From 'Monroe' to Musk: 13 stars who stole the show at the Met Gala 2022

The evening saw celebrities wear chain dresses and 'cities' on capes


Published: Tue 3 May 2022, 4:37 PM

Last updated: Tue 3 May 2022, 4:44 PM

The celebration of American design was themed to gilded glamour, sprouting classic black tailed tuxedoes for many of the men and lots of dresses in black and white for the women. Others paid literal homage to New York City, home base for the Gilded Age, and still more shimmered in metallic golds and silver.

It’s been just under eight months since the last gala, an annual fundraiser that raises eight-figure sums for the Met’s Costume Institute. More than $16.4 million was raised last year. The starry event is the institute’s primary budget feeder.

This year’s gala coincides with the opening of the second part of a two-part exhibit at the Costume Institute focused on American fashion and style. The evening’s dress code was gilded glamour and white tie, a la the Gilded Age, that tumultuous period between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century known for its robber barons, drama and grandeur.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian shut down the Met Gala red carpet Monday in one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic dresses, a gold-beaded body hugger Monroe wore when she sexily sang happy birthday to President John F. Kennedy 60 years ago.

The star had to lose 16 pounds to fit into the dress, designed by Jean Louis and purchased in 2016 by the Ripley’s Believe or Not! museum in Orlando, Florida, for a whopping $4.81 million.

“It was such a challenge,” she said. “I was determined to fit it.”

The dress originally cost $12,000. It was so tight Monroe had to be sewn into it when she purred “Happy birthday, Mr. president” on May 19, 1962, at a Madison Square Garden fundraiser. She died three months later. It has been known as the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress ever since.

Kardashian, with boyfriend Pete Davidson at her side, paired the dress with Cartier white gold drop diamond earrings and a furry white jacket she kept strategically low to cover her backside. Her hair was platinum and pulled tightly into a bun. But she only wore the fragile original dress for her walk up the Grand Staircase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, changing into a replica after that, according to Vogue.

Blake Lively

One of the evening’s co-hosts, Lively wore a bronze and rose gold atelier Versace gown that transformed into a shimmery layer of baby blue as a large bow was pulled. Her look drew inspiration from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the blue ceiling of Grand Central Station.

“Instead of looking to fashion to influence the dress, I looked to New York City architecture,” said Lively, whose husband Ryan Reynolds accompanied her to the event dressed in brown velvet.

Cardi B

The rapper walked into the Gala in an atelier Versace gown. The design consisted of seven types of gold chains and the signature Versace medallion. Appropriate to the occasion, she definitely made a statement.

Cardi was accompanied by design house founder Donatella Versace, who wore a blue and gold gown, finished with denim details, chains, gold-leather, and covered in Swarovski crystals.

Billie EIlish

After making headlines with her Cinderella-esque dress last year, Billie Eilish returned to the Met with another statement outfit. She wore a custom Gucci corset look of ivory and duchesse satin with green lace and a padded bustle. In line with her last Met Gala principles, Eilish said that her dress was made of leftover fabric.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys’ Ralph Lauren dress was inspired by her native New York City, with a cape evoking the New York City skyline outlined in small hand-placed crystals. Her husband, Swizz Beatz, also a native New Yorker, donned a New York sports jacket.

Keys said her dress was meant to “represent an empire state of mind and a city of gods here tonight.”

Kylie and Kendall Jenner

Entrepreneur Kylie Jenner sported a baseball cap with an elaborate wedding gown and veil. Kendall Jenner was in black Prada as she played “devil and angel” with Kylie.

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid was more redefined cat woman than golden girl. She wore a tight-as-skin, blood red Latex catsuit with a corseted bodice and huge, heavy quilted coat from Versace. She walked gingerly up the steps.


Lizzo, meanwhile, got the crowd cheering when she played her gold flute for fans watching the parade of fashion outside. She wore a black dress under a stunning gold-embroidered black coat, all by Thom Browne.

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe offered a royal wave in a black and white bedazzled helmet piece and slinky gown with head piece.

“Amazing. I’m proud to be American. I’m proud to be wearing Ralph Lauren. This is gilded glamour from the future,” Monáe said.

Elon Musk

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, showed up with his mother, Maye Musk a former model adorned in Chopard pearls and other jewels. Her son wore a classic tux with tails and pouted at the cameras.

Anna Wintour

Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who has run the gala since 1995, wore feathery Chanel and a jewelled tiara that has been in her family since 1910. She continues as one of the night’s honorary co-chairs, along with designer Tom Ford and Instagram’s Adam Mosseri. The other official co-chairs for 2022 are Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Hillary Clinton

Former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was in a Bordeaux-coloured gown designed by Joseph Altuzarra with the names of historic women sewn into the hem and neckline. They include Abigail Adams, Shirley Chisolm and Madeleine Albright.


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