26 Outrageous And Iconic Moments That Defined The Met Gala

Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya and Cardi B have all made headlines at the A-list event.
Iconic moments from over the years at the Met Gala
Iconic moments from over the years at the Met Gala
WWD/Naomi Galai/Kevin Mazur/Timothy A Clary/New York Daily News/Getty/Rob Latour/Shutterstock/

Now the first Monday in May has arrived, some of the most prolific A-listers in the world will be getting ready to walk the red carpet at the annual Met Ball.

The star-studded event was originally conceived as a fundraising gala, aiming to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York’s Costume Institute.

However, most of us probably most associate it as the red carpet event where the likes of Rihanna, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian and Cardi B can all be seen serving up some jaw-dropping fashion moments, with each year’s event being given a particular theme (which the celebs on the guestlist each interpret in their own way).

But it’s not just the red carpet fashion that gets us talking at the Met Gala every year.

Across the decades, the event has generated countless headlines thanks to bust-ups, A-list incidents and attention-grabbing stunts.

To get us in the mood for this year’s event, here are XX moments that defined the Met Ball…

Lady Gaga certainly knew how to make an entrance with four different outfit changes at the “camp”-themed event in 2019

And, for that matter, so did Billy Porter

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

This was the same year when Zendaya’s outfit had a clever reveal of its own thanks to her “fairy godbrother”, stylist Law Roach

Speaking of Zendaya, let’s take a moment to appreciate her homage to Joan Of Arc

Noam Galai via Getty Images

After channelling Karl Lagerfeld’s feline pal Choupette in 2023, Doja Cat really stayed in character

Kim Kardashian sparked weeks’ of discourse when she attended the Met Gala in 2022 sporting an iconic dress once worn by Marilyn Monroe…

NDZ/Star Max via Getty Images

…and that was a very different approach to this look she wore a year earlier

ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images

How could we mention Kim’s past Met Gala looks and not mention this one too?

Randy Brooke via Getty Images

We kind of still struggle to compute that Elon Musk and Grimes were ever even a thing – but the fact they hard launched their relationship at the Met Ball is something we don’t think we’ll ever wrap our head around

ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images

If you thought the ‘naked dress’ trend was a Kim K or Rihanna invention, you need to think waaaaaay further back – to Cher in 1974, to be exact

Ron Galella via Getty Images

After making her mark with her signature style of colourfully-dyed hair, oversized hoodies and punk-y jewellery, Billie Eilish showed off a very different side to herself when she co-hosted the event in 2021

John Shearer via Getty Images

When it comes to star guests, they probably don’t come much bigger than Princess Diana, who attended the Met Ball in 1996, a year before her untimely death

New York Daily News via Getty Images

Sarah Paulson clocking Madonna on the red carpet was an extremely relatable moment

Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Madonna herself has a fair few iconic Met moments, not least when she took inspiration from Bettie Page at the Punk-themed event in 2013

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Or when she and Lady Gaga buried the hatchet (somewhat) at a Met Ball after-party, following years of public feuding, in 2015

Sadly not every A-list feud gets resolved under the watchful eye of Anna Wintour, as Cardi B and Nicki Minaj proved when they briefly tried to clear the air at the 2018 event

Kevin Mazur/MG18 via Getty Images

And speaking of Cardi B – special mention must go to this ensemble from 2019

Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Demi Lovato made it clear they’d never return to the Met Ball after one unnamed “complete bitch” the singer so uncomfortable that they almost broke their sobriety (Demi headed straight to an AA meeting after the event, apparently still wearing their Met Gala diamonds)

Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Lena Dunham also faced a huge backlash online when she claimed NFL player Odell Beckham Jr had essentially ignored her at the event (where they had been seated on the same table) as he didn’t “want to fuck” her. She later apologised for ‘projecting [her] insecurities’ and making ‘totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking’)

Rabbani and Solimene Photography via Getty Images

A host of celebs from Courtney Love and Dakota Johnson to Marc Jacobs and Rami Malek all faced controversy in 2017 when they were seen sparking up cigarettes in the toilets of the Met Gala

And no Met Ball retrospective could possibly be complete without the event’s queen, Rihanna, whether she’s playing with androgyny…

Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

…sporting the most-memed dress in Met Ball history…

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

…channelling the head of the Catholic church…

Jackson Lee via Getty Images

…or showing up ‘fashionably late’ in sunglasses that we’re still coveting a year later

James Devaney via Getty Images

Speaking of Rihanna (and shades)… who could forget when she threw some shade in the direction of her fellow guests after they failed to live up to the Comme Des Garçons theme in 2017?

Taylor Hill via Getty Images

And finally. A decade has passed… how do we still not know what happened in that after-party elevator?!

Associated Press

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