Fashion

Met Gala: the most iconic outfits and dresses of all time

Posted by
Billie Bhatia
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From Rihanna, to Beyoncé to Kim K do you remember these fashion moments? 

The count down to the Met Gala 2019 is officially on. The first Monday in May plays host to the world’s most celebrated red carpet of the year with every big name in the arenas of acting, fashion, music and more come together in support of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual gala.

The theme of the upcoming exhibition plays the biggest part when it comes to the outfit choice and this year’s theme ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ - inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay that defines camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”- will surely encourage the most flamboyant of looks. 

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Over the years we have witnessed some of fashion’s most recognised outfits at the Met Gala: Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee McQueen in head to toe tartan punk, Rihanna’s ode to Rei Kawakubo’s Comme Des Garcons and Kim Kardashian’s dress that spun a thousand ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ memes to name just a few.

So, before another wave of brilliant fashion moments take over our Instagram feeds, here’s a reminder of the Met Gala’s most iconic looks.     

  • Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee McQueen

    Met Gala: Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee McQueen in 2006
    Met Gala: Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee McQueen in 2006 

    In celebration of his Scottish roots designer Alexander McQueen dressed Sarah Jessica Parker for 2006 Met Gala in swathes of tartan. 

  • Rihanna

    Met Gala: Rihanna in 2015
    Met Gala: Rihanna in 2015

    There is no one that commits to the Met Gala themes like Rihanna, and no one that executes them with such levels of drama. 

  • Lena Waithe

    Met Gala: Lena Waithe in 2018
    Met Gala: Lena Waithe in 2018 

    If you can’t make a political statement with your choice of clothes at the Met Gala, then when can you? 

  • Priyanka Chopra

    Met Gala: Priyanka Chopra in 2017 

    Priyanka Chopra has long had a strong alliance to Ralph Lauren (they even made her wedding dress) but 2017 was the year she put herself and this epic trench coat dress on the fashion map.  

  • Emma Stone

    Met Gala: Emma Stone in 2014
    Met Gala: Emma Stone in 2014

    When Emma Stone stepped out in 2014 in this simple but elegant Thakoon, she proved less can absolutely be more. 

  • Beyoncé

    Met Gala: Beyoncé in 2015
    Met Gala: Beyoncé in 2015

    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

    Met Gala: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2015
    Met Gala: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2015

    Forever the most stylish twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley took on vintage John Galliano for Dior as their 2015 Met Gala look. 

  • Ariana Grande

    Met Gala: Ariana Grande in 2018
    Met Gala: Ariana Grande in 2018 

    Last year’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. 

  • Cara Delevingne

    Met Gala: Cara Delevingne in 2017
    Met Gala: Cara Delevingne in 2017 

    The supermodel used the 2017 Met Gala as her platform to debut her now famous shaved head, and this epic Chanel metallic trouser suit. 

  • Naomi Campbell

    Met Gala: Naomi Campbell in 1995
    Met Gala: Naomi Campbell in 1995 

    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

    Met Gala: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik in 2017
    Met Gala: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik in 2017

    The icon in this image actually isn’t Gigi Hadid’s custom Tommy Hilfiger dress, but Zayn’s bionic metal arms. 

  • Frances McDormand

    Met Gala: Frances McDormand in 2018
    Met Gala: Frances McDormand in 2018 

    Perhaps the most unexpected show-stealer came in the form of Frances McDormand’s incredible Valentino outfit from last year’s Met Gala. The headpiece alone deserves a moment in the red carpet hall of fame. 

  • Cardi B

    Speaking of incredible headwear, Cardi B’s Moschino number proved you can never have enough embellishment in one look. 

  • Princess Diana

    Met Gala: Princess Diana in 2016
    Met Gala: Princess Diana in 2016

    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. 

  • Miley Cryus

    Met Gala: Miley Cyrus in 2013
    Met Gala: Miley Cyrus in 2013 

    Miley proves why she is the modern day punk princess in this Marc Jacobs number. 

  • Jennifer Lopez

    J-Lo hits top spot for this Valentino look, purely because this shade of blue is beyond beautiful. 

  • Blake Lively

    Met Gala: Blake Lively in 2018
    Met Gala: Blake Lively in 2018 

    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? 

  • Kate Moss

    Met Gala: Kate Moss in 2009
    Met Gala: Kate Moss in 2009 

    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. 

  • Lady Gaga

    Met Gala: Lady Gaga in 2016
    Met Gala: Lady Gaga in 2016

    Even with no trousers, Lady Gaga still takes on ‘icon’ status. 

  • Katy Perry

    Met Gala: Katy Perry in 2018
    Met Gala: Katy Perry in 2018 

    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). 

  • Kim Kardashian

    Met Gala: Kim Kardashian in 2013
    Met Gala: Kim Kardashian in 2013 

    Head to toe florals courtesy of Givenchy, made Kim Kardashian the most talked about attendee at the 2013 Met Gala. 

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    Met Gala: Lupita Nyong'o in 2016
    Met Gala: Lupita Nyong’o in 2016 

    This is what a real life mermaid looks like. Fact. 

  • Solange

    Met Gala: Solange in 2018
    Met Gala: Solange in 2018 

    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. 

  • Zendaya

    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. 

  • Rihanna

    One more Rihanna, because she really is the reigning Met Gala queen. 

Images: Getty