The Met Gala is often called the Oscars of the fashion world.
It’s an event that only happens once a year, where celebrities swarm a red carpet, posing for the paps with their famous friends and reminding us all of the great heights humanity can achieve with a personal trainer, a six-figure facial, and a glam squad at your beck and call. It’s also a chance for fashion-lovers to properly geek out over show-stopping designs and trendsetting looks.
Because you see what people wear at the Met isn’t what you’ll necessarily see on the runway. It’s definitely not what you’ll find at Urban Outfitters or Old Navy. The fashion moments that happen at the Met Gala are headline-making, era-defining pieces that can propel already famous actors, actresses, athletes, and Kardashians to stratospheric levels of notoriety and envy.
So in honor of fashion’s biggest and most over-the-top soiree, here are some of the most jaw-dropping looks to grace the Met Gala’s red carpet so far.
Rihanna in Commes des Garçons, 2017
When it comes to the Met Gala red carpet, Rihanna puts in work (work, work, work, work, work). The singer and actress regularly turns out and turns up for the event, sporting high-concept looks that defy the imaginations, like this number from the Fall 2016 Comme des Garçons runway. Paired with thigh-high strappy heels, this punk-inspired dress was made of floral fabrics pulled apart to resemble petals. In other words, it was avant-garde to the extreme.
Katy Perry in Maison Margiela, 2017
Not to be outdone, Katy Perry, who served as co-chair of the gala in 2017, made sure her tulle-shrouded get-up sufficiently wowed onlookers. Perry sported an intricate, conceptual look by John Gallliano for Artisanal Maison Margiela. Honestly, it doesn’t get much more showstopping than a blood-red embroidered wool-coat over a silk chiffon dress with a reflective headpiece and Japanese Tabi boots?
Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana, 2017
If Zendaya is anything, it’s a fashion rule-breaker. The actress has proven herself a risk-taker on the red carpet, and the 2017 Met Gala was no exception. Shucking the prescribed avant-garde theme, Zendaya went with a floor-length ballgown by Dolce & Gabbana. Layered in bright colors and a tropical pattern, the dress trailed after the “it girl” beautifully and she paired it with a gorgeous Afro and bright coral lips.
Taylor Swift in Louis Vuitton, 2016
When Taylor Swift served as the co-chair for the 2016 Met Gala, she used the opportunity to shed her wholesome image and fully embrace the “Manus x Machine” theme of the event. With her hair bleached and her lipstick black, Swift gave us a Goth-chic look in a silver, cut-out ensemble from Louis Vuitton. As if the snake-skin print weren’t daring enough, she donned a pair of satin-lace-up heels that proved how fearless she could be when it came to fashion.
Rihanna in Guo Pei, 2015
Honestly, we could fill this entire list full of Rihanna. The singer’s bold fashion choices, attention to detail, and true appreciation for the craft earn her another nod, this time for her 2015 Met Gala look that redefined the word “show-stopping.” For the night’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” theme, Rhi-Rhi went old-school, scouring the internet for a design that would celebrate Chinese culture and blow everyone’s minds. She found that and more in this exquisite piece of art by Chinese designer Guo Pei. The canary-yellow, fur-trimmed train draped in embroidered flora took two years to make, but all that hard work paid off when Rihanna was dubbed “best dressed” on the red carpet that year.
Kim Kardashian West in Emilio Pucci, 2015
Kim Kardashian West is a veteran of the Met Gala red carpet. She consistently delivers snap-worthy looks, some while pregnant, that keep fans salivating of her famous curves and style. Of course, no one does a barely-there look quite like Kim, so during the gala’s 2015 gathering, while other celebrities embraced the naked dress trend, West went above and beyond, pairing a sheer embellished number from Roberto Cavalli with a train of feathers that was inspired by, who else, Cher.
Jay Z in Givenchy and Beyoncé in Givenchy Haute Couture, 2014
The 2014 Met Gala was known for something other than the red carpet fashion but, of course, Jay Z and Beyonce still made headlines. The event marked the occurrence of the infamous elevator incident, which would fuel cheating rumors, surprise albums, and plenty of internet memes to come. All drama aside, the looks that Jay and particularly Bey served that night deserve an honorable mention. Channeling their On the Run Tour theme, Bey was draped in a sparkling black number with a deep-V split and a black veil while Jay kept it clean and classy with a crisp white tux.
Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren, 2017
Priyanka Chopra could wear a potato sack and still look gorgeous, but for her 2017 Met Gala entrance she chose something a bit more stylish and classic. Partnering with Ralph Lauren, Chopra donned a floor-length trenchcoat gown. We never thought Inspector Gadget was a good fashion role model but consider us schooled.
Kendall Jenner in La Perla, 2017
Not to be outdone by her older sister, Kendall Jenner turned heads with her own take on the naked trend, slipping into a revealing number at the 2017 Met Gala. Her dress left little to the imagination and plenty of women envious of the supermodel’s stunning figure. Something else we’re envious of? Her confidence.