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Fashion’s biggest night is always one to remember.
Celebrities descend upon The Met steps every first Monday in May to bring their fashion A-game for a different theme each year. Sometimes, in an effort to be memorable, stars will go above and beyond for their outfits, at times resulting in the year’s most outrageous looks.
This year, the Met Gala theme honors the late Karl Lagerfeld, who died in 2019. The dress code simply reads “In honor of Karl,” leaving it mostly up for interpretation for the celebrities attending — and their stylists. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton says he hopes guests will celebrate “the spirit of Karl, and hopefully, everyone will come out in vintage Chanel, vintage Fendi, vintage Chloé.”
Vogue‘s Anna Wintour will steer the event, alongside Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, Roger Federer and Dua Lipa, who all serve as her Met Gala co-chairs.
“Karl never regarded himself as an artist,” Wintour previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “He thought that was pretentious, he always saw himself as a designer for hire. His relentless drive to move forward also made him prolific; he just had such a fast-moving mind.”
The Met Gala’s tandem exhibition, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, opening May 5 at the museum, will honor the late fashion designer’s career, illustrate his creative process from the start of it in the 1950s to the end in 2019 and shine a light on his “unique working methodology.”
In honor of this year’s special night, THR is taking a look at some of the weirdest Met Gala outfits throughout the years — from Kim Kardashian’s head-to-toe black Balenciaga look to Jared Leto carrying around his own head.
Kim Kardashian, 2021
Kim Kardashian brought brief anonymity to the 2021 Met Gala when she walked the carpet at fashion’s biggest night in a black Balenciaga haute couture gown with a matching train and mask that kept viewers guessing who was wearing the ensemble. In February 2022, Kardashian told Vogue she “fought against” the look but was ultimately convinced by the brand’s creative director and team.
Madonna bared all — pretty much — on the Met Gala’s Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology carpet, with a bondage-inspired Givenchy thonged bodysuit, complemented by draped lace, thigh-high leather boots, body jewelry and cutouts around her boobs. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Madonna explained that her ensemble was “a political statement” after she faced some criticisms about her risqué choice. “When it comes to women’s rights we are still in the dark ages,” she wrote.
Frances McDormand, 2018
Frances McDormand may not have exactly stuck to the theme of the 2018 Met Gala — Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination — with her floral-adjacent outfit, but she bought the looks, which is what matters. She also posed on the carpet in her custom Valentino with designer Pierpaolo Piccioli and Anne Hathaway.
Each year, fans excitedly await Rihanna’s appearance on the Met Gala carpet to see what the Grammy-winning singer will be wearing this time around. Her 2017 look was no different, with Rihanna’s Comme des Garçons outfit turning heads. The sculptural piece consisted of layered, floral fabrics, in honor of the year’s Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibit.
For the Met’s China: Through the Looking Glass exhibit, Solange wore a futuristic Giles ensemble, reminiscent of a Chinese paper fan. It featured a galactic print that she paired with black pumps and a sleek beauty look.
Dan Levy, 2021
Schitt’s Creek star and co-creator Dany Levy made his Met Gala debut in 2021 with his powerful ensemble that highlighted LGBTQ equality and was inspired by artworks from David Wojnarowicz, the artist and AIDS activist who died in 1992.
Katy Perry, 2015
Katy Perry is another person to watch on the gala carpet each year, with her often out-there ensembles being ones to remember. In 2017, Perry served as a co-chair of the event and wore a red, embroidered wool coat over a red tulle and chiffon dress with satin ribbon embellishments and a silk veil.
Cardi B, 2019
Cardi B was a lady in red at the 2019 Met Gala, with a custom-made Thom Browne gown that featured 30,000 feathers and involved 35 people and more than 2,000 hours to create, according to Vogue. It also featured 44-carat ruby nipples, custom-designed by Stefere Jewelry.
Evan Mock, 2021
Gossip Girl reboot star Evan Mock made his first Met Gala one to remember, with a spiked mask, mismatched socks and chunky silver jewelry, over a Thom Browne dress jacket with safety pins on the sleeves and torso and long shorts.
Janelle Monaé, 2019
Janelle Monaé took the 2019 theme of Camp: Notes on Fashion to the next level with her ensemble that featured a custom Christian Siriano, deconstructed-face gown with four stacked top hats, asymmetrical sleeves and a blinking eye with feather lashes. Monaé and her stylist Alexxandra Mandelkorn wanted to highlight “the playful, theatrical and artistic side of camp,” Mandelkorn told THR at the time.
Marc Jacobs, 2012
Marc Jacobs dressed down for the 2012 Met Gala, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, with a Commes des Garçons black lace tunic over white boxers The designer explained at the time that he “didn’t want to wear a tuxedo and be boring,” adding, “I think Miuccia Prada is such a celebration of the unconventional, and so it felt like, appropriate, somehow.”
Priyanka Chopra Jonas, 2019
Priyanka Chopra Jonas took the year’s theme of camp and ran with it. She donned a Dior Haute couture gown with a matching crown, cage detailing on the corset, colorful feathers and, of course, a cape.
Cara Delevingne, 2022
Cara Delevingne wore a red Dior Haute Couture suit to walk onto the carpet, only to show off a second part of her outfit. As she pulled off the blazer, the model and actress revealed she wasn’t wearing anything underneath, besides gold paint and pasties, with butterfly-themed body jewelry.
Jared Leto, 2019
Jared Leto struck a pose with a very unique accessory on the Met Gala 2019 carpet … his own head. The actor’s Gucci ensemble from Alessandro Michele consisted of a long red turtleneck dress that had a dangling string of diamonds.
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