Summary

For those who think the red carpet has become a drag, rejoice in the fact that the annual crown jewel of high-concept, high fashion events is once again upon us—that’s right (in Oprah voice), it’s Met Gala timeeeee!
The unveiling of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, is sure to pack a punch with an avant-garde and sculptural archive guests will be clamoring to wear.
A look back to 1999 at Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney’s flimsy, one-shouldered “Rock Royalty” tees shows a major turning point in the dinner’s dress code that began with the influx of celebrity invites (brought on by Anna Wintour when she overtook chairmanship in the mid-nineties). Or how about that remarkable plaid and lace confection sported by Sarah Jessica Parker to 2006’s AngloMania exhibit opening? There will always be Rihanna‘s epic Guo Pei golden train at 2015’s party. Yes, the power to make a provocative statement on the red carpet is still alive and well, if nowhere else than at least on the Met Gala floor. They don’t call them the East Coast Oscars for nothing, after all.
With that, let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-live some of the splashiest outfits to appear at the ball throughout the years and achieve that most coveted of statuses—an honest-to-goodness, over-the-top, out-of-control red carpet MOMENT.

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Photography by Peter Kramer/Getty Images

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Photography by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Photography by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Photography by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Photography by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

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1/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Whitney Houston, 1999
Rule #1 of bedazzling: more is more (another handy tip—waist-chains are an excellent way to keep from losing your purse).

2/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney, 1999
We’re pretty sure some version of this shirt was sold at Stitches—bonus points for the laced-up sides.

3/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Naomi Campbell, Victoria Beckham and Linda Evangelista, 2003
There’s so much early aughts goodness here it’s hard to know where to begin: the cross chokers or the pink flower growing out of the bejeweled bag? Never mind, it’s clearly Victoria Beckham’s dress from Victoria’s Secret.

4/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Elle Macpherson in Calvin Klein Collection, 2005
Only a supermodel could wear a chartreuse satin gown with flats and have it look this glam.

5/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Karolina Kurkova in Viktor & Rolf, 2005
Wearing a Viktor & Rolf design that says, “I love you” to the opening of a Chanel exhibition? Can you say DRAMA?

6/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Sienna Miller in Burberry Prorsum, 2006
The 2006 exhibition celebrated British fashion, meaning that this mod mini hit the nail on the head.

7/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen, 2006
Juxtaposed layers of delicate tulle with fiery red tartan made for an unforgettable Met moment (it was also the last time McQueen would ever attend the event).

8/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Gisele Bundchen in Versace, 2008
The side boob to end all side boobs.

9/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs, 2009
With the exhibition exploring the model as designer muse, there was no one better to co-host the evening than Kate Moss, pictured here in a gold lame creation with matching turban, looking every bit the embodiment of fashion with her date, Marc Jacobs.

10/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Blake Lively in Versace, 2009
Paging Angelina Jolie’s leg! It seems Blake Lively was the first one to pull the showstopping stem stunt back in 2009.

11/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Rihanna in Dolce & Gabbana, 2009
Arguably one of her best red carpet looks, Rihanna went for full-on subversive sexpot in this puffy sleeved D&G tuxedo.

12/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Madonna in Louis Vuitton, 2009
These pseudo-bunny ears from LV’s Fall 2009 collection were all over the editorial circuit, but only someone like Madonna could work them in real life.

13/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Christina Ricci in Zac Posen, 2011
Honouring the late Alexander McQueen, the Savage Beauty exhibition practically demanded designs with a macabre edge, such as this exquisitely woven spider-like lace number by Zac Posen.

14/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Ashley Olsen in vintage Christian Dior, 2011
Who says water wings can’t be sexy?

15/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Beyoncé in Givenchy Haute Couture, 2012
The Met Gala marked the first time Queen Bey attended a red carpet event since the birth of Blue Ivy. What better way to make an entrance than in a gown fit for a queen?

16/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Kim Kardashian in Givenchy Haute Couture, 2013
This dress launched a thousand memes, marking the last time Kim K wasn’t taken seriously by the fashion industry.

17/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Erykah Badu in Givenchy Haute Couture, 2014
Charles James gowns were famously dramatic, making this Givenchy chapeau at the opening of his Beyond Fashion exhibition fitting, given that it seems to be challenging Pharrell’s Grammy hat for world domination.

18/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Rihanna in Guo Pei, 2016
How could we leave out the canary yellow cape that was nearly as long as a NY city block? No one makes an entrance like RiRi.

19/19

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Claire Danes in Zac Posen, 2016
It must have been easy to spot Claire Danes on the dancefloor. Her Cinderella gown lit up thanks to fiber optics sewn right in.

The post Met Gala 2017: A Look Back at the Best Outfits of All Time appeared first on FASHION Magazine.

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