For couture aficionados, the flood of Met Gala fashion can be a night of highs and lows. On one hand, it’s the most creative formal wear you’ll see all year, but on the other hand, there’s a neverending parade of celebs who opt out of the spirit of the Gala, showing up in a pretty-but-boring gowns to take forbidden selfies in the bathroom.
A “best” or “worst” pick on the Met Gala red carpet is not what would be best or worst for the Oscars or GRAMMYs. At the core of the sartorial disconnect is that this is not a Hollywood event; it is a benefit for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, Anna Wintour’s philanthropy baby. Each year, a theme is chosen, one that marries fashion, art and culture.
What’s theme got to do with it? Everything! Fashion stalwarts and socialites put an immense amount of care into their choices, working with their favourite designers to craft a truly one-of-a-kind look that isn’t just another runway dress. That’s why tastemakers like Solange, Rihanna and SJP shut down the carpet with their risk-taking, often-misunderstood choices.
For one night only, the worst dressed isn’t the person in the “swan dress,” it’s the person in the perfectly safe and pretty ball gown. Scroll through to see all the misses we’ve clocked over the years.
Katie Perry, 2010
Theme: American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity
This intriguing theme focused on the emergence of the American woman as a force in fashion (and beyond) from 1890s to 1940s. Specifically, “focusing on archetypes of American femininity through dress, the exhibition reveals how the American woman initiated style revolutions that mirrored her social, political and sartorial emancipation.” A total contrast, Katy Perry’s light-up dress was the couture equivalent of those LED toddler sneakers you can get at the mall—a novelty, without any lasting power.