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Met Gala 2019: The Best Dressed

How did the world’s most stylish models, designers and celebrities interpret the Met Gala 2019 theme of Camp: Notes on Fashion? With Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Alessandro Michele and Serena Williams as co-chairs, it was never going to be dull…

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Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid gives Liberace a run for his money in showstopping Michael Kors, topped off by a glorious, glittering head cap.

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Saoirse Ronan

Is there a new Mother of Dragons? Saoirse Ronan has a fire-breathing beast on both shoulders of her Gucci gown, and it’s fair to say that she is on fire. Stylist Elizabeth Saltzman has done it again.

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe is the Queen of Hearts in Christian Siriano. Keeping her black and white signature style, she’s added flaming hot fuchsia and a few mad hats. All eyes are definitely on her.

Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson wears her bleeding heart on her dress, designed by the gala’s co-host, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele.

Yara Shahidi

Actress and PORTER cover star Yara Shahidi looks incredible in custom Prada. She revealed that the design was inspired by the idea of a ’50s swimsuit.

Sophie Turner

Newlywed Sophie Turner and husband Joe Jonas made the ultimate commitment by matching at the Met Gala. Turner wore a sequined Louis Vuitton jumpsuit, while Christian Wood combed glitter through her hair and makeup artist Georgie Eisdell added inky-blue eyeshadow to complete the otherworldly effect.

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o’s epic Versace look was sourced by long-time stylist Micaela Erlanger, with the star’s trusted team of hairstylist Vernon François and makeup artist Nick Barose outdoing themselves to create one of the greatest beauty looks in Met Gala history.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez had multiple dresses to choose from tonight, and opted for Versace to pay tribute to one of the label’s tailors, who passed away while making the gown.

Elle Fanning

If genies went to the Met Gala… Elle Fanning embraces the camp theme in Miu Miu, with a truly incredible manicure by Mar y Sol Inzerillo and pitch-perfect hair and makeup by Jenda Alcorn and Erin Monroe. Stylist Samantha McMillen knows exactly how to celebrate Fanning’s playful nature.

Cardi B

Cardi B’s scarlet quilted dress (which is so much more than a dress) is by New York-based designer Thom Browne.

Zendaya

Zendaya, styled by Law Roach and wearing Tommy Hilfiger, gave us a true Cinderella story as she lost her shoe on the Met Gala steps. The stuff of fairy tales.

Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

How do you celebrate camp when you’re two of the most understated dressers in the world? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen found their inner exhibitionists (buried deep, deep, deep down) in floor-length leather by – who else? – The Row.

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne is bright and bold, chasing the rainbow from head to toe complete with a headpiece adorned by bananas, eggs, teeth and eyeballs.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana wears a beautifully cut copper-sequined Michael Kors dress, but it’s the beauty touches we’re obsessed by – that hair volume and glittering eye makeup are the perfect notes on camp.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is a picture in Jeremy Scott’s Moschino design.

Gemma Chan

Actress Gemma Chan is simply stellar in Tom Ford, accessorized to the max with a headpiece inspired by Elizabeth Taylor.

Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz demonstrates how cool girls do camp in sleek Saint Laurent with a huge heart cut out. We heart.

Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid looks like an ’80s ad campaign in Moschino, with daring bejeweled cutouts and a ’20s-style wig that makes us want to cut all our hair off.

Kacey Musgraves

Singer Kacey Musgraves is a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, wearing pink Moschino on the pink carpet.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys nods to Grace Jones in custom Carolina Herrera. This girl is on fire (pun definitely intended).

Joan Collins

Joan Collins is a camp princess in pristine white Valentino, on the arm of designer Pier Paolo Piccioli.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

The supermodel and businesswoman wears angelic Oscar de la Renta, styled by Emma Morrison, with hair by Christian Wood and makeup by Hung Vanngo.

Miley Cyrus

The singer does delicious disco camp in Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, accessorized by Liam Hemsworth.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt looks statuesque in brilliantly OTT gold Michael Kors and a Stephen Jones headpiece, styled by Jessica Paster, with hair by Laini Reeves and makeup by Jennifer Streicher.

Constance Wu

The Crazy Rich Asians actress attended in a Marchesa dress, arriving at the event with one of the label’s designers, Georgina Chapman. It’s camp meets Asian elegance via an impressive arrangement of beads.

Florence Welch

Singer Florence Welch is a long-time fan of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci and she opts to wear the label yet again for the Met Gala, her red hair contrasting beautifully with the heavily decorated dress and cape. This is what a camp Angel Gabriel would look like.

Awkwafina

It’s her first Met Gala – if you don’t count the time she robbed it alongside Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling and Anne Hathaway in Ocean’s 8 – so Awkwafina and designer Joseph Altuzarra opted for the gold standard of camp in metallic pleats.

