Best Met Gala Themes of All Time

Best Themes of Met Gala
Best Themes of Met Gala (Source: Entertainment Weekly)

Best Met Gala Themes of All Time!!

The biggest celebrity-studded fundraising event, Met Gala, is a spectacular display of art as fashion and vice-versa.

To illustrate, the importance of the Met Gala extends beyond cash raised or social media attraction; it truly showcases how art and fashion are intertwined in a cultural fabric.

Even though the Gala held its first fashion event in 1948, it was 1995 when this event started laying out themes for everyone. And each year’s theme is chosen with utmost care and thought.

Met Gala looks (Source: Pinterest)
Met Gala looks (Source: Pinterest)

With this article, we are taking you down for a virtual trip of the fashion’s greatest night, where the world has witnessed some of the finest themes the celebrities carried with them.

In that spirit, let’s look at the 18 best Met Gala themes of all time, beginning with a quick overview right below!

Quick Overview

S. No Best Met Gala Themes Year
1. Heavenly BodiesFashion and the Catholic Imagination 2018
2. AnglomaniaTradition and Transgression in British Fashion 2006
3. Charles JamesBeyond Fashion 2014
4. China: Through the Looking Glass 2015
5. Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology 2016
6. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty 2011
7. Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations 2012
8. Punk: Chaos to Couture 2013
9. Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between 2017
10. Camp: Notes on Fashion 2019
11. In America: A Lexicon of Fashion 2021
12. The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion 2009
13. Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy 2008
14. Goddess: The Classical Mode 2003
15. American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity 2010
16. The House of Chanel 2005
17. Poiret: King of Fashion 2007
18. In America: An Anthology of Fashion 2022

Best Met Gala Themes of all Time

#18. In America: An Anthology of Fashion (2022)

The very recent theme of the year 2022- In America: An Anthology of Fashion is the second half representation of a two-part show which took place at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, United States.

The theme was selected so that it could emphasize the layered history of America back from the eighteenth century. Likewise, it is also meant to pay homage to the unsung heroes of the United States.

Met Gala 2022
Met Gala 2022 (Source: Insider)

To exemplify, the Gilded Glamour as it was entitled represented arts such as the mural of Versailles, the American domestic life, political scenarios, and even aesthetic and ideological patterns, among many others.

Celebrities like Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Emma Stone, and many more attended the Gala.

One of the major highlights of the recent Met Gala was Kim Kardashian appearing in the iconic Marilyn Monroe dress.

#17. Poiret: King of Fashion (2007)

In 2007, the theme set by Met Gala was called Poiret: King of Fashion.

To illustrate, Paul Poiret was an acclaimed French fashion designer who set the canon of contemporary/modern dress and further set himself as the pioneer in establishing the template for current fashion.

In that spirit, the 2007’s Gala honored the “King of Fashion” by organizing that year’s event in his name.

Cameron Diaz 2007 Met Ball
Cameron Diaz 2007 Met Ball (Source: POPSUGAR)

We witnessed several star-faces cladding themselves with the theme. For instance, some of the celebrities who gracefully walked the red carpet that year were Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, etc.

#16. The House of Chanel (2005)

Yet another praised designer, Coco Chanel (1883-1971), was one of the most celebrated designers in the world.

Chanel left an indelible mark on the fashion world, and her work is still celebrated. Not only that, but when Karl Lagerfeld united with the House of Chanel in 1983, it fortified the strength of Chanel even more.

The House of Chanel was 2015’s theme for the Met Gala, in which the concept and component of Chanel’s work were reflected in the dresses of celebrities who graced the red carpet that evening.

Karolina Kurkova Met Gala
Karolina Kurkova Met Gala (Source: Pinterest)

To add further,  there were more than fifty designs and accessories belonging to Chanel at that very exhibition in the Museum’s Costume Institute collection.

Some renowned faces walking the red carpet that year were Anna Wintour, Nicole Kidman, Lynn Wyatt, Melania Trump, Karolina Kurkova, and many more.

#15. American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (2010)

In 2010, the theme of the Met Gala was decided to be American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, where the main objective was to view how the image of American women evolved from the 1890s through the 1940s.

Jennifer Lopez at the 2010's Met Gala (Source: Pinterest)
Jennifer Lopez at the 2010’s Met Gala (Source: Pinterest)

Likewise, the exhibition also demonstrated the varying feminine styles women carried during the social revolution, along with complimenting their social, political, and sexual independence.

Lastly, the remarkable faces who helped to portray feminine independence through their dresses that evening were Katy Perry, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez, Sienna Miller, and many others.

#14. Goddess: The Classical Mode (2003)

Talking about the year 2003, the theme was Goddess: The Classical Mode which lay in the perimeter of the Greco-Roman attire.

The aforementioned theme followed the evolution of the Greco-Roman ensemble across the centuries, which is still preserved to this date, with modifications.

