Rihanna Met Gala
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29+ Best Met Gala Looks of All Time


| LAST UPDATE 05/03/2023

By Abby Wall

Started by a renowned fashion publicist, Elanor Lambert, in 1948 to raise funds for the Costume Institute, the event transformed over the years into the most prestigious evening in fashion. Let's take a look at some of the events best dressed.

Bianca Jagger

Although the event dates back over seven decades, it was only later, when Diana Vreeland became a consultant for the Costume Institute, that the venue changed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and added gala themes.

Bianca Jagger Met GalaBianca Jagger Met Gala
 Images Press via Getty Images

So let's start with one of the most timeless looks of all time, Bianca Jagger's black strapless gown, carefully embroidered with a floral design along the bust. Truly adhering to "The Eighteenth-Century Woman" theme in 1981, the actress looked beautiful in the Dior gown that would eventually inspire Kaia Gerber's Oscar de la Renta Met look in 2021.


Year after Year, the Goddess of Pop was hitting the mark when it came to the Met. At the 1974 Met Gala, she celebrated the year's theme of "Romantic and Glamourous Hollywood Design," wearing a sheer, beaded gown with luxurious white sleeves and train, accompanied by the designer himself.

Rose Hartman via Getty Images

But it was her look in 1985 that fans praise the I Got You Babe singer for. Wearing Bob Mackie yet again, who also accompanied her to the prestigious event, Cher represented the night's theme, "Costumes of Royal India," rocking a bedazzled unitard and matching earpiece.

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Naomi Campbell

Of course, one of the biggest supermodels of the 90s and of all time, Naomi Campbell, was going to make the list! As difficult as getting on the Met gala list is, Campbell has received the exlusive invitation year after year. But it was her 1995 Versace Haute Couture column gown that has gone down in history as one of the best.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The theme was "Haute Couture," and Campbell did not disappoint, wearing a sparkling silver dress that very well could be seen on the carpet today. It was that year that supermodel trifecta ran the carpet, with Kate Moss in a strappy-pale yellow Calvin Klein dress and Christy Turlington in an elegant black body-hugging dress.

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Princess Diana

Princess Diana made her first and only appearance at the Met Gala in 1996, shortly after her divorce from Prince Charles. The year's theme paid tribute to French designer Christian Dior, so the reigning princess chose to wear a piece designed by the fashion house's head designer, John Galliano.

Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The late Princess of Wales wore a navy-blue lingerie-inspired slip dress trimmed with black lace and paired with a complimenting silk robe. Diana accessorized her outfit with a stunning sapphire chocker necklace and sapphire earrings. The gown is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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 Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney

The year was 1999, and the theme was "Rock Style," and celebrities rocked up to the Met in some pretty memorable fits. However, it was Stella McCartney and Liv Tyler's matching ensemble that remains the most iconic, as they fully embraced the theme by wearing matching DIY "Rock Royalty" tees as a nod to their rockstar fathers.

Best Met Gala Looks Best Met Gala Looks
 Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

On the day of the event, McCartney customized a pack of Hanes tanks and just pulled pieces from their own closets to complete the look. "Officially, we weren't following the honors of the dress code. It was very cool and rebellious of Stella. It was an amazing thing, in a way. We were just being ourselves," Tyler later told Vogue.

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Anna Wintour & André Leon Talley

We would be remiss to write an article dedicated to the Met Gala's best-dressed without mentioning the queen herself, Anna Wintour. The Editor-in-Chief of Vogue completely shifted the cultural relevance of the glamourous event over the years, taking reign of the guest list, theme, and more.

 Rose Hartman via Getty Images

Like many other fashion icons, she has a defined personal style, rocking that bob cut since the early days. Anyways, it was during the 1999 Rock Style exhibit that she and fashion editor André Leon Talley wore complimenting gold embroidered designs. Wintour wore a John Galliano couture piece, while Leon Talley stepped out in Gucci.

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Amber Valetta

In 2004, the Costume Institute decided to explore the connection between furniture and fashion, choosing the official theme as "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century." Guests showed up perfectly on the theme in animated outfits celebrating the two design elements.

Evan Agostini via Getty Images

Known as her most complicated Met look, Amber Valetta wore a Maggie Norris corset and a John Galliano skirt. She said, "The dress and the corset and the hair, everything. It wasn't that it took us that long; it's just that the skirt was pretty heavy, and it just took a little bit more research and thought of how to get that right."

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Sarah Jessica Parker

Of all her Met looks, Sarah Jessica Parker particularly remembers this one due to her red-carpet buddy, Alexander McQueen. The theme of the 2006 exhibit was "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion," where she and the British designer wore matching red plaid looks.

