The Met Gala has solidified itself in cultural minds as one of the most highly anticipated annual celebrations of artistic expression in fashion. Public figures from around the globe attend to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.
The Gala is a creative exercise in eccentric eclecticism, pushing for the extraordinary in costume design. Some looks are so memorable they have become cultural moments with the world’s favourite bad girl Rihanna breaking the internet every year with her iconic outfits. Designers construct detailed gowns and costumes to showcase the best masterpieces in fashion at one of the most exclusive red carpet events. So, let’s take a look down (recent) memory lane.
Rihanna, Met Gala 2018
Truly, 2018 was an iconic year for the Met Gala, the theme of the evening was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. Looks ranged from the regal to the outright ravishing. Rihanna’s heavenly fitted pope ensemble saved us from our sins and everyone was rushing to picture the saintly bejeweled construction of designer John Galliano.
Rihanna turned heads while draped in a cream gown encrusted below a dazzling overcoat from Maison Margiela. Rounding up her aesthetic with a bishop’s hat by Stephen Jones millinery, Christian Louboutin’s, and glossy makeup and hair. Rihanna sparkled like the north star and situated herself as one of the most provocative fashion icons of the 21st century. If looks could kill, this immaculate conception would have us all in the ground.
Zendaya, Met Gala 2018
Certainly, Zendaya’s interpretation shook the internet to its core. Zendaya dazed spectators in a Versace metallic armored gown inspired by the patron saint Joan of Arc. Her costume serves as a theatrical shift from her couture floral Dolce & Gabbana gown of 2017. Zendaya’s custom Versace ensemble incorporated a fashioned neck plate and shoulder guards that evoked a classical knight’s attire.
Additionally, she donned a spiked belt piece and train, adorned in sequins and micro jewels. Underneath Zendaya wore a floor-length, long-sleeved translucent gown. Zendaya captivated us with her metallic heels and Tiffany & Co.’s jewelry which kept the artistic garment in equilibrium between edgy and elegance. Her auburn cropped wig finished the look and established the star as the warrior saint of the night.
Solange Knowles, Met Gala 2018
The concept behind the “Don’t Touch My Hair” singer’s outfit showcases a different approach to fashion – activism. Solange’s choice of a black durag encompassed by a golden braided halo is harkening back to her culture to express the resilience and beauty within her diaspora. In fact, Vogue interviewed Solange on the Met Gala’s red carpet about her clothing inspirations. Knowles revealed that the Black Madonna sports a veil that she chose to restyle as a durag.
Durags are an aesthetic stable in the black community, used to protect afro hair from the environment. Solange highlights the brilliance of the Black Madonna in her black latex gown. She embodied the divine feminine and flashed her sophisticated outlook on fashion. Solange Knowles knows her power and chose a night dedicated to “Heavenly Bodies” to uplift her community. We love to see it!
Billy Porter, Met Gala 2019
The king of the carpet went all out for the Met Gala’s 2019 “Camp” theme. Porter drew inspiration from the Egyptian sun god Ra in a scintillating golden bodysuit and robe by The Blonds. The Pose star was fitted with 10 feet wings and sported custom gold bedazzled shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Porter’s jewelry is Mordekai by Ken Borochov, Oscar Heyman, John Hardy, and Andreoli Fine Jewelry. Pat McGrath was the architect behind his jaw-dropping sun-kissed make-up.
The look was a superb nod to Diana Ross in 1975’s Mahogany. The most striking aspect of Porter’s elegant entrance was the six shirtless men who carried him down the pink carpet. Billie Porter has revealed himself as high fashion royalty, creating Met Gala history via his extravagant arrival. Similarly, Porter turned a cheesy theme into a pure expression of creativity. Indeed, Porter exhibits his daring flair for bold garb.
During the event, the actor blessed audiences with pose after pose. Consequently, Billy Porter has outed himself as a trendsetter that knows no bounds and he will go down in history for his confidence on the red carpet.
Do you agree with the list? What red carpet looks had you shook?