The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time

From gowns to jumpsuits, these are the best outfits ensemble from the fashion world's most buzzed-about event.
September 20, 2021 | 13:20

Ever since its first “Fashion Plate”-themed event in 1971, the Met Gala has remained an annual playground for the kind of visionary, no-holds-barred glamour that’s otherwise reserved for photoshoots. No wonder that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has also been the site of iconic beauty transformations sure to spark trends - and more than a few headlines.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - 1979 Met Gala (Photo: Pinterest)

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - 1979 Met Gala

While she doesn’t have an official royal title, the former First Lady is certainly considered to be American royalty. In 1979, Jackie made her unforgettable Met Gala debut for the Costume Exhibit entitled, ‘Fashions of the Habsburg Era: Austria-Hungary,’ dressed in a black, strapless Valentino gown with a matching ruffled wrap.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Diana Ross - 1981 Met Gala (Photo: XO Necole)

Diana Ross - 1981 Met Gala

Giving shoulders and cheekbones, the legendary Diana Ross looked amazing at the 1981 gala dedicated to "The Eighteenth Century Woman". Her gown, made completely of feathers, has been on every iconic Met Gala list ever created. The dress was so fly, she pulled it out of hiding and rocked it again at the 2012 American Music Awards.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Christy Turlington - 1992 Met Gala (Photo: Pinterest)

Christy Turlington - 1992 Met Gala

When model Christy Turlington stepped onto the red carpet at the 1992 Met Gala themed “Fashion and History: A Dialogue," she appeared as a modern-day Audrey Hepburn, wearing a pearl choker and curls swept up into a retro knot. The super wore her own take on the actresses’ iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s Givenchy look: floor-length fitted gown, pearl choker, and bouffant updo.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
CHER - 1985 Met Gala (Photo: Pinterest)

CHER - 1985 Met Gala

Not surprisingly, Cher nabbed two of the most talked-about Met Gala dresses ever. In 1985, she wore another Bob Mackie dress that featured a sparkling bodice and long black skirt, which fit the theme, "Costumes of Royal India."

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Princess Diana - 1996 Met Gala (Photo: Huffpost)

Princess Diana - 1996 Met Gala

Princess Diana had so many iconic fashion moments – it really is hard to pick just one favorite! But one dress that stands out is the midnight blue satin slip dress that the late Princess wore when she attended the famous Met Gala in 1996 with the theme of "Christian Dior". Her outfit was so classic, it wouldn't look out of place today. The then 35-year-old's stunning gown was designed by John Galliano for Dior, and was actually part of the fashion designer's very first couture collection for the iconic brand.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Nicole Kidman - 2003 Met Gala (Photo: Pinterest)

Nicole Kidman - 2003 Met Gala

Nicole Kidman became the first celebrity co-chair of the Met Gala in 2003. For her first Met Gala, and the first time a celebrity co-chaired alongside Vogue's Anna Wintour, Nicole Kidman wore a sheer one-shoulder Gucci by Tom Ford gown. The crystal-covered gown fit perfectly with the year's "Goddess: The Classical Mode" theme.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Victoria Beckham - 2008 Met Gala (Photo: FN)

Victoria Beckham - 2008 Met Gala

Power couple David and Victoria Beckham complemented each other with their sultry black and white attire. The British soccer player looked dapper in a Giorgio Armani tuxedo, while the Spice Girl-turned-designer modeled a lacy white vintage number from the same Italian designer. The sensual semi-sheer belted gown’s thigh-high slit highlighted the former pop singer’s strappy silver metallic sandals, which expertly pulled the look together.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Katy Perry - 2013 Met Gala (Photo: Parade)

Katy Perry - 2013 Met Gala

For the “punk” themed gala in 2013, Perry wore a head-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana look, straight from the Italian label’s Fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection. The heavily embellished, crystal-covered midi dress featured religious iconography and she added a further not do Catholicism with a pair of statement cross earrings, plus a crown and studded ankle-strap heels.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Beyoncé - 2014 Met Gala (Photo: Huffpost)

