15 Most Iconic Met Gala Looks Over the Years

Fashion's Biggest Night

Met Gala is an annual playground for the best of the bests from the fashion world. Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist, started what is most famously regarded as "fashion's largest night out" in 1948 as a successful means to generate money for the newly created Costume Institute and commemorate the start of its annual display.

The first Gala was an elaborate dinner and tickets were sold for fifty dollars each. Since then, it has been held on the first Monday of May on the red-carpeted steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This year, it is set to happen on May 1, and the theme of the event is 'Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty' in the honor of Karl Lagerfeld who was a regular attendee of the gala.

The evening is expected to be full of glitz, glamor, and art, as seen in all of Karl's work. But before May 1 rolls around, let's take a look at the most memorable Met Gala outfits over the past years.

Cher | Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design, 1974

The Naked dress, which was Cher's Bob Mackie outfit for the 1974 Met Gala, has its own moniker and has been on the cover of TIME magazine. 

The outfit was fashioned of souffle, a French material that was outlawed in the United States; it was then moistened to attach to her body and give it a nude appearance. Kim Kardashian used this style as inspiration for her 2015 Met Gala gown.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis | Fashions of the Habsburg Era: Austria-Hungary, 1979

While not holding a formal royal title, the former First Lady is unquestionably regarded as American royalty.

Jackie made her legendary Met Gala debut in a strapless black Valentino gown and matching ruffled shawl in 1979 for the Costume Exhibit titled "Fashion of the Habsburg Era: Austria-Hungary."

Cher | Costumes of Royal India, 1985

Cher attended the 1985 Met Gala, which had the theme "Costumes of Imperial India," wearing a bejeweled unitard and a low-cut skirt created by Bob Mackie. She adorned her ears with ornate jewelry to finish the appearance. 

Several attendees were upset by Cher's daring outfit choice, but it also confirmed her image as a style icon and her friendship with designer Bob Mackie. The ensemble is currently regarded as one of the most iconic and unforgettable in Met Gala history.

Gisele Bündchen | Rock Style, 1999

During the 1999 Met Gala, V's newest cover girl dazzled in a beaded Versace gown with zigzag patterning. That evening, Bündchen made waves with her crimson and pink pearls, which contrasted the nude lining. 

She kept her accessories simple, highlighting her high cheekbones and dewy makeup with a slicked-back, beach wave hair.

Rihanna | China: Through the Looking Glass, 2015

Rihanna appeared wearing a custom-made golden coat by Chinese designer Quo Pei that was covered in fur and gems.

That was the ideal red carpet moment for a night that was all about Chinese culture and design, with Rihanna clearly appreciating Chinese workmanship. She looked stunning in the coat, which was the ideal compliment to her striking makeup and stylish hair. 

Nicole Kidman | Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, 2016

With a crystal-encrusted Alexander McQueen dress sprinkled with heavenly designs, the Academy Award-winning actress from Australia stood out in a sea of metallic garments.

The plunging black gown had a cut-out bodice and was adorned with moons and stars that trailed down the column silhouette and detachable sheer cape. The actress finished off her royal appearance with swept-up hair that she emphasized with a lovely headpiece.

Blake Lively | Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, 2018

One of the most famous Met Gala looks ever. Blake Lively, this year's co-chair, dazzled in an elaborate ruby Versace gown with a beaded train and a jeweled corset that took 600 hours to make in total.

The gown was flawlessly made and perfectly in line with the theme. A stunning gold headdress completed the ensemble and gave Lively the appearance of a Venetian queen.

Chadwick Boseman | Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, 2018

During the 2018 Met Gala, the late actor Chadwick Boseman stole the show in an all-white Versace ensemble. Boseman's suit and overcoat had ornate gold beading and regal detailing fit for a King as the night's theme explored ideas of the Catholic faith. 

Boseman's attire served as both a homage to the theme and a salute to his impending portrayal of King T'Challa in the much awaited Marvel movie Black Panther.

Zendaya | Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, 2018

Although Zendaya is no stranger to killing red carpets, this legendary ensemble let her to completely dominate the Met's stairs in 2018. 

With its armor, chainmail, and shimmering sequins, the handcrafted Versace gown could not have been more appropriate for the theme. She wore jewels with accents and had the fabled Maid of Orleans' haircut.

Zendaya | Camp: Notes on Fashion, 2019

With this blue Tommy Hilfiger gown, Zendaya stepped out her Disney princess fantasies for "Camp: Notes on Fashion" in 2019. 

Law Roach, her stylist, donned a fairy godmother costume and wielded a wand to illuminate her gown. The dress miraculously turned from grey to blue in minutes with a few waving of his wand and a few wisps of smoke.

Lady Gaga | Camp: Notes on Fashion, 2019

Lady Gaga changed into four different outfits for the 2019 Met Gala. She wore a fluffy, hot pink Brandon Maxwell dress with a matching bow, which was one of the night's greatest looks and one of the year's most in-tune with the theme.

The "Camp: Notes on Fashion" theme served as the inspiration for Lady Gaga's Met Gala outfit, and she thoroughly embraced it with her spectacular costume changes and daring clothing selections. 

Kendall Jenner | In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, 2021

Kendall Jenner's translucent Givenchy gown at the 2021 Met Gala was the height of American grandeur. Jenner was dripping in diamonds from head to toe for the Audrey Hepburn-inspired outfit. Her spectacular choker necklace and crystal-studded heels completed the ensemble. 

Ralph & Russo created the outfit, which included a black turtleneck dress with a high slit. The flawless hairdo and striking red lip accentuated the vintage Hollywood glitz.

Lil Nas X | In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, 2021

Lil Nas X did not fall short in his debut Met Gala performance. The singer, who never avoids a big fashion moment, walked out in a Versace extravagant gold robe.

As the singer of "Industry Baby" removed the overcoat, he showed off two equally stunning outfits: a gold body armor suit and a skin-tight beaded catsuit.

Billie Eilish | In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, 2021

Billie Eilish dominated headlines in a frothy peach masterpiece by ODLR, which included a long skirt, train, and a shoulder wrap fit for Marilyn. 

She looked stunning in it. She accessorized the gorgeous dress with Cartier jewelry and Jimmy Choo platform heels. Her attire was ideal for the Met Gala's "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" theme.

Blake Lively | Gilded Age, 2022

Blake wore a rose-gold Versace gown with a beaded bodice inspired by art deco architecture. The Gilded Era, which spanned from 1870 to 1900, was characterized by intense industrialization and a renewed interest in iconic structures that weren't merely useful but also visually striking. 

The huge side bow on Lively's dress was then loosened, revealing a turquoise under layer that was a nod to the Statue of Liberty.