Chance Yeh/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

She anxiously asked McQueen to accompany her to the event, and together they walked the carpet. However, Parker admits that "it wasn't a fun night" because of how "nervous" she was. She had such a "deep admiration" and was "in love with him" that she just let the nerves take over the evening! But she sure did look stunning.

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Kate Moss

The theme of the 2009 Met was basically made for the supermodel Kate Moss. By 2009, Moss had her fair share of Met appearances, but this one felt different. The theme was "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion," and well she is both the model and the muse.

 Larry Busacca via Getty Images

Walking the carpet as Marc Jacobs date for the evening, the supermodel quite literally turned heads when she showed up wearing a liquid metallic minidress with an ultra-low back, a matching head wrap, and custom YSL tributes. She was the 2009 Met.

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Florence Welch

The theme for 2012 was based on Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli, naming the exhibit "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations." Schiaparelli rose to fame in the '20s and '30s, while Prada came a few decades later in the '80s. Although a few decades apart, these designers shared many similar design principles and styles.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images

Guests arrived at the Met steps on the first Monday in May in an assortment of Prada and Schiaparelli, but many chose designers that represented the elegance of the Italian brands. Florence Welch wowed the crowds in one of her best looks to date-an Alexander McQueen embroidered organza tiered dress.

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Miley Cyrus

When 2013's theme was announced, "Punk: Chaos to Couture," audiences were originally skeptical, thinking how punk can be deemed "couture" and what would Anna Wintour wear. While the Met Gala chairwoman looked gorgeous in a floral floor-length Chanel gown, it didn't describe the traditional "punk" style. But what do we know…

 Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage via Getty Images

And then there were those who embraced the customary style a bit more, with zippers, leathers, fishnets, and dark colors. Mikey Cyrus won best dressed that year with a Marc Jacobs long-sleeved black mesh gown with nuder underpinning and a complimenting spikey hair-do topped with a red lip. Talk about following the theme.

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She might have famously sung the line "I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress" in 2016, but it was in 2014 when she wowed the world wearing the iconic Givenchy Haute Couture dress to the Met. The theme was honoring the American fashion designer Charles James for "Charles James: Beyond Fashion."

Beyonce Met GalaBeyonce Met Gala
 Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

The Grammy Award-winning superstar famously wore a sexy black beaded haute couture dress designed by Riccardo Tisci with a matching beaded headpiece. After rocking Givenchy in 2014, the Crazy in Love singer wore the luxury French brand again on the carpet the following year (and year after that).

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RiRi's iconic 2015 Met Gala look became a true staple of the history of the exhibition. The singer graced the red carpet in a golden yellow Guo Pei gown for the theme "China: Through The Looking Glass," which took the designer two years to create. However, she recalls being "scared" to get out of the car, worrying she was doing "too much."

Rihanna Met GalaRihanna Met Gala
 Mike Coppola via Getty Images

Rihanna told Access Hollywood she remembers driving past the red carpet, circling three times around, thinking, "People are going to laugh at me." After a few minutes, she knew it was time to just get out of the car and go and show the world the beautiful creation she was rocking!

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FKA Twigs

Whatever Anna Wintour says goes, and that was no different for the 2015 Met Gala theme. Besides RiRi looking like a golden princess, FKA Twigs rocked stunned the red carpet wearing a true piece of art that may or may not have adhered to the theme, but memorable nevertheless.

Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic via Getty Images

The British singer-songwriter wore a piece from Christopher Kane's 2015 collection, known as the "lovers lace" piece. The colorful patchwork dress portrayed different human body parts intertwined within one another, leaving audiences confused but intrigued-of course.

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Lupita Nyong’o

Nyong'o definitely won the award for most talked-about hair of the night! In 2016, it was the actress's second time attending the gala, and well, she did not disappoint. Celebrating the age of technology, guests wore a range of handmade and machine-made garments.

Best Met Gala LooksBest Met Gala Looks
Mike Coppola via Getty Images

The theme "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" brought out some of fashion's most celebrated looks of all time, including Lupita Nyong'o's jade-color sequined dress. However, it was her towering structured updo that was a true conversation starter, honoring her African culture.

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Taylor Swift

It is a true honor to be tapped by Anna Wintour herself to co-chair fashion's biggest Night, and in 2016, Taylor Swift was awarded the opportunity. A Met Gala co-chair helps put together the guest list, promotes the event, and overall just helps host and maintain the evening's atmosphere.

