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An Official Ranking Of Queen RiRi's Best Met Gala Looks

There is no Met Gala without Rihanna. She’s the most anticipated guest of the year and always serves the most memorable look of the night. That’s not an opinion, it’s just facts. An important detail about RiRi is she’s typically *very* fashionably late to the event — which somehow makes her appearance even more chic. In 2023, she arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 10 p.m., despite the event starting at 6 p.m. and dinner being served around 8 p.m. The red carpet literally closes at 9 p.m… except for Rihanna. 

When Anna Wintour was asked who is allowed to show up late for a Met Gala, Rihanna was the only person she named. Arrive, cause a stir, and go home — I’m going to try this at my next family function because it’s smart AF. Ri’s attended the Met Gala 10 times, with her first appearance in 2007 while the rest of us were layering our Hollister polo shirts. With fashion hit after hit, Rihanna picking her favorite Met look is like choosing a favorite child, but she did have two honorable mentions — the yellow Guo Pei gown she wore in 2015 and 2014’s Stella McCartney two-piece dress. 

Although Ri’s about the closest thing we have to American royalty, she isn’t immune to a little pre-party anxiety. She was particularly nervous about the “choreography” that went into getting out of the car while wearing her 55-pound Guo Pei gown and briefly felt like a “clown” before walking the carpet. Pretty much anyone who has been to a theme party can relate to the mini panic attack you have five seconds before walking in the door thinking no one else will be in costume. 

“I remember being so scared to get out of that car because I felt like, ‘I’m doing too much.’ I was driving past the red carpet, and I was just seeing, like, gowns, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m a clown. People are going to laugh at me. This is like, too much.’ I thought that,” she told Access Hollywood. “I circled like, three times, I’m not even joking. And finally, I was like, ‘Whatever, let’s go. Let’s just go. Let’s just go.’ I know. I don’t regret it.’”

Rihanna’s Best Met Gala Looks Of All Time

2023: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”

rihanna best met gala looks

If I’ve ever seen an outfit that should be called a “confection,” it’s this Valentino gown. I love the bridal vibe, I love her baby bump, it’s all too good. 

2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion And The Catholic Imagination”

rihanna best met gala looks

The way she committed to the theme and left us all gagged. This incredible look was made in three colors for Ri — cream, grey, and black — and she chose which one to wear the day of. 

2015: “China: Through The Looking Glass”

rihanna best met gala looks

Of course, the Guo Pei gown had to appear high on the list — the color is richer than Jeff Bezos. The makeup, hair, and headpiece are PERFECTION with the over-the-top gown. 

2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”

rihanna met

This look feels riskier and more couture, and it paid off big time. This is what everyone attempts to do at the Met, and Ri did it without it feeling like a costume. The rosy makeup and her high bun pull the whole look together.

2014: Charles James: Beyond Fashion

rihanna best met gala looks

Is it a bit simple? Yes, but that’s the appeal of it. In the era where we were wearing crop tops and pencil skirts to the bar, Rihanna somehow elevated the look to a whole new level with this Stella McCartney dress.

2021: In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion

rihanna best met gala looks

Rihanna was dripping in 267 carats of Bulgari jewels for this Balenciaga ensemble, and she explained the statement she was trying to make, saying, “I wanted a look that seemed very powerful, yet feminine, yet like a Black hoodie, which is usually the thing that we are incriminated by as Black people. I wanted to empower that and take it and make it mine and make it fashion.”

2009: The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion

rihanna best met gala looks

The theme this year was all about the impact of the person wearing the clothes, and no one says “muse” quite like Rihanna in this cool and sexy in a Dolce & Gabbana suit. 

2007: Poiret: King of Fashion

rihanna best met gala looks

For her first Met Gala, Ri kept it easy breezy. The Georges Chakra gown fit her like a glove and she added a little edge with black mesh gloves. This was only a teaser for what was to come. 

2011: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

rihanna best met gala looks

I would love to see Rihanna attempt this theme today, and while she always looks gorgeous, this Stella McCartney look was way too safe for her. 

2012: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

rihanna best met gala looks

This Tom Ford crocodile textured dress is too plain and boring — and it’s just not Rihanna. 


Steph Perlman
Steph Perlman
Steph Perlman is Betches' Entertainment Editor. She's a Kardashian historian, Real Housewives enthusiast, and Pete Davidson apologist.