It’s the second Monday in September. Normally, it’d be an unremarkable date. But in the new normal, it’s the night of the Met Gala, the night when A-listers from fashion, music, TV, sports, and even politics roll up to the Met Museum in their Sunday Monday finest. As celebs and designers exit quarantine (with a vaccination card in hand!), it’s time to start unveiling the memorable looks, as the guests celebrate tonight’s theme In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion.

But even as we look into the future (and hopefully, it’s one without coronavirus), we can still take inspiration from some of the Met Gala’s biggest fashion moments. To do so, we’re taking a trip down memory lane, re-visiting some of our all-time favorite Met Gala looks, from Kate Moss’s Marc Jacobs golden mini dress circa 2009 to Cardi B’s staircase-enveloping Thom Browne gown from last year. Don’t worry, SJP and Alexander McQueen in matching tartan, Naomi Campbell in glittering Versace, and Kim Kardashian West in Thierry Mugler’s first original design in 20 years also made the cut. 

So prepare to be amazed by the ethereal looks that have garnered attention every year since the first Costume Institute Benefit in 1948. Click on for our list of the best Met Gala looks of all time.

It’s the first Monday in May, but for the first time in nearly two decades, no one will be lining up on the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art tonight for the Costume Institute’s annual Met Gala. Central Park might be open (to the dismay of many worried New Yorkers), but the museum that calls it home is not. And neither is the About Time: Fashion and Duration exhibition.

As New York City itself hits pause, fashion’s most elite people — from the gala’s co-hosts Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and of course, Anna Wintour, to the most notorious Met Gala dressers (think Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jared Leto, and Cardi B) — are at home, probably posting photos from Met Galas past (bathroom pics included).

But just because we can’t tune into fashion’s biggest night tonight doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate what could’ve been. To do so, we’re taking a trip down memory lane, re-visiting some of our all-time favorite Met Gala looks, from Kate Moss’s Marc Jacobs golden mini dress circa 2009 to Cardi B’s staircase-enveloping Thom Browne gown from last year. Don’t worry, SJP and Alexander McQueen in matching tartan, Naomi Campbell in glittering Versace, and Kim Kardashian West in Thierry Mugler’s first original design in 20 years also made the cut. 

So shake (or stir) up a quarantini, put on a #throwback ensemble, and prepare to be amazed by the ethereal looks that have garnered attention every year since the first Costume Institute Benefit in 1948. Click on for our list of the best Met Gala looks of all time. It’s the first Monday in May, but for the first time in nearly two decades, no one will be lining up on the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art tonight for the Costume Institute’s annual Met Gala. Central Park might be open (to the dismay of many worried New Yorkers), but the museum that calls it home is not. And neither is the About Time: Fashion and Duration exhibition.

As New York City itself hits pause, fashion’s most elite people — from the gala’s co-hosts Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and of course, Anna Wintour, to the most notorious Met Gala dressers (think Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jared Leto, and Cardi B) — are at home, probably posting photos from Met Galas past (bathroom pics included).

But just because we can’t tune into fashion’s biggest night tonight doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate what could’ve been. To do so, we’re taking a trip down memory lane, re-visiting some of our all-time favorite Met Gala looks, from Kate Moss’s Marc Jacobs golden mini dress circa 2009 to Cardi B’s staircase-enveloping Thom Browne gown from last year. Don’t worry, SJP and Alexander McQueen in matching tartan, Naomi Campbell in glittering Versace, and Kim Kardashian West in Thierry Mugler’s first original design in 20 years also made the cut. 

So shake (or stir) up a quarantini, put on a #throwback ensemble, and prepare to be amazed by the ethereal looks that have garnered attention every year since the first Costume Institute Benefit in 1948. Click on for our list of the best Met Gala looks of all time.

Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.

Carmen Kass in Gucci, 2003

The open neck is the new open back, as proven by Carmen Kass’s iconic red satin Gucci gown from the 2003 Met Gala.Photo: Gucci/Getty Images.

Hailey Bieber in Alexander Wang, 2019

Only Hailey Bieber could make a crystal thong seem like a casual red pink carpet accessory. Photo: Karwai Tang/Getty Images.

Rihanna in John Galliano, 2018

Can we all take a second to memorialize Rihanna’s crystal-covered John Galliano papal look for the Heavenly Bodies themed Met Gala in 2018? Photo: Kevin Tachman/Getty Images.

Naomi Campbell in Versace, 1995

Naomi Campbell always looks fantastic. Full stop. But this dazzling Versace number from the 1995 Met Gala truly is a step above the rest. Photo: Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images.

Ashley Olsen in Dior, 2013

Ashley Olsen was the picture of sunshine at the 2013 Met Gala, where she wore a tangerine shapeless frock courtesy of Dior. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Cardi B in Thom Browne, 2019

Quilted coats who? We’re opting for quilted gowns only (with feathered details and extra-long trains, of course) from now on. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

Ariana Grande in Vera Wang, 2018

Ariana Grande consistently goes above and beyond in the costume department. But her Sistine Chapel Vera Wang gown for 2018’s Catholic-themed Met Gala was assuredly her most extra look yet. Photo: Jackson Lee/Getty Images.

