Heads up, ladies, it’s Anna Wintour’s favorite time of the year! Set to take place on Monday, May 6th, the highly-anticipated 2019 Met Gala is fast approaching. This year’s theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion. We’re predicting over-exaggerated styles and over-the-top accessories. Hopefully, Pharell leaves his hat at home.
The Met Gala was established over 50 years ago, so needless to say there have been countless incredible fashion moments since then. Let’s take a walk down memory lane before we see the insane costumes from this year’s event and promptly forget all about the old ones. Read on as we review some of the most iconic Met Gala outfits and explore the designers behind the ~lewks~.
Rihanna and Guo Pei in 2015
Before Rihanna stepped onto the Met Gala red carpet wearing that iconic yellow
omelet cape, Chinese designer Guo Pei had been creating couture for more than 30 years. In fact, this exact masterpiece had been designed for a 2012 show in China and it had been at in Guo’s studio until it was snapped up by Rihanna for the big event.
Weighing about 55lbs with a 16ft train, this look wasn’t an easy one to pull off—literally. In fact, when it was first presented in China, the model made it only halfway down the catwalk before the show had to be paused so she could remove the garment and head backstage. At least it probably counted as her cardio for the week?
Fitting for the China: Through The Looking Glass theme, the fur-trimmed cape featured over 50,000 hours’ worth of hand embroidery and took two whole years to make. Let me repeat. Two. Whole. Years. Describing her inspiration behind the design, Pei said, “When I had this design in mind, I a woman that can carry weight on her arms. It’s a dress she has to lift, like she can lift the whole world. I always have a woman like that in mind.” Sooooo… Rihanna? Rihanna.
Blake Lively and Atelier Versace in 2018
Blake Lively’s dress was so long that she literally had to take a party bus to the 2018 ball. First stop senior prom, next stop Met Gala? Inspired by royalty and the renaissance to match the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination theme, Lively and her gown captivated audiences. Her long train was carefully embroidered, and her jeweled corset reportedly took 600 hours to create. I did the math, and you could watch all seven seasons of Game of Thrones 12 times in the time it took to make this corset. The look was complete with sheer panels on either side of her legs and a custom halo that featured 100 carats of champagne diamonds.
In case you didn’t know that Blake Lively is better than you, this piece was custom made for her by Atelier Versace. In case you didn’t know that Blake Lively is better than you part two, she wore $2 million worth of Lorraine Schwartz jewelry to complement her look—this included the custom headpiece, bangles, earrings, and her Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring. Schwartz’s pieces are often worn by celebrities on the red carpet, and her jewels have been spotted on people like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Angelina Jolie. Very casual, no big deal or anything.
Kim Kardashian and Balmain in 2016
Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology was the theme for the 2016 Met Gala, and Kim Kardashian didn’t disappoint. Kim and Kanye rolled up to the red carpet in coordinating Balmain—Kim in a futuristic silver dress and Kanye sporting a silver jacket, icy blue contact lenses, and ripped jeans. The Balmain pieces were beautiful, but tbh I feel like the boldest fashion move might have been wearing jeans to the Met Gala.
Kim’s garment was created by Olivier Rousteing, a French designer who became the youngest Creative Director of Balmain in 2011 at age 25. Since his takeover, he’s brought a fresh eye (and some insane cheekbones) to the luxury brand.
As anyone who’s seen KUWTK might expect, this look wasn’t the only outfit that was considered. Speaking about the evening before the Gala, Kim said, “When I landed in New York at midnight, I immediately went to see Olivier for a 1am fitting, and we literally cut skirts in half, created tops from dresses, and stayed up until 4am to get the perfect option that we felt fit the theme.” Who knew Kim K was such a DIY queen? I would say that’s relatable, but I can barely turn a regular T-shirt into a crop top without f*cking up. Other potential looks included a gown with jeweled shoulders and sleeves and another that was embellished with pearls and a giant gem in the center of the bodice. In total, Kim received four custom-made dresses from Rousteing before the event.
Rihanna and Comme des Garçons in 2017
Rihanna is the queen of the Met Gala. This is a fact, and anyone who disagrees can fight me. The theme of the 2017 ball was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, and in true Rihanna fashion (ha), the singer stepped out onto the red carpet in an attention-grabbing piece. She wore a textured garment that was cut from jacquard florals which made her dress three-dimensional. The piece was designed with an asymmetric hemline and cut-outs, and was first featured in the Comme des Garçons Fall 2016 collection.
It reportedly took Rihanna an hour to get into the strappy Dsquared2 red heels she wore to the gala, and I can’t even imagine how long it took to get them off. Her hair was styled into a top bun, and her makeup complemented the pink shades of the dress with rosy eyeshadow and blush that blended together. On anyone else, that makeup would’ve looked like a 5-year-old discovered their mom’s blush and went to town, but it worked on her.
The 2017 gala was quite the tribute to Rei Kawakubo, who rarely agrees to shows or interviews. Goals, pretty much. She established Commes des Garçons in Tokyo in 1973 and has developed the brand into what it is today—an inventive and stand-out establishment.
