The 100 most memorable Met Gala gowns of all time

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The 100 most memorable Met Gala gowns of all time

November 8, 2019 | News | No Comments

There’s no red carpet quite like the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala, or Met Gala; the culmination of celebrity, designers and fashion fantasy, it’s the most iconic carpet of them all. No arguments.

Since its inception in 1948, the gala, which is held to benefit the museum’s Anna Wintour Costume Center and officially open the annual exhibit put on by the institute, has evolved into the biggest fashion spectacle of the year, in which models, designers and the crème de la crème of Hollywood attempt to outdo each other and themselves year after year.

Above, Doutzen Kroes in Giambattista Valli, 2019

Every memorable theme challenges attendees to bring their A-game and undoubtedly has all guests chanting, ‘What Would Anna Do?’ for months leading up to the big night. Memorable themes of the past include 2008’s Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy and 2018’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination – which guests can take quietly literally (Pope Rihanna, anyone?) or approach with creative license.

Above, Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs with the designer, 2009

Some attendees inevitably play it safe on the first Monday in May but those that don’t have earnt themselves a place in the Met Gala Hall of Fame for their daring and delicious on-theme looks.

Safety certainly doesn’t disqualify guests from making Vogue Australia’s list of the 100 most memorable Met Gala gowns of all time. Take Rihanna for example, whose 2014 white two-piece Stella McCartney number with diamond choker for the opening of the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, was a triumph in simplicity and sex appeal. Fast forward to 2015 however and Rihanna stepped out on to the Met red carpet in a golden yellow empress cape from Chinese designer Guo Pei (above) which reportedly weighs 25 kgs and features a 16ft train and over 50,000 hours’ worth of hand embroidery that required the help of multiple men to manoeuver.

The piece reportedly took two years to make but took only seconds to transform Rihanna from well-dressed pop icon into a fashion authority. The meme-worthy gown garnered attention across the globe boosting the Met Gala’s profile as well as Rihanna’s. Now, Riri, it appears, makes it her mission to blow us away with her ensembles stepping out in a bubbly red Comme des Garçons look in 2017 (Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between) and her aforementioned papal power move in 2018.

It’s not just Rihanna the crowds eagerly await on the red carpet though. Sarah Jessica Parker consistently turns heads on the carpet and is sorely missed when she skips the event. A particularly triumphant move was her tartan Alexander McQueen gown in 2006, an especially potent moment given the actor took the designer as her date in matching plaid and both were so perfectly on theme for the AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion exhibit.

Other notable standouts over the years include Kate Moss in a silvery Marc Jacobs mini with matching turban, the Olsen twins’ (t)winning vintage moments, Emma Watson’s green carpet Calvin Klein in 2016, Katy Perry’s six-foot angel wings from Versace and anything Blake Lively choses to do, including taking Karl Lagerfeld as a date in 2011.

As we prepare for the 2020 Met Gala on May 4, 2020 (May 5 for those in Australia) and the lucky guests finalise their gowns, scroll on to see the 100 most iconic moments from Met Gala history in preparation.

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Bella Hadid in Alexander Wang, 2017

Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs in Marc Jacobs, 2013

Ashley Olsen in Dior, 2013

Sienna Miller and Christopher Bailey in Burberry, 2006

Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana, 2017

Claire Danes in Zac Posen, 2016

Karl Lagerfeld and Blake Lively in Chanel, 2011

Emma Stone in Thakoon, 2014

Taylor Swift in Oscar de La Renta, 2014

Miranda Kerr in Michael Kors, 2013

Katy Perry in Maison Margiela, 2017

Nicole Kidmann in Gucci, 2003

Beyoncé in Givenchy, 2015

Blake Lively in Versace, 2018

Kate Bosworth in Stella McCartney, 2014

Blake Lively in Gucci, 2013

Gigi Hadid in Diane von Furstenberg, 2015

Beyonce in Givenchy, 2013

Rihanna in Stella McCartney, 2014

Arizona Muse in Ralph & Russo Couture, 2014

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada, 2014

Gisele Bundchen in Balenciaga, 2014

Mary-Kate Olsen in vintage Ferre and Ashley Olsen in vintage Chanel, 2014

Rihanna in Comme des Garçons, 2017

Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen, 2006

Cara Delevingne in Chanel, 2017

Selena Gomez in Vera Wang, 2015

Solange Knowles in Giles Deacon, 2015

Emma Watson in Calvin Klein, 2016

Reese Witherspoon in Stella McCartney, 2014

Cate Blanchett in Balenciaga, 2007

Chloë Sevigny in J.W Anderson, 2015

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Atelier Versace, 2015

Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de La Renta, 2014

Kendall Jenner in La Perla, 2017

Nicole Richie in Donna Karen, 2014

Blake Lively in Gucci, 2014

Gisele Bundchen in Dolce and Gabbana, 2003

Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs, 2013

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Gucci, 2013

Emma Watson in Prabal Gurung, 2013

Katy Perry in Versace, 2018

Alexa Chung in Erdem, 2013

Rooney Mara in Givenchy, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, 2013

Cameron Diaz in Stella McCartney, 2013

Selena Gomez in Diane von Furstenberg, 2014

Karlie Kloss in Oscar de La Renta, 2014

Gisele Bundchen in Alexander McQueen, 2011

Beyonce in Givenchy, 2014

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West in Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, 2013

Anne Hathaway in Calvin Klein, 2014

Charlize Theron in Dior, 2014

Camilla Belle in Jean Paul Gaultier, 2007

Anne Hathway in Ralph Lauren, 2015

Oscar de la Renta and Oprah Winfrey in Oscar de La Renta, 2010

Anna Wintour in Chanel, 2015

Uma Thurman in Atelier Versace, 2014

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy, 2015

Behati Prinsloo in Tommy Hilfiger, 2015

Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection, 2015

Imogen Poots in Alberta Ferretti, 2015

Rihanna in Maison Margiela, 2018

Cholë Sevigny in Prozena Schouler, 2010

Jennifer Lopez in Atelier Versace, 2015

Zendaya in Fausto Puglisi, 2015

David Beckham and Victoria Beckham in Giorgio Armani, 2008

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen both in Diane von Furstenberg, 2008

Eva Longoria in Marchesa, 2008

Jessica Biel in Versace, 2009

Christina Ricci in Zac Posen, 2011

Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney, 2011

Carey Mulligan in Prada, 2012

Cardi B in Moschino, 2018

Amber Heard in Zac Posen, 2012

Sofia Vergara in Marchesa, 2012

Kim Kardashian West in Mugler, 2019

Emma Stone in Lanvin, 2012

Zendaya in Versace, 2018

Florence Welch in Alexander McQueen, 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow in Prada, 2010

Nina Dobrev in Donna Karen Atelier, 2012

Solange Knowles in Iris Van Herpen, 2018

Karolina Kurkova in Rachael Zoe, 2012

Anna Wintour in Chanel, 2013

Kerry Washington in Prada, 2015

Zoe Saldana in Calvin Klein Collection, 2010

Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabbana, 2018

Kylie and Kendall Jenner both in Versace, 2019

Cara Delevingne in Dior, 2018

Doutzen Kroes in Zac Posen, 2010

Marion Cotillard in Dior, 2010

Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg in Diane von Furstenberg, 2010

Diane Kruger in Calvin Klein Collection, 2010

Linda Evangelista in Marchesa, 2013

Leelee Sobieski in Christian Dior Couture, 2013 

Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa, 2014

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