Beyoncé - 2014 Met Gala

Clad in a Givenchy beaded frock, Beyoncé arrived at the 2014 Met Gala with a bordeaux pout and studded face veil, an homage to the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” theme. Queen Bey rocked the red carpet in a sheer black Givenchy dress. The plunging neckline and cheeky see-through underlining showed off her famous curves. A birdcage headpiece, burgundy lipstick, and dark chandelier earrings rounded out the singer's vintage noir-inspired look.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Rihanna - 2015 Met Gala (Photo: Vanity Fair)

Rihanna - 2015 Met Gala

Co-hosting the Met Gala in 2015 for “China: Through the Looking Glass,” Rihanna enlisted Chinese designer Guo Pei to create her sherbet yellow robe, pairing the showstopper with a set of horizontal brows and a diamante headdress. With the impressive yellow dress, Rihanna may be the unofficial queen of the Met Gala 2015, but the gal confessed that even she sometimes has her doubts about those over-the-top looks.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Nicole Kidman - 2016 Met Gala (Photo: Pinterest)

Nicole Kidman - 2016 Met Gala

The Australian Academy Award-winning actress stood out in a sea of metallic dresses in a crystal-encrusted Alexander McQueen gown dusted with celestial motifs. The plunging black dress from the luxury British brand’s Fall 2016 collection featured a cut-out bodice and was embellished with moons and stars that traced down both the column silhouette and detachable sheer cape. The actress completed her regal look with a swept up hairstyle that she accentuated with a delicate headpiece.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Zendaya - 2018 Met Gala (Photo: Popsugar)

Zendaya - 2018 Met Gala

Saint Joan of Arc has a new name and her name is Zendaya the queen. Zendaya is no stranger to slaying red carpets but she absolutely demolished the steps of the Met in 2018 with this iconic outfit. The custom Versace gown could not have been more perfect for the theme with the armor, chainmail, and glimmering sequins. From her accented jewelry to the famous Maid of Orléans' bob.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Janelle Monae - 2019 Met Gala (Photo: Rebel Mouse)

Janelle Monae - 2019 Met Gala

Janelle Monae proclaimed that Camp, the designated motif for the gala, was embedded in her DNA. She strolled onto the carpet in an intricately, structured Christian Siriano design with a motorized blinking eye provided by Smooth Technology. This was not only a nod to Picasso but also to her love for science and fiction. Janelle wanted to specifically pull inspiration from Picasso's work as it related to tribal masks and shattered portraits. The stack of hats was also perfect for Janelle's infamous aesthetic.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Lady Gaga - 2019 Met Gala (Photo: Time)

Lady Gaga - 2019 Met Gala

Lady Gaga is no novice when it comes to making a statement on the red carpet, something she confirmed to the “nth” degree with her dramatic and undeniably on-brand appearance on the 2019 Met Gala red carpet on Monday night, where attendees dressed to the nines in honor of its Camp: Notes on a Fashion theme.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Billie Eilish - 2021 Met Gala (Photo: US Magazine)

Billie Eilish - 2021 Met Gala

The evening's co-host and bona fide American dream girl has recently ditched her oversized t-shirts in favor of something more closely resembling the Old Hollywood siren. Billie Eilishowned her new aesthetic in a frothy peach creation by ODLR tonight, complete with a full skirt, train, and a shoulder wrap that would have made Marilyn proud. She paired the stunning gown with Cartier jewels and Jimmy Choo platform shoes.

The 15 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of All Time
Kim Kardashian - 2021 Met Gala (Photo: Town&Country)

Kim Kardashian - 2021 Met Gala

The reality television star wore an all-black, Balenciaga haute couture gown with matching mask and train, which was completely unlike anything she, nor anyone else, has worn to the Met Gala before. The look completely hid her signature features and physique, giving her an obscure and anonymous presence.

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