The theme for this year’s fashion bonanza has been unveiled as ‘American Independence’, so in anticipation we’re revisiting some of the best Met Gala looks of all time.
The first Monday in May is usually one of the highlights of the fashion year - the Met Gala. But this year, with coronavirus restrictions still in place, the Oscars of the fashion world has been given two new confirmed dates, the first of which is September 13 with a new sartorial theme of American Independence.
The co-hosts for this year’s two-part celebration – the second act of the event, which will be a continued exploration into the theme of American fashion, is slated to take place on the first Monday in May – are recent British Vogue cover star Billie Eilish, four-time Grand Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka, Timothée Chalamet and the star of the presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman.
Indeed, the first of this year’s Met Galas will, according to organisers, be a smaller, more scaled-back celebration for the opening of the Costume Institute’s next exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.
The Met Galas of 2020 and 2021 were postponed, even though last year’s About Time exhibition which explored themes of time, history and gender, did open to the public, but without the celeb-filled celebration to mark it that we have come to know and love.
Over the years we have witnessed some of fashion’s most revered outfits at the event: Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee McQueen in head to toe tartan punk, Rihanna’s ode to Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons and Kim Kardashian’s dress that spun a thousand Mrs Doubtfire memes, to name just a few.
In anticipation of this year’s inevitable high-fashion, all-American bonanza Stylist has decided to take a look back at the best of the Met Gala red carpet looks of all time.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee McQueen
In celebration of his Scottish roots designer Alexander McQueen dressed Sarah Jessica Parker for 2006 Met Gala in swathes of tartan.
There is no one that commits to the Met Gala themes like Rihanna, and no one that executes them with such levels of drama.
If you can’t make a political statement with your choice of clothes at the Met Gala, then when can you?
Lady Gaga’s entrance to the 2019 Met Gala was almost as dramatic as her Brandon Maxwell dress, almost. Her 16 minute red-carpet performance involved 4 different iterations of her outfit; the shocking pink cape was removed to reveal a black strapless bustier gown. Which was then unfastened to show off a pink fitted gown, and when this was shed an embellished bra and knickers was revealed to be the final look.
Bringing a whole new meaning to the ‘naked’ dress, Beyoncé’s Givenchy creation was a glittering Met Gala moment. And we haven’t even started on the hair.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Forever the most stylish twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley took on vintage John Galliano for Dior as their 2015 Met Gala look.
In a sea of gowns there is the occasional red carpet rebel. In 2018 Bella Hadid stood out from the crowd wearing an Alexander Wang bodysuit.
2018’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ theme was one of the Met’s best in terms of dedication to the theme, as Ariana Grande demonstrates here in her etheral Vera Wang gown.
The supermodel used the 2017 Met Gala as her platform to debut her now famous shaved head, and this epic Chanel metallic trouser suit.
Taking centre stage in a sparkling Versace column gown, Naomi Campbell proves she is totally timeless when it comes to red carpet style.
Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik
The icon in this image actually isn’t Gigi Hadid’s custom Tommy Hilfiger dress, but Zayn’s bionic metal arms.
Long before Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce were stealing the show at the Met Gala, Diana Ross lead the way in layers of tiered feathers.
Perhaps the most unexpected show-stealer came in the form of Frances McDormand’s incredible Valentino outfit from 2018’s Met Gala. The headpiece alone deserves a moment in the red carpet hall of fame.
Speaking of incredible headwear, Cardi B’s Moschino number proved you can never have enough embellishment in one look.
In 1996 Princess Diana made a surprise appearance at the Met Gala in John Galliano for Dior (a mere few weeks after her debuted his collection for the brand). We are still on the hunt for a slip dress this good.
Coming in at a staggering 600 hours to make, Blake Lively’s Versace gown has a little Game of Thrones vibe to it, don’t you think?
Leave it to supermodel, Kate Moss, to win the red carpet in a draped piece of lamé (granted it’s Marc Jacobs) and a matching turban. No wonder she took a long hiatus after this look.
Even with no trousers, Lady Gaga still takes on ‘icon’ status.
Katy Perry goes hell for leather with the ‘Heavenly Bodies’ theme (but we do feel sorry for whoever had to sit next to her at dinner).
Head to toe florals courtesy of Givenchy, made Kim Kardashian the most talked about attendee at the 2013 Met Gala.
This is what a real life mermaid looks like. Fact.
Before J.Lo, Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian embraced the sheer, barely there dress on the Met Gala steps, Cher was stepping out in this Bob Mackie creation.
Much like Rihanna, Solange really commits to her Met Gala looks- like rocking a halo behind a du-rag whilst wearing latex Iris Van Herpen.
Actor, Zendaya, ensured all eyes remembered her magical look from the 2017 Met Gala. Opting for a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda floral gown and blown out natural hair.
One more Rihanna, because she really is the reigning Met Gala queen.
Images: Getty Images