Met Gala Themes from 2014-2024: Rihanna serving avant-garde, Beyoncé reigning supreme to Anne Hathaway- a rewind of iconic moments

From Rihanna's yellow floor-sweeping gown to Anne Hathaway's tweed gown, the Met Gala has served magical moments for decades. Here's a walk down memory lane at some iconic moments from the event.

Updated on Apr 30, 2024  |  05:44 PM IST |  173.1K
Iconic moments from Met Gala
Iconic moments from Met Gala ( PC: Getty Images)

The Met Gala, which stands for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, is an annual fundraising event that marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. It takes place every year; this year, it’s on Monday, May 6. Over the past decade, the Met Gala has grown to be associated with avant-garde fashion, extravagant celebrity appearances, and creative innovation.

The theme for the 2024 Met Gala is ‘Sleeping Beauty: Reawakening Fashion’. The theme depicts designs so fragile that they can only be preserved in the coffins and cannot even be shown on museum mannequins.

The show will address the evolution of human history and the never-ending cycle of creation and destruction, but it will also concentrate on sustainability and fashion. For this reason, “The Garden of Time” is the dressing theme.

With the 2024 Met Gala just around the corner, let’s take a trip down memory lane to revisit the themes that have shaped the iconic event over the past ten years.

2023: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty


The theme for the 2023 Met Gala was a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld. The fashion designer’s exceptional contributions to Haute Couture were recognized by this event. Celebrities had a wide range of brands to choose from: Balmain, Chanel, and Chloe ᅳ, to name a few.


One of the many stars who walked down the red carpet was Alia Bhatt. The Bollywood beauty in her Prabal Gurung dress looked stunning, but she wasn't alone! Anne Hathaway wowed everyone with her tweed gown, showing her amazing sense of style.


Alia Bhatt and Anne Hathaway at Met Gala 2023

2022: In America: An Anthology of Fashion

In 2022, the Met Gala, themed “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” was held with the aim of showing how American fashion has changed over time and contributed to the world of fashion. In doing this, it recognized anonymous tailors and dressmakers who worked tirelessly throughout history but were never mentioned anywhere else except in their works.

Bill Blass, Marguery Bolhagen, Brooks Brothers, Stephen Burrows, Fannie Criss Payne, Josephine H. Egan, and Franziska Noll Gross, among others, are some of the names that have been documented.

A dress worn by Blake Lively during the event brought a lot of buzz to this year's Gala. The Atelier Versace gown made with New York City as its theme caught the most attention from both viewers and photographers alike. Kim Kardashian West also attended wearing a beaded dress inspired by Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' outfit.


Blake Lively and Kim Kardashian at Met Gala 2022

2021: In America: A Lexicon of Fashion


With the theme In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, the Met Gala's focus turned to American fashion in 2021. In order to show the range and profundity of creativity present in the fashion business, this entailed commemorating former designers as well as celebrating emerging American designers.

Among the best-dressed celebrities at the Met Gala 2021 were Imam, who donned a Dolce and Gabbana gown, and Billie Eilish, who wore an Oscar De La Renta orange gown and served vintage vibes.


Iman and Billie Eilish at Met Gala 2021

2019: Camp notes on fashion

At the 2019 Met Gala, Susan Sontag’s definition of “camp” in fashion took center stage. Participants embraced ostentatious theatrical looks, savoring snark, luxury, and kitsch in their costumes.

Stars such as Deepika Padukone graced the Met Gala, looking ravishing in a Zac Posen pink princess gown with three-dimensional outfits. Among the celebrities with the best outfits at the 2019 Met Gala was Cara Delevingne, who looked stunning in a Dior rainbow ensemble.


Deepika Padukone at Met Gala 2019

2018: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

The theme of the 2018 Met Gala, “Heavenly Bodies,” was one of the most controversial in history. It explored the relationship between religion and fashion, drawing inspiration from Catholic iconography. The celebrities adorned themselves in opulent garments embellished with crosses, crowns, and religious symbolism, creating a visually striking spectacle that sparked both admiration and debate.

Katy Perry's look from the 2018 Met Gala became quite popular. She wore a golden mini dress with large wings attached, giving her the appearance of a true angel. Chadwick Boseman also made a memorable appearance at the Met Gala, wearing an all-white outfit adorned with golden crosses.

Katy Perry in mini dress with angel wings

2017: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons


Renowned Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo earned recognition in 2017 for her cutting-edge Comme des Garçons line, which is well known for its surreal designs and deconstructive style. The theme, which celebrated her audacious approach to fashion, urged guests to embrace avant-garde styles, abstraction, and asymmetry.

Rihanna understood the assignment and wore a dress straight from the designer. Katy Perry followed suit, embracing the avant-garde vibe with an all-red Maison Margiela by John Galliano outfit instead of donning actual Comme des Garçons.

Rihanna in  Rei Kawakubo at Met Gala

2016: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology


The 2016 Met Gala saw the fusion of technology and fashion. The event focused on how handcrafted haute couture and machine-made fashion are emerging together. The celebrities blurred the boundaries between technology and craftsmanship by embracing futuristic silhouettes, metallic fabrics, and creative textiles.

Claire Danes fully grasped the topic of the Met Gala. Dressed in a gorgeous baby-blue gown by Zac Posen, her dress glowed in the dark. Taylor Swift attracted notice with her silver metallic attire as well.


Cara Danes in her glow in the dark gown

2015: China: Through the Looking Glass

In 2015, the Met Gala explored the influence of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion. The theme drew inspiration from traditional Chinese art, culture, and cinema. The gala showcased looks from brands like Chanel, Alexander McQueen, and Christian Dior Haute Couture. 


Beyonce in sheer dress at Met Gala 2015

Rihanna mesmerized fans in a yellow gown by Guo Pei, casting her spell at the Met Gala. Beyonce was also among the best-dressed attendees in her sheer gown.

Rihanna in her yellow floor sweeping gown

2014: Charles James: Beyond Fashion

The theme of the Met Gala in 2014 was centered around Charles James, an English-American fashion designer known for his ballgowns and highly structured aesthetic. The Met event in 2014 featured 100 of his most influential designs. 

Attendees like Taylor Swift and Sarah Jessica Parker paid homage to James’s elegant silhouettes and meticulous craftsmanship, with many opting for glamorous ball gowns reminiscent of his iconic designs.




Sarah Jessica Parker at Met Gala 2014

Looking back at the past ten years of Met Gala themes, it’s clear that each celebrity and designer showed off how creative and imaginative fashion can be. Whether about celebrities or celebrating different cultures, the Met Gala gave designers and renowned celebs a chance to think outside the box and have fun with their outfits.

As we get ready for the next Met Gala, one thing is for sure: The Met Gala will keep on being exciting and inspiring. Every time they announce a new theme, we will be eager to see what extraordinary looks celebs and designers come up with. The Met Gala will always be where fashion shines bright and shows off its most glamorous side.

ALSO READ: Alia Bhatt brings casual fashion to football field in striped shirt paired with shorts and cap

Pinkvilla Pulse
Subscribe to our newsletter for entertainment exclusives, star interviews, and the latest lifestyle trends. Look No Further!
About The Author
Sargun Chabbra
Sargun Chabbra
Content Writer

A Fashion Communication graduate from NIFT who adores movies, fashion, and scrumptious food. With two years of experience, she


Credits: Getty Images

Latest Articles