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

So, as co-host, it is crucial you show up on point and in theme, and that is exactly what Swift did. The singer committed to the "Manus x Machina" theme by wearing a not-so-typical Swift look. The Grammy Award winner wore a custom Louis Vuitton black and silver mini dress, with platinum blonde hard, lace-up sandals, and a dark lip.

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Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

Met Gala attendees were on point when it came down to the avant-garde-inspired theme in 2017. Honoring Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo and her iconic brand Comme des Garçons, the theme focused on the "Art of the In-Between." Guests wore Kawakubo's designs or pieces inspired by her iconoclastic vision.

Best Met Gala LooksBest Met Gala Looks
 Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images

The Olsen sisters have been attending the Met Gala since they were freshmen at NYU when the theme was dedicated to "The House of Chanel." The twins consistently wow the carpet with their fashion choices by often wearing vintage pieces. In 2017, the Olsen sisters again opted for vintage looks with unpublished designers.

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Katy Perry

If anyone knows how to stick to a theme, it's Katy Perry. The Hot N Cold singer is known for her creative and whimsical approach to fashion, so when it came down to the 2018 Met, she definitely did not disappoint! Perry arrived on the Met steps wearing a pair of angel wings, but what was the theme?

Katy Perry Met GalaKaty Perry Met Gala
 Noam Galai via Getty Images for New York Magazine

The 2018 exhibit theme, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," allowed guests to follow a religious and heavenly dress code. Perry took the theme quite literally, wearing a custom Versace outfit with oversized angel wings. She later told the New York Times that she felt "very angelic. Celestial. Ethereal."

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Ariana Grande

With the "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" theme, the Met presented rare artifacts from the Vatican that really elevated the evening's theme, making it feel more authentic than ever. So when celebrities were putting together their fits, they had decades of inspiration to draw from.

Ariana Grade Met GalaAriana Grade Met Gala
 Dia Dipasupil/WireImage via Getty Images

Ariana Grande pulled out all the stops with her floor-length Vera Wang gown, screen-printed with images from a very special painting. Her dress featured images from Michaelangelo's The Last Judgement, which now is seen dawning the walls of the Sistine Chapel. And, of course, she tied in the outfit with a sheer golden bow atop her head.

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Cardi B

Cardi B attended her first-ever Met Gala in 2018, but let's just say she looked like a pro. The Bodak Yellow star attended the fête with Jeremy Scott, the genius designer behind the custom Moschino look in matching pearl-embellished outfits that completely embraced the "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" theme.

Cardi B Met GalaCardi B Met Gala
 Kevin Tachman via Getty Images for Vogue

The rapper's entire outfit was decked out in beads and opulent jewels, from the gloves to the choker, the extravagant headpiece, and the dress itself. The jaw-dropping number featured a thigh-high slit and satin overskirt that added an additional layer of glamour to the already magnificent piece.

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Jared Leto

Celebs had a lot to say about this one. In 2019, the charity event's theme was "Camp: Notes on Fashion," inspired by Susan Sontag's essay, "Notes on Camp." But what exactly does "Camp" mean? Well, camp is really open to interpretation but embraces the "love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration," according to Sontag herself.

Jared Leto Met GalaJared Leto Met Gala
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

So, on the first Monday in May, fashion's elite showed up wearing the most exaggerated and overstated outfits they could dream of. Jared Leto stole the show wearing a gorgeous Gucci red outfit, but it was his accessory that created the buzz-he brought his own head! That's right; he carried around a Jared Leto head. How camp!

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Lady Gaga

As expected, Lady Gaga nailed the "Camp: Notes on Fashion" theme! The songstress embraces creative and personal fashion like no other, so when it came down to dressing camp, she truly outdid herself. Fittingly, she was also the host! Gaga arrived at the Met wearing a Brandon Maxwell fuchsia pink gown with a 25-foot train.

Lady Gaga Met GalaLady Gaga Met Gala
 Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The singer commanded the carpet with her statement dress, which eventually transformed into a second look, a vampy corseted black dress with a black umbrella as an accessory. She then changed into a crystal bra and pantyhose before transforming into her last look, a hot pink column gown, which she paired with oversized bedazzled sunnies.

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Zendaya and her beloved stylist, Law Roach, took Camp and ran with it for one of her most iconic red carpet looks to date. The Euphoria star dressed as Cinderella in a Tommy Hilfiger dress, while her stylist accompanied her dressed as her fairy godmother.

