best met gala dresses

With the Met Gala postponed, here’s a look at the most fabulous of all time

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  • Relive some of the best fashion moments of the decade.

    Words by Megan C. Hills and Sunil Makan

    The Met Gala is one of the most anticipated events in any celebrity’s calendar and one of the biggest nights out for fashion. While we’ve got a soft spot for the gorgeous, floaty pieces amongst the best Oscar dresses ever, the Met Gala is a time for stars – and their stylists – to really flex their sartorial muscles and take a plunge.

    Overseen by fashion powerhouse Anna Wintour and with a notoriously difficult to get onto guest list, it’s the most glamorous fundraiser of the year with proceeds going towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. (Hence the name: Met Gala.) Every year, there’s a different theme and it’s always fascinating to see who really hit the nail on the head and who flopped miserably. We’ve put together an edit of our favourites of all time below.

    Sadly, this year it has been postponed indefinitely due to the global pandemic, so we thought we’d look back at the most gorgeous gowns from previous years.

    Met Gala 2019

    Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion

    Like previous years, the theme was an extension of the Met’s exhibition, curated by Andrew Bolton and Wendy Yu, around Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on “Camp” which amongst other things describes it as a love of exaggeration. With a theme like that, celebrities went all out, and Lady Gaga stole the show with her many outfit changes.

    met gala 2019

    Met Gala Theme 2018

    Theme: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

    This year’s Met Gala theme has just been announced and it’s a minefield. It’s called Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination and unsurprisingly, it’s been viewed as super controversial. Although religious iconography has previously featured in designer collections by powerhouses like Dolce & Gabbana, celebrities and their stylists are going to be under immense pressure to figure out the perfect way to push style boundaries – without pushing too hard.

    Met Gala 2017

    Theme: Rei Kawakubo

    Last year’s theme honoured one of the most exciting designers of the decade: Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. Renowned for her sculptural and avant-garde approach to fashion, things got delightfully weird and we were here for it. Standouts included Katy Perry’s swooping red tulle gown, Blake Lively’s feathered Versace and Priyanka Chopra’s beefed up trench coat (all featured below in our gallery, don’t worry). However there was one undisputed style queen that night…

    Met Gala 2016

    Theme: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

    Things got technical this year, as the theme for the Met Gala was Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. A lot of celebrities took things to a futuristic level, with Emma Watson wearing a dress made entirely out of plastic bottles and Kate Hudson’s sculptural gown setting her up as a kind of robotic angel. Katy Perry again drew attention with her sweeping Prada gown, while Taylor Swift’s newly debuted platinum locks had tongues wagging. As for our favourite…

    Met Gala 2015

    Theme: China: Through the Looking Glass

    This year’s theme centred around China and – uh – it got controversial. It’s no secret that fashion’s been prone to orientalism and toeing the line between appropriation and honouring a culture’s tradition is a very slim one. Many stars went straight to the source and commissioned Chinese designers for their looks, while others opted for thoughtful details like Mandarin collars and embroidered silk. Others stayed completely away and did their own thing…and then there was Sarah Jessica Parker’s headpiece. Still torn on that one.

    Read on for more of our favourite looks below.

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