Best Met Gala themes (Image via @mynightclubbing/Instagram)

Best Met Gala themes of all time

Since its inception, the Met Gala has been perceived as more than just a fundraising event. Offering a splendid manifestation of art as fashion and fashion as art, the event demonstrates how these two disciplines are woven together to define our cultural fabric.

The Met Gala, fashion's largest celebration, honors the industry's creative spirit. The annual theme is chosen with care to portray a specific story every year. A-list celebrities merge their individual styles with the gala’s theme to present unforgettable looks on the red carpet.


With the 2022 edition of the event approaches, let's take a look at some of the incredible themes from previous years.

Most fascinating Met Gala themes ever


1) Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion (2006)


The theme of the 2006 Met Gala was, “Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion.”

Sarah Jessica Parker, in her eye-catching beige, knee-length dress draped with a tartan fabric, matched the the theme perfectly. Her outfit paid a fitting homage to British customs. Alexander McQueen and Sarah Jessica Parker walked the red carpet hand-in-hand, wearing matching tartan designs, creating a moment to cherish.


2) Charles James: Beyond Fashion (2014)


In 2014, the museum commemorated Charles James, a global fashion industry icon who specialized in ball gowns and high structural esthetics. Stars respected the theme by opting for elaborate gowns and structured outfits, but brought their own twist as well.

Sarah Jessica Parker paid tribute to the legendary fashion designer in an Oscar de la Renta corseted ball gown. While Arizona Muse flaunted her red Ralph & Russo voluminous off-shoulder gown, Liu Wen wore a structured, all-green Zac Posen FW22 outfit.

Co-chaired by Sarah Jessica Parker, Bradley Cooper, and Oscar de la Renta, the event recorded many trail-blazing, memorable outfits.

3) China: Through the Looking Glass (2015)


Different cultures and traditions from across the globe have always been welcomed with open arms at the Met Gala.

"China: Through the Looking Glass" was chosen as the theme for the 2015 edition of the globally acclaimed event. Many big names wore magnificent couture inspired by the event's theme, including Rihanna, Amal Clooney, and Zendaya.

With its colossal train, Rihanna's larger-than-life yellow gown stole the show. Guo Pei, a Chinese designer, created her regal attire which took nearly two years to complete.

By embracing Chinese fashion in different forms, the show highlighted its influence on Western fashion.

4) Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016)


Moving on, the 2016 Met Gala opted for a unique theme, 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology,' to exemplify the technological shift in the realm of fashion. Many of the attendees, including Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Emma Watson, appeared on the red carpet in futuristic outfits.

Kim Kardashian wore an all-silver Balmain ensemble with structured shoulders, while Beyoncé donned a latex Givenchy gown to stay true to the theme. With her five-piece outfit by Calvin Klein Collection fashioned with repurposed plastic bottles, Emma Watson embraced sustainability.

5) Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (2018)


The Met Gala chose “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” as the theme for 2018, leaving room for a lot of creativity.

Hundreds of holy artifacts, dozens of relics, and other decorations were transported from the Vatican for the event. The venue looked glorious and divine concept on the special night.

Rihanna, who never fails to ace a theme, was the center of attention. With her Pope-esque ensemble, she made heads turn wherever she went. The Maison Margiela-designed haute couture was further elevated by a bejeweled headdress and cape.

Katy Perry, on the red carpet alongside Rihanna, sported an ethereal gown with massive angelic wings.

6) Camp: Notes on Fashion (2019)

2 years ago today, Lady Gaga SERVED at the 2019 MET Gala. The event’s theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”

This theme was inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp”, which defined camp as “a love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”. The exhibition showcased over 250 examples of camp fashion, from historical costumes to modern couture. The guests embodied camp by wearing outrageous outfits that were colorful, flamboyant, ironic, and humorous.

7) Gilded Glamour and White Tie (2022)

natasha poonawalla for met gala 2022, theme: gilded glamour.

The Met Gala 2022 celebrated the second part of the Costume Institute's exhibition on American fashion, titled "In America: An Anthology of Fashion". The theme was "Gilded Glamour and White Tie", inspired by New York's Gilded Age, a period of lavish wealth and style in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Celebrities dazzled on the red carpet with extravagant outfits, vintage jewelry and dramatic accessories that paid homage to the historical era and its influential figures. Some of the standout looks included Blake Lively's Versace gown with a hidden train, Kim Kardashian's Marilyn Monroe dress and Tommy Dorfman's tiara.


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Edited by
Mohini Banerjee
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