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14 Memorable Met Gala Moments, From Mirror Selfies To Burger Costumes

From mirror selfies to Katy Perry’s burger costume, here’s a look back at 14 Met Gala moments the world will never forget.

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On the first Monday in May, Times Square appears unusually tranquil compared with the spectacle unfolding inside and around the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While many celebrities have climbed the Met Gala’s steps in fabulous – but safe – clothing choices, others view the event as the one night of the year where it is actually mandated to create total commotion.

As the world watches online, this performance element has got progressively wilder, with sofa spectators waiting for meme-worthy moments and viral talking-points. From bathroom mirror selfies to extravagant trains – remember Rihanna’s omelette dress? – to dramatic costume changes, the Met Gala is never short of drama. And so, as we wait to see what this year’s instalment has in store, keep reading to revisit some of the best Met Gala moments: from the 1970s to now.

That omelette dress

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Even people who don’t pay attention to the Met would recognize the radiant Guo Pei dress that Rihanna wore in 2015. Thanks, in part, to the many memes it inspired afterwards.

Zendaya’s fantastical Cinderella gown

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In 2019, Zendaya lit up the pink carpet in a Cinderella-inspired Tommy Hilfiger ballgown, complete with LED lights built into a voluminous skirt. Her stylist, Law Roach, was by her side in a matching blue suit, holding a wand.

Blake Lively’s tribute to NYC

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One of the best Met Gala moments to date was when Blake Lively interpreted 2022’s “Gilded Glamour” dress code with a transformative gown by Atelier Versace, inspired by landmarks of New York City. Halfway up the staircase, Lively untied a bow at the back of her dress to reveal a cascading copper and blue skirt, prompting a paparazzi frenzy on the sidelines.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee Alexander McQueen in tartan

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The late, great designer Lee Alexander McQueen chose Sarah Jessica Parker as his plus one in 2006. The pair arrived in matching tartan looks that tapped into the Anglomania mood of the Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion theme.

Princess Diana’s cameo at the event

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The late royal attended the Met Gala just once, in 1996, wearing a midnight-blue, lace-trimmed dress by John Galliano – a reimagined version of a look that appeared in his first collection for Christian Dior.

Billie Eilish’s multi-layered fashion statement

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Billie Eilish called upon the team at Oscar de la Renta to create the tulle, Old Hollywood-style gown that she wore in 2021. But on one condition: the brand would stop using fur. “I am so beyond thrilled that Fernando and Laura and the rest of the Oscar de la Renta team heard me on this issue, and have made a change that not only makes an impact for the greater good for animals but also for our planet and environment, too,” she said. “I’m honoured to have been a catalyst and to have been heard on this matter. I urge all designers to do the same.”

The bathroom mirror selfie

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The ultimate memento of attending the Met? A bathroom selfie.

When fast food took the Met

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After walking the red carpet in a dazzling Moschino chandelier, Met Gala theme queen Katy Perry changed into another physically awkward costume in 2019: a hamburger, which was the antithesis of all the naked dresseses worn by fellow celebrities on the night.

The mega train that swept the steps

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And the award for the longest train goes to… Cardi B, who graced the Met Gala steps in a sweeping oxblood gown by Thom Browne that took over 2,000 hours to create, made from tulle and silk organza filled with down.

Arguably the most divisive look of all time

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Kim Kardashian caused controversy in 2022 when she arrived in the sparkling Jean Louis dress Marilyn Monroe famously wore to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F Kennedy in 1962. She lost 16 pounds before attending, and spent 14 hours dyeing her hair to reach the platinum blonde hue she debuted on the night.

A proposal!

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Rapper 2 Chainz paused on the staircase in 2018 to propose to his partner Kesha Ward (he reportedly first popped the question in 2013), prompting joyous applause from the crowd. The couple married in the August that same year.

Lady Gaga’s pink carpet performance

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Lady Gaga fully embraced her role as co-host in 2019 and wore four separate looks before even entering the venue. First: a fuchsia Brandon Maxwell gown, unzipped to show the second look, a black gown. Third was a Barbie-pink column gown, which she stripped off to show the fourth and final look: black crystal-embellished underwear, fishnet tights and platform boots.

Doja the actual Cat

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For the 2023 Met Gala, which was staged in honour of the late Karl Lagerfeld, Doja Cat emerged on the red carpet dressed as an actual cat. Lagerfeld’s pet cat Choupette, to be precise. She refused to speak to reporters, instead purring and cleaning the backs of her hand with her tongue. Talk about method dressing…

Rihanna, making a fashionably late appearance

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Only Rihanna could leave the world waiting until the very last second. The mogul arrived at the Met Gala swathed in camellia flowers and Valentino Haute Couture, long after the rest of the guests had made their way inside.

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