Met Gala: 10 Best-Dressed Women

8:33 PM 5/6/2019

by Ingrid Schmidt and Lindsay Weinberg

Lady Gaga, Cardi B and Janelle Monáe were among those to nail the affair's campy theme.

The 2019 Met Gala was an ultimately starry and stylish night, with everyone from Elle Fanning to Lupita Nyong'o bringing out their fashion A-games for a wild pink carpet filled with back-to-back-to back wow moments.

Given that the "camp" theme was open to wide interpretation, the event was filled with a flurry of feathers, rainbow hues, gilded styles, statement trains, bold shoulders and extravagant headpieces. This year's Met Gala showcased several outrageous looks inspired by Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp." 

Lady Gaga stole the show by giving an impromptu, live quick-change performance revealing four pink and black ensembles, while Katy Perry topped last year's angel look by going as a candelabra, with a little help from Jeremy Scott of Moschino. Another bright spot in the night was Zendaya's transformation into a battery-lit Cinderella by her fairy god-stylist Law Roach, in an animatronic dress created by Tommy Hilfiger. 

Some ladies looked dazzlingly beautiful, without sticking their necks out enough to get the "camp" game right, while others ended up looking down-right excessive, missing the tongue-in-cheek twist. The sartorial wins of the night were awarded to those who accomplished the feat of being both stylish and on-theme. 

See the 10 best-dressed women at the 2019 Met Gala below. 

  • Lady Gaga

    The Oscar-winning star teamed up with her former stylist Brandon Maxwell, who designed four custom pieces revealed in a high-performance act on the pink carpet. Gaga started with a parachute-style hot pink dress, removed to reveal a black gown with asymmetrical bustle. Next was a hot pink slip, followed by a stripped down lingerie look. 

    She turned the red carpet into her stage, removing each layer in a performance with several back-up dancers and using props from a giant phone to bejeweled Linda Farrow sunglasses. The look was topped off with foil eyelashes and a giant hair ribbon.

  • Cardi B

    Talk about peacocking. Cardi B made a grand entrance, with five men (including her stylist Kollin Carter) holding the hems of her down-filled, undulating Thom Browne tulle and silk organza gown that boasted a nearly 10-foot-long train trailing behind her. The dress, in an oxblood red hue, was decorated with hand-embroidered bugle beads and 30,000 burned and dyed feathers and took over 2,000 hours to create. It also featured 44-carat ruby nipples by the jewelry company Stefere. Pebbled leather platform brogues and a crystal-encrusted headpiece by milliner Stephen Jones finished off the look.

  • Janelle Monáe

    The singer wowed in a gown decorated with an abstract face by designer Christian Siriano that had a Mad Hatter vibe. Monáe's look featured an animatronic eye over her left breast that blinked its feather lashes randomly; paired with her eye clutch and lip print dress, her ensemble resembled a face. 

    "It fits in with the theme by being over the top in just the right ways and not taking itself too seriously," said stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn. "From the crystal detailing, the black trimming, to the silhouette and the incredible hat sculpture — every bit matters! But I do have to say the blinking eye really makes me smile."

  • Cara Delevingne

    The model showed her pride by wearing a sheer rainbow ensemble from Dior and a fruit basket headdress by Machine Dazzle, full of fake dentures, bananas and even a fried egg. Delevingne's colorful romper — plus rainbow cane, platforms and striped body paint— was reminiscent of a candyman like Willy Wonka.
  • Saoirse Ronan

    Ronan was a dragon queen in Gucci at the 2019 Met Gala. She wore a custom red sequin gown with puff sleeves, featuring green and white iridescent detail and dragon embroidery. 

    Her stylist Elizabeth Saltzman paired the fierce look with gold leather platform heels and Le Marché des Merveilles jewelry, including lion head earrings with a fire opal and diamonds, cat earrings, a lion head ring with amethyst and diamonds, and a Dionysus ring in 18-karat yellow gold.

  • Kacey Musgraves

    Musgraves proved to be a Barbie girl in a Met Gala world on Monday. Wearing a motocross fuchsia leather Moschino by Jeremy Scott dress that zipped to the floor with a matching techno fur shawl, she debuted a blond wig and accessorized with silver pumps, a pink hairdryer-shaped purse and pink sunglasses.  

    "Hi, have we Met? My name’s Barbie," her stylist Erica Cloud wrote on Instagram. The ensemble coordinated with a Moschino Barbie now sold at the Met ($75). 

  • Zendaya

    Zendaya (who teamed up with Tommy Hilfiger on a collaborative fashion line for spring 2019) channeled Cinderella in a battery-operated “animatronic” crystal gray silk evening gown that magically lit up to a sky-blue fairytale hue, paired with clear high-heel pumps. Stylist Law Roach played her fairy godmother by activating the lights on the red carpet.

  • Lupita Nyong’o

    Nyong'o's fabulous Versace look, envisioned by stylist Micaela Erlanger, included a starry column skirt with statement tulle shoulder pieces and a matching fan. Bulgari provided the glitz with purple- and green-stoned rings, along with a standout bracelet and necklace.

    The Us actress' hair was styled like Marie Antoinette with five gold-painted pick combs (not scissors, which would nod to her film), and her glam team gave her campy arched eyebrows and glittery pink eyeshadow.

  • Katy Perry

    Perry lit up the night as a literal walking chandelier in her outfit by Jeremy Scott of Moschino and styled by Jamie Mizrahi. Scott fashioned a Swarovski-bejeweled chandelier cage draped with crystal rope that the pop star wore over a silver bustier dress with glittery silver heels, while precariously balancing a second matching chandelier atop her head. The "Firework" singer later changed into a lettuce minidress and plush hamburger outfit with a party toothpick hat — explaining her real theme was, "First we set the table, and then we dine."

  • Elle Fanning

    Fanning embraced being extra in a Miu Miu coral crop top with pleated, flowing sleeves and flare pants (styled by Samantha McMillen).

    Her jewelry — both a charm necklace and nail charms — showed off kitschy symbols such as French fries, a rotary telephone, a unicorn, a crescent moon and charms reading "The Met" and "Camp" (nothing is too on the nose). Finishing off the cutesy aesthetic was Fanning's saccharine pink lipstick and a high blond ponytail.