Nicole Kidman 2003 Met Ball
Nicole Kidman 2003 Met Ball (Source: British Vogue)

At this theme, the same classical ideas, such as evoking Goddesses and warriors, were preserved and implemented on dresses gracefully.

To detail, the majority of the attire belonged to the faint shades of white, nudes, and beiges. Similarly, it showcased several Roman and Greek elements in detail as the key motif in the dresses.

Sponsored by Gucci, some known faces who graced the red carpet that evening were Kate Hudson, Anna Wintour, Kristen Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Tom Ford, and so on.

#13. Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (2008)

Well, today, we know how Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has changed the landscape of the Hollywood film industry. Nevertheless, the stories of superheroes were always there and forever will be.

In that light, the 2008’s Met Gala chose their theme to be Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, which was sponsored by Giorgio Armani.

Taylor Swift at the 2008 Met Gala (Source: ELLE Magazine US)
Taylor Swift at the 2008 Met Gala (Source: ELLE Magazine US)

Unquestionably, the superheroes have inspired fashion designers as well as admirers all around the world. So, the main goal of 2008’s Gala was to form a link between the runways and the superheroes.

Fun Fact: That year’s Met Gala took place just three days after the release of Iron Man, featuring Robert Downey Jr. and the film grossed almost $100 million in its opening weekend.

Some of the remarkable appearances from that year would be Lynda Carter, Katie Holmes, Kate Mara, Zac Posen, etc.

#12. The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion (2009)

About the 2009 theme, it happened to be The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion when the Gala chose to show integrity between fashion and models.

There is no doubt that models are the pillars of feminity and style in the fashion world. Moreover, the early twentieth century was a pioneer for influential style, and it also gave rise to several gracious faces.

Kate Moss 2009 Met Gala
Kate Moss 2009 Met Gala (Source: POPSUGAR)

Likewise, the big brands and designs such as Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, and Alexander McQueen also made their name in this era with the help of those renowned models.

During this theme, top models such as Sunny Harnett, Cindy Crawford, Dorian Leigh, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, etc., were highlighted.

Some of the big names who graced the red carpet at that year’s Met Gala are Rihanna, Debbie Harry, Lauren Hutton, Elizabeth Hurley, Nadja Auermann, and so on.

#11. In America: A Lexicon of Fashion (2021)

Coming swiftly to the last year, in 2021, the theme for the Met Gala was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.

It was the second part of Anna Wintour Costume Center, which mainly focused on modern American fashion where almost 100 different outfits for men and women were kept on display.

Rihanna and ASAP Rocky 2021 Met Gala (Source: Pinterest)
Rihanna and ASAP Rocky 2021 Met Gala (Source: Pinterest)

Moreover, these outfits dated from the 1940s to the present date were crafted by several designers, and it was a tribute to Hollywood icons and great designers.

Some of the stars shining that night were Billie Eilish, Timothee Chalamet, Emily Ratajkowski, Rihanna, ASAP, and many others.

#10. Camp: Notes on Fashion (2019)

On number ten, we have the theme from the year 2019 entitled “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”

Interestingly, “Camp” on the theme title arose so many questions, and the rumors’ surrounded the internet that some of the celebs did not understand the theme.

Harry Style 2019 Met Gala
Harry Style 2019 Met Gala (Source: Vogue)

Simplifying, this “camp” theme meant was to show the style without any rigid substance however, maintaining the sophistication.

Some of the great faces we witnessed on the red carpet that year were Tessa Thompson, Dua Lipa, Zendaya, Harry Styles, and several others.

#09. Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017)

The 2017 was the year of Rei Kawakubo, the brilliant Japanese fashion designer. Rei is known for her high-fashion label Comme des Garcons (CDG), launched in 1969.

Likewise, for 2017’s Gala with the theme Art of the In-Between, her vision and attires were the inspiration that was followed cordially by many celebrities.

Lily Collins in 2017 Met
Lily Collins in 2017 Met (Source: POPSUGAR)

Andrew Bolton was the curator of the event that year, where the outfits designed by Kawakubo from the late twentieth century were the biggest highlight.

And as stated earlier, the queen RiRi won the internet with her ensemble. By the same token, some other notable faces were Lily Collins, Zendaya, Blake Lively, Joe Jonas, and many more.

Read About 13 Unforgettable Met Gala Red Carpet Fashion!

#08. Punk: Chaos to Couture (2013)

With a D.I.Y objective, the 2013’s Met Gala theme was Punk: Chaos to Couture.

To detail, that year embraced the “do it yourself” concept where the four parameters were Hardware, Bricolage, Graffiti and Agitprop, and Destroy.

The 2013’s theme tried to show punk’s impact on high fashion as it emerged in the early 1970s. Basically, 100 men and women showcased punk symbolism in their haute couture.

