When it comes to historic red carpet moments in fashion, there isn’t a bigger event than the Met Gala. Since the first celebration of the Costume Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1948, the Met Gala has been a place for celebrities, tastemakers, and designers to have fun with their personal styles. Over the years, all the Met Gala outfits have made waves throughout the fashion industry. The iconic carpeted stairs have featured countless stars wearing lavish garments created by designers from around the globe. Take Rihanna’s Guo Pei ensemble from 2015 or Cher’s regal look from the event in 1985, or Zendaya’s Cinderella moment circa 2019 — they were all unforgettable.
The preparation for these looks takes months of planning and close collaboration between celebrities, designers, and stylists. Together, they have to build an outfit around the theme and ensure that every detail is considered before the photo op. For this year’s event, which is themed “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” the dress code is gilded glamour so you can expect celebrities to step up their style game. From the hairstyles to the jewels to even their undergarments, no detail can be overlooked. The result of all their hard work? An outfit that lives on long after the night ends.
Before May 2 rolls around, take a look at the most memorable Met Gala outfits from years past, ahead.
For the 2019 Met Gala, Kardashian stunned in a latex beaded gown designed by Thierry Mugler. The dress featured glass water droplets and an extra cinched corset waist.
In 1985, the theme of the Met Gala was “Costumes of Royal India” and Cher attended the event in a bedazzled unitard and low cut skirt designed by Bob Mackie. She completed the look with elaborate ear ornaments.
‘90s bombshell Campbell attended the 1995 Met Gala in a strapless sparkly Versace Haute Couture gown. She styled it with matching flats and a black shoulder bag.
The singer wore a magnificent yellow ensemble to the 2015 Met Gala when the theme was “China: Through The Looking Glass.” She wore a Guo Pei creation.
Cardi B made an entrance at the 2018 Met Gala alongside Moschino designer Jeremy Scott. This beaded gown weighed 30 pounds and was styled with a matching headpiece.
Typically, the Met Gala is characterized by lavish floor-length gowns, but in 2012, Paltrow broke the unspoken rule in this mini dress designed by Prada.
For her Met Gala debut in 2021, Rodrigo went bold in this sheer black lace jumpsuit designed by Saint Laurent.
For the 2019 Met Gala, Lady Gaga went all out for “Camp: Notes on Fashion” in a transforming dress by Brandon Maxwell. As she walked up the steps, the dress evolved from a lavish pink gown with a 25 foot train to a sparkly bra, high-waisted underwear, and pantyhose.
Crawford recreated her red carpet moment from the 63rd Academy Awards for the 2018 Met Gala — she sported a red plunging gown designed by Versace.
For “Camp: Notes on Fashion” in 2019, Zendaya lived out her Disney princess dreams in this blue gown by Tommy Hilfiger.
Ratajkowski wore a blue and green sequin gown by Marc Jacobs to the 2017 Met Gala. Her floor-length dress for ‘‘Art of In-Between” was inspired by Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
In 2021, Kravitz wore a mesh dress by Saint Laurent that left little to the imagination. Underneath the garment, she wore a pair of shimmery underwear.
Delevingne stunned in a metallic Chanel pantsuit at the 2017 Met Gala. The final touch? A freshly shaved head painted silver.
Beyoncé made an entrance at the 2015 Met Gala in this sheer gown by Givenchy. The gown featured pink, green, and yellow sequins and a short train.
The 66-year-old supermodel’s outfit resembled that of the sun for her appearance at the 2021 Met Gala. Her memorable look was from Harris Reed.