Kim Kardashian West in Mugler, 2019

Straight out of the ocean and onto the pink carpet in custom Mugler is the only way we want Kim Kardashian West to show up anywhere for the foreseeable future. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.

Zoë Kravitz in Oscar de la Renta, 2017

Who else freaked out when Zoë Kravitz wore millennial pink to the Met Gala during peak millennial pink popularity? Photo: J. Kempin/Getty Images.

Frances McDormand in Valentino, 2018

Does it get more fabulous than Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand in avant-garde Valentino at the Met Gala? We’re thinking not.
Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images.

Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein, 2016

We’d be cheesin’ it too if we looked as extraordinary as Lupita Nyong’o in this sparkling green Calvin Klein number.
Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage.

Jared Leto in Gucci, 2019

It doesn’t get much more camp than carrying a 3D clone of your own head on the red carpet. Nice work, Alessandro Michele. We see you, and we appreciate you. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

Zendaya in Jean Paul Gaultier, 2018

Who else is getting serious Dune vibes from the armored Gaultier gown Zendaya wore in 2018?
Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images.

Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs, 2009

Kate Moss in this Marc Jacobs gold turban and backless mini combo is golden hour in human form. Photo: BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images.

Saoirse Ronan in Gucci, 2019

Watch out Emilia Clarke, there’s a new Mother of Dragons in town, and it’s Saoirse Ronan in Gucci. Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic.

Lana Del Rey in Gucci, 2018

Lana Del Rey’s Gucci ensemble nailed the 2018 Met Gala’s Catholic theme. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/WireImage.

Jennifer Lopez in Valentino, 2017

The Versace jungle dress might be J.Lo’s most iconic, but we’d argue that this baby blue Valentino gown deserves the #1 spot. Photo: J. Kempin/Getty Images.

Victoria Beckham in Victoria Beckham, 2014

Victoria Beckham in Victoria Beckham. That’s it. That’s the caption.Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage.

Billy Porter in The Blonds, 2019

Not pictured: Billy Porter being carried onto the Met Gala pink carpet Cleopatra style by six very handsome men also wearing gold ensembles by The Blonds.Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.

Cara Delevingne in Chanel, 2017

The only thing better than Cara Delevingne introducing her sleek new bald ‘do at the Manus x Machina Met Gala was the metallic Chanel pantsuit she wore.Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage.

Solange Knowles in Iris van Herpen and Brother Vellies, 2018

There’s a reason Solange Knowles goes by Saint Records, and it’s this slick black Iris van Herpen gown, gold angelic crown, and Brother Vellies thigh-high boots. That’s not really the reason, but a girl can dream. Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images.

Bella Hadid in Alexander Wang, 2017

Bella Hadid in barely there Alexander Wang needs no introduction.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.

Princess Diana in Dior, 1996

Possibly the most iconic of all the Met Gala looks is Princess Diana in a very daring blue Dior slip dress with a matching sapphire necklace. Photo: Patrick McMullan/Getty Images.

Cardi B in Thom Browne, 2018

What’s better than Cardi B’s regal Moschino look? The beaded gown was a major showstopper. Photo: Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic.

Sienna Miller in Burberry, 2006

Talk about glowing. Sienna Miller is a genuine ray of light in this Burberry micro mini. Photo: BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images.

Beyoncé in Givenchy, 2016

No one does latex fashion quite like Beyoncé, especially when it’s designed by Givenchy.Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage.

Dita von Tesse in Zac Posen, 2014

Old Hollywood glamour doesn’t get much better than this. Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.

Erykah Badu in Givenchy, 2014

Erykah Badu deserves the first-place prize for her Givenchy hat game at the 2014 Met Gala. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen in vintage John Galliano for Dior, 2015

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen in head-to-toe black isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also love it. Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images.

Chloe Sevigny in J.W. Anderson, 2015

Every single inch of this J.W. Anderson original on Chloë Sevigny is absolute perfection.
Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage.

Rihanna in Guo Pei, 2015

Does Rihanna ever not look perfect on the Met Gala steps? Doubtful.
Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic.

Anne Hathaway in Ralph Lauren, 2015

Anne Hathaway took a cue from Little Red Riding Hood with this sexy and sophisticated gold hooded gown courtesy of Ralph Lauren. Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage.

Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs, 2013

Miley Cyrus was the definitive punk princess in sheer, netted Marc Jacobs at the 2013 Met Gala.Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney, 2011

Between the extra-high slit and the extra-low back, this Stella McCartney number on Gwyneth Paltrow is the epitome of sex appeal.Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Madonna in Stella McCartney, 2011

This Stella McCartney cap-sleeved gown was, without a doubt, Madonna’s “Lucky Star.”
Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.

Christina Ricci in Givenchy, 2008

Catch us re-creating Christina Ricci’s pink and red Givenchy look on Valentine’s Day 2021.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.

Alexander McQueen and Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen, 2006

Tartan twinning. Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images.

Amber Valletta in Maggie Norris Couture and John Galliano, 2004

The hair! The baubles! The corset! Every detail of Amber Valletta’s Maggie Norris and John Galliano ensemble from the 2004 Met Gala was a win if you ask us. Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images.

Marie-Chantal Mille in Valentino, 2001

Have you ever seen anything chicer than Princess Marie-Chantal Mille of Greece wearing Valentino with Valentino? Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images.

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