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Met Gala 2020 may be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our favorite Met Gala looks over the past years. From the legendary Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition that launched Met Gala into the fashion stratosphere, to last year’s Camp: Notes on Fashion, one of the most outlandish and brilliantly creative red carpets to date.
To keep us entertained, Vogue and Billy Porter created #MetGalaChallenge and invited everyone to recreate their favorite met gala looks while in quarantine. Check out some of the most creative #MetGalaChallenge outfits.
What is Met Gala all about?
The Met’s Costume Institute houses the largest collection of fashion in the world. Moreover, every year they create a major exhibition opening on the first Monday in May.
Anna Wintour organizes and presides over Met Gala since 1995. when the Met Gala has become a much-loved annual celebration of fashion. It serves as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and it also has been traditionally timed to mark the opening of its annual fashion exhibition. Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition. Moreover, the exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress of the night as guests then choose their outfits accordingly.
The event’s most significant appeal particularly comes from the designated theme by which attendees dress. Unlike a typical black-tie red carpet, everyone from the fashion world anticipates the Gala unveiling a new theme. Every year, an innovative yet always relevant topic of the exhibition creates one of, if not the most, unique red carpet events in today’s existence.
Met Gala looks from 2019 – Camp: Notes on Fashion
To start with last year’s exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion – one of the most creative red carpets we’ve ever seen. But, what camp means? The camp is inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’,” and consequently, which outlined the characteristics of camp: irony, humor, parody, theatricalization, extravaganze, and exaggeration. “One should always be a little improbable,” Oscar Wilde once wrote. In that spirit, 2019’s Met Gala was silly and sublime, calling all attendees to approach what is too much in fashion. Being that all our favorites looks are pink, one would argue that pink is pretty camp, no?
Anna Wintour wearing custom Chanel
Lady Gaga wearing Brandon Maxwell
Hailey Bieber wearing Alexander Wang
Naomi Campbell wearing Valentino
Met Gala looks from 2018 –Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
Curators designed this theme to create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art in the museum’s holdings. And it did, as this is officially the Met’s No. 1 exhibit of all time with the most significant number of visitors. Exhibition theme also inspired Red Carpet attendees, who went all out to stand out at Met Gala night! And these are our favorite divine outfits of the evening.
Ariana Grande wearing Vera Wang
Amal Clooney wearing Richard Quinn
Blake Lively wearing Atelier Versace
Jennifer Lopez wearing Balmain
Diane Kruger wearing Prabal Gurung
Zendaya wearing custom Versace
Met Gala looks from 2017 – Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons Art of the In-Between
The Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 exhibition examines the work of fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. Rei is known for her avant-garde designs and, above all, her ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. Celebrities were, therefore, to follow in her footsteps and think outside of the box. Being that Rei is pretty unconventional, attendees went full-on creative to keep with her flair for inventive silhouettes.
Priyanka Chopra wearing custom Ralph Lauren
Jennifer Lopez wearing Valentino
Cara Delevingne wearing Chanel
Zendaya wearing Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda
Bella Hadid wearing Alexander Wang
Lily-Rose Depp wearing Chanel
Hailey Baldwin wearing Carolina Herrera
Met Gala looks from 2016 – Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology
We are all aware that fashion and technology are in an inextricable connection, more so now than ever before. 2016’s exhibition explores explicitly how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.
The goal, perhaps, is to open viewers’ eyes to help people recognize that fashion is far more than an accessible trend that can be copied and purchased in-store. Instead, it is a conglomerate of the meticulously designed, wearable-art we call clothing.
Claire Danes wearing Zac Posen
Zendaya wearing Michael Kors Collection
Emma Watson in Calvin Klein
Poppy Delevingne wearing Marchesa
Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen
Met Gala looks from 2015 – China: Through the Looking Glass
In a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, this exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion as well as how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries.
You can see the whole process of preparing this event in a movie called The First Monday in May. And in all honesty, this movie is a real gem for all those who wish to peek into the industry’s most exclusive party.
To start with, see some of our favorite looks from that night!
Chloe Sevigny in J.W. Anderson
Sienna Miller wearing Thakoon
Rihanna wearing Guo Pei
Anne Hathaway wearing Ralph Lauren
Amal Clooney wearing Maison Margiela
Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection
Met Gala looks from 2014 – Charles James: Beyond Fashion
This was the first exhibition of the newly renovated Costume Institute. The exhibition also examined the career of legendary 20th-century Anglo-American designer Charles James. James made his name in the fashion world with his glamorous and highly sculptural designs in the 1940s and 1950s. So, think of serious drama, volume, and color.
Although always intensely glamorous, 2014’s theme and resultant dress code ensured that the annual sartorial parade does not disappoint.
Dita von Tesse wearing Zac Posen
Victoria Beckham in Victoria Beckham
Emma Stone in Thakoon
Blake Lively in Gucci
Beyoncé in Givenchy
Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa
Charlize Theron in Dior
Erykah Badu wearing Givenchy
Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior
Lupita Nyong’o wearing Prada
Met Gala looks from 2013 – Punk: Chaos to Couture
As you can conclude from the name, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, examined punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today. And as a result, the 2013’s Met Gala was a unique red carpet event where black lipstick, spikes, leather, and dirty-looking hair is the norm. These are some subtle, but edgy and gorgeous outfits from that night!
Rooney Mara wearing Givenchy
Anja Rubik wearing Anthony Vaccarello
Kerry Washington wearing Vera Wang
Met Gala looks from 2012 – Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations considers the striking affinities between these two iconic Italian designers from different eras. For instance, art played an essential role in the life and design of both Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. Schiaparelli’s collaborations with the Surrealists Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau, and Prada’s interest in and support of contemporary artists further reflect in the collections and galleries of the Fondazione Prada. In addition, they brought art and fashion into proximity, in a direct, synergistic, and culturally redefining relationship. So let’s take a look at how these designers inspired celebrities’ outfits for the Ball.
Karolina Kurkova In Rachel Zoe
Emma Stone in Lanvin
Florence Welch in Alexander McQueen
Gwyneth Paltrow wearing Prada
Our favorite Met Gala looks from 2011 –Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designer’s career. Including everything from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own world-renowned London house. Arguably, the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designer of his generation. Notably, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment.
So, as you can imagine, a handful of the event’s stylish attendees turned up in looks from the fashion house and some archived works by McQueen himself. Celebrities like Chlo Sevigny and industry insiders paid homage to the genius designer to carry on his legacy. So here are just some of the looks that we loved.