make this garment so impeccable, the feathered shoulders and crystallised headpiece and $250,000 worth of rubies (yes, you read that right). There’s no doubt that this is Cardi’s biggest fashion statement to date.
Madonna, 2013: Givenchy
For 2013’s “Punk: Chaos to Couture” theme, Madonna collaborated with Givenchy’s Ricardo Tisci to create a hot, punky fashion statement, rocking a tartan blazer with as many metallic studs as was feasibly possible. Donning ripped fishnets that ran all the way up to her neck, Madonna held a strong power stance for the cameras and showed off all the glorious details of her spectacular punk moment.
Kim Kardashian, 2019: Mugler
After facing criticism online for some ‘lacklustre’ looks in previous appearances at the Met Gala, 2019 was the year Kim Kardashian-West proved she can make everyone stop and stare. Not only did the iconic, jewel dripping Mugler dress take eight months to make, Kim looked incredible in the latex garment, wearing her hair wet with the hanging beads acting like small drops of water. With her waist synched within an inch of her life, Kim proved there’s more than one supermodel in the family.
Zendaya, 2018: Versace
Zendaya approached 2018’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” with her own spin, arriving as a couture, eye-catching knight. Designed by Versace, the gown featured metal shoulder pad embellishments and an exquisite chain-link train – brilliantly paired with the actresses short, wavy, ginger bob. This elaborate look deserved all its praise and more for its smart, innovative take on the theme.
Lady Gaga, 2019: Brandon Maxwell
Lady Gaga’s 2019 “Camp: Notes on Fashion” outfit was one for the books, turning out four looks in one. Arriving in a larger than life hot pink gown comprising a train that covered the entire carpet, Gaga unzipped the bow-embellished confection to unveil a minimal black ballgown underneath. This didn’t last long, quickly being ripped off to reveal a figure-hugging pink gown before the final reveal, where there were no dresses in sight as Gaga rocked a black crystal underwear set, finished with fishnet tights and platform boots. Talk about putting on a show!
Rihanna, 2015: Guo Pei
Rihanna’s second entry on our list comes from 2015’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” Met Gala, where she sported Guo Pei in a gorgeous, imperial yellow fur-trimmed cape dress. Its beautiful embroidery and satin shine ensured Rihanna was the name on everyone’s lips at the 2015 event. Vogue editor André Leon Talley even called it “the best Met Gala red carpet dress of all time”.
Kylie and Kendall Jenner, 2019: Versace
The Jenner sisters appeared at the camp-themed 2019 Met Gala in matching feather garments designed by Versace, and it was a moment. Kylie’s purple and silver sheer dress was gorgeous, paired with feathered shawls hanging from her forearms and a custom wig in the same purple hue. Meanwhile, Kendall’s tangy orange dress was draped in crystals of the same colour whilst incorporating a plunging neckline and feathers sprouting down her back and arms. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Kylie and Kendall, these looks are still what spring to mind.
Billie Porter, 2019: The Blonds
Billy Porter is known for bending boundaries of masculinity and femininity, arriving at 2018’s Met Gala in a stunning black ball gown that left audiences dazed. In 2019, he upped the ante yet again, walking the carpet as an Egyptian Sun God, shining head to toe in a fluorescent gold bodysuit designed by The Blonds. After being carried onto the carpet by a group of shirtless, gold-painted men,Porter said it took him five hours to get ready to hit the carpet, but it was worth every second.
What are your favourite Met Gala looks?