Zendaya Met GalaZendaya Met Gala
John Lamparski via Getty Images

The two arrived on the red carpet and absolutely stunned the crowds as Roach magically lit up the actress's gown with a few waves of his wand. Just like a fairy godmother does, right?! Zendaya wore a handbag shaped like the Disney character's carriage to complete her outfit. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!

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Zoë Kravitz 

After 2020 was skipped due to the pandemic, guests of the prestigious event came back stronger than ever for the 2021 Met Gala. The theme, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," celebrated American independence, as stars showed up in all sorts of red, white, and blue, paying homage to the star-spangled gowns and Lady Liberty herself.

 Taylor Hill/WireImage via Getty Images

After wearing one of her most memorable looks of all time, Zoë Kravitz became the most searched-for personality at the Met Gala, according to a Google report. The Batman star looked gorgeous wearing a bejeweled mesh Yves Saint Laurent dress that quickly became the talk of the town.

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Kim Kardashian

However, it was Kim's head-to-toe Balenciaga ensemble that raised a lot of questions. "People would know instantly it was Kim because of her silhouette," Demna said. "They wouldn't even need to see her face, you know? And I think that's the whole power of her celebrity, that people wouldn't need to see her face to know it's her." True.

Kim Kardashian Met GalaKim Kardashian Met Gala
Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Kim later revealed to Vogue that she was first against wearing the all-black outfit and facemask. "Why would I want to cover my face?" But it was Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia who pushed her into wearing the number, explaining, "There's a theme, and you have to wear the mask" and "That is the look." And so, she did.

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Kendall Jenner

While we're talking about Kim, it's only necessary we add her sister, Kendall Jenner, to the list. In 2021, Jenner strutted her stuff, showing up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a sheer crystal-embellished Givenchy Haute Couture gown on top of a corset bodysuit.

Kendall Jenner Met GalaKendall Jenner Met Gala
 Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Her dress of choice was inspired by Audrey Hepburn's Givenchy dress in the iconic ball scene in My Fair Lady. Jenner posted a clip from the movie and a photo of Hepburn wearing the dress on her Instagram Story before arriving at the event. She even wore a sparkling choker necklace similar to the famous actresses.

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Year after year, celebrities arrive at the Met Gala in their most extraordinary and extravagant looks of the year, and supermodel icon Iman made sure to show up for the 2021 event. Iman followed the theme by wearing one of a kind, larger-than-life creation by Harris Reed.

Iman Met GalaIman Met Gala
 Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The supermodel wore a golden brocade bustier with matching pants, a feather cage overskirt, and a halo headpiece with gold-dipped feathers. Talk about a statement piece! Reed revealed his inspiration for the piece came from America's ballroom culture, describing the look as "romanticism fone nonbinary."

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Gigi Hadid

For the following year, Anna Wintour and Co. continued the theme of American fashion by celebrating "An Anthology of Fashion," also known as "Gilded Glamour." The 2022 event celebrated American designers of the 19th and 20th centuries, and while Hadid chose to wear Italian atelier Versace, she completely captured the evening's theme.

Gigi Hadid Met GalaGigi Hadid Met Gala
 James Devaney/GC Images via Getty Images

Hadid was one of the co-chairs of the evening, so, of course, it was go big or go home, and well, she obviously went bit-literally. The model arrived in a deep red latex jumpsuit and corset underneath a massive quilted cape that literally needed assistance to move up and down the Met steps!

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Blake Lively

There is quite literally no one that does the Met Gala like Blake Lively. Many come close, but at the end of the day, Lively reigns as the winner of the event. In 2022, the Gossip Girl star arrived in a rose gold dress with an oversized bow, which was inspired by Manhattan's architecture and paying homage to the Empire State Building.

Blake Lively Met GalaBlake Lively Met Gala
 Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images via Getty Images

However, when the co-chair of the evening untied the bow, the gown transformed into a lengthy blue train, with the design inspired by the constellation decor at Grand Central Station. The rose gold and blue Atelier Versace gown matched her seven-tier crown, symbolizing the Statue of Liberty and her changing colors over the years.

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Anne Hathaway

Most recently, we have the 2023 Met Gala, celebrating the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. The official theme known as "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" extracted all sorts of classic Chanel staples, from tweed to pearls, bows, Camellia flowers, and wedding gowns.

Anne Hathaway Met GalaAnne Hathaway Met Gala
Taylor Hill via Getty Images

However, it was Anne Hathaway's custom Atelier Versace inspired by the Chanel spring/summer 2018 collection that really stole the show. Her gold-threaded white tweed body hugging gown, held together by pearl and Medusa safety pins, "was meant to be a marriage between Versace and Chanel," according to Anne, and well, that it was.

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