Often called the “Oscars of fashion,” the Met Gala is the only event of the year that actually can surpass the Academy Awards in terms of style. And every year, there is a theme, which means it’s basically an annual celebrity costume party–but with haute couture.
This year’s theme was Camp. As in campy. Kitschy. Extra. Over the top. Artificial. Ridiculous. In your face. So bad it’s good.
And I can’t exactly say that campy is the kind of style that I’m usually attracted to, so I had to change up my standards just a little bit. But that being said, this Met Gala did not disappoint. In fact, this list is going to be slightly longer than my Oscars post. I really struggled to narrow it down.
Here’s my official line up!
I would have happily put her on this list just for this. A massive pink dress with a train carried by a bunch of umbrella-wielding men? Absolutely. But she didn’t stop there.
Alternating each time from pink to black, she shed layer after layer, sporting a total of four styles on the pink carpet. Lady turned her outfit into a piece of performance art that made Met Gala history and will not be soon forgotten.
We should have known that with a theme like Camp, Lady Gaga would make herself queen of the evening.
Designer: Brandon Maxwell
Mr. Tuxedo Dress stepped it up a notch for this year’s Gala. Carried in by six broadway actors in golden chains, he elevated himself to Egyptian god.
If you doubted that he could outdo himself, well, I hope you’ve learned your lesson.
Designer: The Blonds
Dazzling us all in a champagne-colored bodysuit, Céline was draped head to toe in 3,000 strands of floor-length fringe. And the peacock headdress made her look, to me, like a spriggan–a forest nymph-like creature from the video game Skyrim (apologies to those of you who have never played).
Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Benedict Cumberbatch (with Sophie Hunter)
It’s not often that the wife is the accessory for the husband at events like this, but it worked out that way for Benedict this time. An all-white suit and hat, and a pimp-stick to tie it all together? I don’t think he’s ever looked better.
And Sophie complemented him nicely in a billowing lilac number.
Designer: Labassa Woolfe (suit), Roksanda (dress)
I love the 20s, and I love Constance Wu. I couldn’t help but include such a breathtaking combination in this line up. This is the Roaring 20s in the most delightfully over-the-top way. Perfectly accessorized with that headpiece and dark lipstick. I could look at her all day.
I nearly didn’t consider Rami for this list. And then the camera panned down, and I saw those shoes. Now that is how you get kitschy, and yet understated at the same time. I find understatement such as this to be very masculine, and he has my appreciation. Big thumbs up!
Designer: Yves Saint Laurent
Much like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry is no stranger to camp. That’s pretty much the style she lives in. And she proved that on the pink carpet when she showed up as a chandelier. So, as usual, impossible to ignore.
A chandelier. There’s nothing else to say.
I think this look easily qualifies as one of the most stunning of the night. A glimmering bodysuit covering her from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. A feathered, floor-length coat to match. Gigi was jaw-dropping.
And I couldn’t resist unofficially sneaking her sister into the list. With arms coated in jewels and cut-outs in all the right places, Bella Hadid made an impact all her own.
Designer: Michael Kors (Gigi), Moschino (Bella)
It was really uncanny just how much Kacey resembled the original Barbie. But it was the accessories that got her on this list. The sunglasses, and most importantly, the hairdryer. It takes me right back to my childhood, playing with all of those tiny plastic extras that came along with Barbie in her box.
With those shoes, the horsewhip, and the fact that her hair was wrapped in latex and formed into a whip itself, I would call this look…gothic victorian dominatrix. Something like that. Everything works together. It’s a crazy, aggressive style, balanced with the simplicity of the black and white color palette.
I legitimately love it.
Gemma came in looking like a silver-plated goddess. The symmetrical bracelets, the cape…and that spiky floral headdress! Every single element was perfection. So elegant. So sophisticated. She’s just so beautiful.
Designer: Tom Ford
She wins best hair of the night, no question. Already stunning in emerald green, Ciara cranks it to 11 with the most massive afro I have ever seen. What could shout ‘black excellence’ louder than sporting a mane of natural African hair about as big as your body? There was no way I could leave her out of my line up.
Anyone who manages to look like some kind of scorpion alien creature is going to capture my notice. And I have always been a huge fan of talons as an accessory. She called them “active talons,” as in, she could still text and otherwise use her fingers while wearing them. Nothing beats fashion and function.
Designer: Maison Margiela
Cardi straight up turned the pink carpet red. Her style tends to be over the top anyway, so it was no surprise that she arrived in a dress that rivaled even Lady Gaga’s. And though I admit I’m usually not a huge fan of gowns that look like they could be comforters, I would have liked this one even if the theme hadn’t been Camp.
I’m a big fan of Cardi B. She brings it wherever she goes.
Designer: Thom Browne
There have been moments when I haven’t been her biggest fan, but I will say that Kristen’s style has always been somewhere on the goth spectrum, and I really do like that. And I think she brought her goth A-game to the Met Gala this year. I also read that she was channeling David Bowie with her hair, which I can totally get behind.
It was her stockings and her hair that got Yara on my list. A lot of crazy elements going on with this look, but they all fit together somehow. I honestly don’t think this would have worked as a dress, but as it is, I find it just a little mesmerizing. It has a kind of “rebellious socialite” vibe.
A lot of looks on the pink carpet that night were very strongly 80s or 90s, and no surprise, given the theme. Can’t you just see this dress in an early 90s blockbuster? Maybe worn by a character living in Trump tower or something? It’s gorgeous; I love details like that, but it definitely is a bit much. Perfect for someone you would portray as obnoxiously rich.
With a very loud red dress, long red nails to match, and gold jewelry all over the place, Halsey looked very much, to me, like a villain from some awful C-list superhero movie out of the 80s. I can just picture her madly overacting, snarling as the heroes make their triumphant escape from her clutches. If that’s not campy, I don’t know what is.
Designer: Prabal Gurung
Bee Carrozzini (with Anna Wintour)
You would think Anna Wintour would be the real showstopper here, given how she’s the editor of Vogue, but it was her daughter, Bee, who stole the show this time, wearing a chic black suit. With the exciting addition of a giant rose and red train. Completely breathtaking. But of course she had to bring it if she wanted to compete with the always stylish Anna.
Designer: Unknown, maybe Chanel? (Bee), Chanel (Anna)
Ezra always makes it weird, and I love him for it. And he certainly didn’t disappoint this time, showing up in a pinstripe suit–with a train and a bedazzled corset. He carried a mask of his own face as an accessory. And his actual face (perhaps you noticed?) is covered in so many eyes you can barely tell which are his real ones. Simply magnificent.
And there’s my list!
But I’m not quite done yet…
Nothing sounds better to me than the idea of attending the Met Gala with my sister. So in the spirit of that fantasy, here are a couple extra pictures of the people who actually got to live that dream.
What’s more kitschy than showing up as a matching set? That’s the Olsen twins’ classic old schtick.
Designer: Chanel (both)
Meanwhile, Kendall and Kylie had a whole fire and ice thing going on. They looked great individually, but all the campier as a pair.
Designer: Versace (both)
Here’s to our ridiculous dreams and our fabulous future, Chelsea. We may see the Met Gala yet.
I had a great time covering this year’s Met Gala for you guys. It was weird and extreme, and that made it all the more fun. And as long as this post was, I still feel like I left out sooo many incredible looks, so I encourage you to search out more.
Have a beautiful week.