As the 2023 Met Gala approaches, we’re looking back at some of the most striking outfits from past fetes — and today’s is one of the most futuristic, as proven when Elon Musk and Grimes made their red carpet debut as a couple for the 2018 event.
Grimes has been a mainstay at the event for years, as a supported artist of both the fashion industry and Vogue. During her many times attending the Gala, dressed by designers ranging from Chanel to Iris van Herpen, the musician has proved her affinity for cutting-edge ensembles. For the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”-themed Gala in 2018, for instance, she took a medieval approach in an edgy look co-designed with Musk himself.
The new Twitter owner took a slick approach to Grimes’ viral outfit, which featured sheer gloves, a miniskirt with a flowing train and miniature shoulder bag. Completing her ensemble was a nearly invisible crown made from Vantablack — a coating that’s also the darkest black hue created to-date — as well as a sparkly ombre breastplate. In fact, the breastplate was revealed to be a corset crafted entirely from glass, which the musician shared in a Vanity Fair YouTube video that year.
“It really, really hurts if you have a corset that is made out of hard glass,” she shared in the clip. “We learned a lot about fashion design, this being both of our first fashion design experiences.”
Musk later shared on Twitter that Grimes’ viral jewelry from the evening — a silver choker with several triangular accents, seemingly shaped like the Tesla logo — was simply “a bunch of spikes.”
Completing the “Shinigami Eyes” musician’s look was a pair of slick black thigh-high boots, complete with leather uppers, rounded toes and thick soles. Giving the pair added edge were a set of towering block heels totaling at least 5 inches in height, as well as numerous buckled straps.
Grimes attended the Met Gala solo in 2021. This time around, she wore a “Dune”-inspired look from Iris Van Herpen. The outfit was complete with a medieval-style sword borrowed from The Met that was made out of melted-down AR-15 assault rifle. She also accessorized with purple platform boots, custom Chrishabana metal face mask and Sofia Pavlova elf ears. Last year, Grimes put the face mask and elf ears she wore to the 2021 event up for auction to help raise money for to help out those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The same year, Billie Eilish co-chaired the event, along with actor Timothée Chalamet, poet Amanda Gorman and tennis star Naomi Osaka. Honorary chairs for the evening were Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri and Anna Wintour. In 2021 the exhibition was divided into two parts. The first segment, titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” opened on September 18. With a focus on the “modern vocabulary of American fashion,” it honored the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary with a smaller version of the Met Gala, which was held on Sept. 13 and was canceled in 2020. Highlights included Kim Kardashian — wearing head-to-toe Balenciaga, a look which made waves for covering her entire face and body — as well as Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Kehlani and more.
The 2022 Met Gala’s theme, meanwhile, saw the second portion of a two-part exhibition exploring fashion in the United States. This section of the exhibition highlighted sartorial narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of the American Wing period rooms. The looks featured date back from 1805 to the present, and surveyed more than two hundred years of American domestic life while telling a variety of stories including of those often forgotten in the history of fashion. To coincide with the second portion, the Costume Institute held the Met Gala on May 2, 2022. The event marked a return on the first Monday in May after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibit included 100 garments by independent designers and dressmakers from the 1800s to the mid-late 1900s in the Museum’s American Wing period rooms. There were also “freeze frames” of film vignettes in each room, highlighting the aesthetics of eight different film directors: Janicza Bravo, Sofia Coppola, Julie Dash, Tom Ford, Regina King, Martin Scorsese, Autumn de Wilde and Chloé Zhao.
The 2022 Met Gala was co-chaired by Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, as well as Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Celebrating the Costume Institute’s “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibit, the Gala included Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, fashion designer Tom Ford and head of Instagram Adam Mosseri as honorary co-chairs. Additional event support was provided by Instagram and Condé Nast.
While Grimes did not attend last year, Elon Musk hit the red carpet with mother Maye Musk.
This year, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute spring 2023 exhibition will examine the work of the late Karl Lagerfeld. The designer, who died in 2019 at 85, worked at Patou, Balmain, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel, in addition to founding his eponymous brand. Within the exhibit, Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s Wendy Yu Curator in Charge, examined the work of Lagerfeld, featuring approximately 150 of the designer’s pieces from the 1950s to his final collection. Vogue announced that this year’s hosts would be Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa, and Vogue‘s Anna Wintour as the night’s co-chairs.
Discover the Met Gala 2021’s most patriotic looks in the gallery.