Stay tuned for a recap of all the iconic looks we’ll see this year! Until then, feel free to look at pictures of old Met Galas and feel poor.
Images: Karwai Tang/Getty Images; Shutterstock (3)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, aka that #MetGala thing all the celebrities you follow on Instagram kept posting about last night, is basically the biggest fashion party of the year. It’s an event to fund the fashion department at that museum where Blair Waldorf ate lunch everyday. Every single relevant celebrity (and some non-relevant ones) shows up in a dress that takes up at least eight square feet of red carpet space and somehow has space to take a bunch of bomb solo pics. If you’ve ever tried to take an outfit Insta in Manhattan, you know how impossible it is to get a shot without an angry New Yorker in the background. IDK, I’m not like a scientist or a geographer or anything but to me that sounds like this event is pretty massive. Anyway, let’s talk about the fashion.
Just like all of the Greek life mixers you attended, the Met Gala has a theme every year. It’s pretty similar to college parties in the sense that it doesn’t really matter if your outfit isn’t totally in keeping with the theme as long as you look hot and/or get a great Instagram. Really, the only difference is that in college, you didn’t care about the theme because you were drunk, but for the Met Gala, you don’t care about the theme because it’s some avant-garde shit you probably can’t spell or pronounce. This year’s gala was in honor of Rei Kawakubo, the creator of the Japanese fashion label Comme Des Garçons. See? I told you.
Rumor has it Kylie Jenner’s Versace gown is made out of the exact beaded curtain Britney Spears is seductively hiding behind on the Oops… I Did It Again album cover. I know that this is just a rumor because I just made it up right now, but it’s the least damaging rumor I’ve ever started so I think that it’s probably okay to tell your friends about it.
Gisele’s dress was obviously fabulous because we, like everyone else on Earth, have been brainwashed into thinking everything Gisele does is nothing short of dazzling—but her dress definitely wasn’t outrageous or confusing, which seemed like a missed opportunity. Like, Met Gala is the one chance you get to literally glue random shit to your head yet Gisele took her wardrobe cues from the Super Bowl trophy her husband almost didn’t win this year.
Speaking of gluing random shit to your head and calling it a night, that’s exactly what Katy Perry did. I can’t really tell if this is like super high fashion or the unofficial release of a new pair of Snapchat Spectacles, but either way, somebody better check on Katy to make sure she’s not on the verge of a Britney 2007-esque breakdown. This whole thing looks like if my latest Pinterest fail came to life and started singing about the 2016 election. Like, what is that eyeball? And can’t she get a handler to make sure her veil is on straight? Also, is she wearing socks with sandals here? Her feet look like two enormous camel toes. Every inch of this ensemble is just too much, and, to make matters worse, it’s not even original. I’m fairly certain I saw this exact look on Winona Ryder at the end of Beetlejuice.
Everyone’s freaking out over the fact that Blake Lively looked exactly like Serena Van Der Woodsen returning to the Met steps last night. To those people, I would like to point out the little known fact that Blake Lively actually did play Serena Van Der Woodsen in the hit series Gossip Girl, so like, yeah there’s a pretty solid chance she’s going to look like her. Anyway, the way the seaming on that dress perfectly accentuates Blake’s curves is definitely going to inspire my next going out outfit/crash diet. I don’t even hate the large bird trapped in the bottom of her skirt. Ugh, is Blake lively perfect because I hate her, or do I hate her because she’s perfect?
In an effort to convince us she’s given up the thirst trap life, Kim Kardashian wore the most understated dress possible. Honestly, it looks like one half of an Esmeralda costume. This is actually genius because she’s already used every over-the-top play in the book, so the best way to get people to talk about her is to basically do nothing. Honestly the most shocking part of this ensemble was the fact that Kim’s third child, Kanye, was conspicuously missing.
Bella Hadid wore the ULTIMATE “I’m going to run into my ex boyfriend and his new pop star girlfriend” slutty outfit. It looks like she was on her way to audition for Catwoman and then got a last-minute invite to the Met Gala. It’s literally the most skintight ensemble I’ve ever seen in my entire life and I’m actually wincing thinking about all of the boob tape she probably had to peel off her body at the end of the night.
Lily Collins looked like what would happen if Regina George and Janis Ian finally gave into the lesbian relationship they both denied in middle school and raised a child together.
And lastly, Rihanna won best dressed because she wins best dressed at everything these days. It’s just a thing, okay? If you Google “Met Gala 2017” it’s like 80% photographs of Rihanna. Unlike The Grammy’s when she stole the show by drinking out of a flask, this time RiRi showed everyone up by rolling around in your grandmother’s potpourri basket. She somehow managed to wear a dress (????) that could double as a second grader’s arts and crafts project and was twice the size of her body but still somehow managed to show off her underboob tattoo. She paired it with shoes that a team of people who make more money than you spent 30 minutes lacing up. What a legend.