Madonna at the 2013 Met Gala (Source: W Magazine)
Madonna at the 2013 Met Gala (Source: W Magazine)

Most of the celebrities looked edgy yet striking that night, for instance, Madonna, Katy Perry, Frank Ocean, Cara Delevinge, and so on.

#07. Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (2012)

What a theme for 2012’s Met Gala- Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations!

To illuminate, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada both are Italian fashion designers ranging from opposite eras, however, with surprising similarities. The 2012 Gala examined those resemblances in its costume exhibition.

Diane Kruger
Diane Kruger 2012 Met Ball (Source: POPSUGAR)
Basically, the signature apparel from both designers was arranged in the themed gallery, and some of the well-sought celebrities paid homage graciously to these fashion icons.
The sparkling faces we witnessed cladding in this theme were Rihanna, Carey Mulligan, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, etc.

#06. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011)

The 2011’s Met Gala was really special with the theme Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty as that year’s Gala remembered the late McQueen and his tasteful work.

McQueen, who took his life in 2010, had embraced the concept of primitivism throughout his fashion career. To describe, the British couturier often drew a picture of a noble barbarian living in peace with nature.

Gisele and Tom Brady in 2011 Met Ball
Gisele and Tom Brady in 2011 Met Ball (Source: British Vogue)

Coming towards the Gala, several big names had clad themselves in McQueen dresses that year.

The faces we strongly remember are Kate Middleton, John Legend, Anna Dello, Tom Brady, Karen Elson, Daphne Guinness, and several others.

#05. Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016)

With 170 samples of haute couture and avant-garde, the 2016’s Met Gala with the theme Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology displayed some of the fine attires from the early 1900s to the present.

Selena Gomez at the 2016 Met Gala (Source: InStyle)
Selena Gomez at the 2016 Met Gala (Source: InStyle)

This year’s theme embraced the differences in the creative process that took place during that time when hand and machine were viewed as opposing tools.

The charming faces who graced the evening of that event must be Lupita Nyong’o, Sienna Miller, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Selena Gomez, among many others.

#04. China: Through the Looking Glass (2015)

In 2015, the Met Gala focused on how Chinese design had inspired Western fashion sense throughout the centuries. For that purpose, it declared that year’s theme to be China: Through the Looking Glass.

The exhibition spanned three floors and 16 galleries of the Metropolitan Museum. Moreover, every craft and design supported how China as a nation and Chinese aesthetics have propelled the fashion imagination.

Anne Hathaway, 2015 Met Gala (Source: If It's Hip, It's Here)
Anne Hathaway, 2015 Met Gala (Source: If It’s Hip, It’s Here)

Like other years, Andrew Bolton curated it while Nathan Crowley took care of the production design.

The remarkable entry was seen by the celebrities such as Rihanna (Of course!), Anne Hathaway, Zendaya, and others.

#03. Charles James: Beyond Fashion (2014)

In 2014, another powerful theme was set for the Gala entitled Charles James: Beyond Fashion.

Charles James (1906-1978) was a legendary Anglo-American fashion designer who has inspired many couturiers of this date. Especially his gowns, depicting magnificent architecture and intricate creations, are gifts to the fashion world.

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, Met Gala 2014 (Source: Emma Stone Official)
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, Met Gala 2014 (Source: Emma Stone Official)

For the Gala, his work was displayed in a beautiful way, including fifteen of his renowned dresses dating back from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.

The famous faces we beheld that evening were Ryan Reynolds, Andrew Garfield, Blake Lively, Kendall Jenner, Hailee Steinfeld, and many more.

#02. Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion (2006)

The British or Englishness is often a romantic construct that goes on everyone’s mind either through stories or imagination.

Respecting that, in 2006, the theme of Met Gala was Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion.

John Galliano and Charlize Theron at the 2006 Met Gala (Source: British Vogue)
John Galliano and Charlize Theron at the 2006 Met Gala (Source: British Vogue)

Anglomania was the ruling authority during the mid-to-late eighteenth century. Moreover, it was also the inception period of fashion statements.

In that light, the Met organized an exhibition that illustrated different aspects of English culture, which had an influence on both modern Europeans and Americans.

Curated by Andrew Bolton, the notable faces of 2006’s Met Gala were Sienna Miller, Jessica Stam, Sarah Jessica Parker, and several others.

#01. Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (2018)

Finally, the only and eighteenth theme from our list happens to be 2018’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.

The powerful and dramatic theme took place at two locations; The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Furthermore, it is the largest exhibition organized by The Costume Institute to this date.

Rihanna, Met Gala 2018 (Source: Entertainment Weekly)
Rihanna, Met Gala 2018 (Source: Entertainment Weekly)

To instantiate, this theme depicted the impact of Catholicism by its rituals and traditions on the world. Not only that, but it also linked fashion and medieval art.

The great faces and the great costumes were seen on stars such as Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey, Priyanka Chopra, Blake Lively, and a lot of others.

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