Celine Dion

Avid couture fan Celine Dion is never knowingly underdressed. For the 2019 Met Gala, she set a new standard in a hand-beaded, fringed, metallic Oscar de la Renta dress and epic feathered headpiece. Those legs! Dion called her outfit “magical” and said she’ll be wearing it to bed…

Alessandro Michele & Harry Styles

The hosts with the most: Gucci designer Alessandro Michele and his collaborator Harry Styles make the perfect pink-carpet couple.

Ashley Graham

The supermodel and TV host just set a new standard for hair accessorizing. With pearls, gems and brooch-adorned ribbons, this ponytail (created by hairstylist Justine Marjan) is the polar opposite of basic. It’s hard to tear your eyes away from that incredible face, but this Gucci x Dapper Dan outfit is worth it.

Serena Williams

The dress is by Versace, the shoes are by Nike. Serena Williams will be the most comfortable woman on the pink carpet tonight. In power-puffed shoulders and a butterfly-strewn train, Williams has served us an ace.

Lady Gaga

Event co-host Lady Gaga (complete with a team of debonair dancers who led her up the Met Gala’s pink carpet) set the scene in a magenta Brandon Maxwell opera coat, which she then discarded to reveal a black one-hip-wonder dress. Which she then also removed, displaying a bright pink, floor-length number. And for look number 4? What could be camper than lingerie? Maxwell has been working with the singer and actress for over ten years, as the man who originally collaborated with her on the infamous meat dress. Another round of applause goes to makeup artist Sarah Nicole Tanno – those eyelashes are epic.

What’s special about the Met Gala?

A star-studded affair of the highest order, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala sees the world’s most influential designers craft one-of-a-kind pieces for the biggest names in film, music and fashion. Held on the first Monday in May since it was founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert in 1948 (who famously dubbed it “the party of the year”), it has become the hottest date in the fashion calendar: chaired by Anna Wintour, invitation-only tickets cost $30,000, with tables around $275,000. But before you scoff at the astronomical prices, bear in mind that the Costume Institute is the only self-funded facet of the museum, meaning the Gala brings in invaluable funds – last year it netted over $12,000,000.

Hosting duties
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has chaired the Met Gala since 1995
Cher wearing a Bob Mackie dress at the 1985 Gala, pictured with the designer
Christy Turlington channels Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired chic in 1992
Princess Diana wearing Christian Dior for the 1996 Christian Dior-themed Gala
Frances McDormand in Valentino Couture with a Philip Treacy headpiece in 2018
Rihanna wore a bishop’s miter as part of her 2018 Heavenly Bodies look

Best red-carpet moments

Cher has graced the Met’s stairs multiple times in suitably sparkly Bob Mackie creations, most memorably in 1985 for the Costumes of Royal India Gala. Christy Turlington put her spin on Holly Golightly’s iconic look for 1992’s Fashion and History: A Dialogue; Princess Diana shook off royal dress codes for the 1996 Christian Dior Gala in a navy slip dress by the designer; and at the Met Gala 2018 last year, Frances McDormand dazzled in Valentino Couture – complete with butterfly-festooned headwear – and Rihanna gave us a decidedly extra take on Papal style for Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.

What’s the Met Gala 2019 theme?

While social media might be awash with the most daring celebrity looks, the true life-blood of each Gala is the exhibition it celebrates, which dictates the party’s dress code. Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on “Camp” is the jumping off point for this year’s exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion: the 200 pieces on display will chart the history of flamboyant fashion, from the court of Versailles to Bjork’s divisive swan dress by Marjan Pejoski. So what does that mean for the red carpet? The event’s curator, Andrew Bolton, encourages an abstract interpretation. In a recent interview with The New York Times, he explained why the term has particularly resonance today: “We are going through an extreme camp moment, and it felt very relevant to the cultural conversation to look at what is often dismissed as empty frivolity but can be actually a very sophisticated and powerful political tool, especially for marginalized cultures. Whether it’s pop camp, queer camp, high camp or political camp [] I think it’s very timely.” Previous themes have included Punk: Chaos to Couture (2013), China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) and Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016).

Shirt, Franco Moschino, Spring 1991, from The Costume Institute’s 2019 exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion
Ensembles, Marc Jacobs, Spring 2016, from The Costume Institute’s 2019 exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion

The key details

This year’s Gala takes place on May 6, with red-carpet coverage beginning at 7pm EST. Its three hosts span the world of music, cinema and sport – tennis ace Serena Williams; Oscar-winning actor and singer Lady Gaga; and pop sensation Harry Styles.

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.