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Top 10 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of the 2010s

VO: Lisa Yang
The Met Ball costumes are the best of the best! We’re talking about Rihanna’s memorable yellow Belle inspired gown by Guo Pei, Zoe Saldana’s peacock inspired gown, Kim Kardashian’s sheer gown, Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein’s dress, Rooney Mara’s punk lace gown and more!
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Top 10 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of the 2010s


More than any other night of the year, this is the fashion world’s time to shine. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unforgettable Met Gala Looks of the 2010s.

For this list, we’re looking at the most show stopping outfits from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Gala, from 2010 until today.

#10: Zendaya
2015

The theme of 2015’s Met Gala was “China: Through the Looking Glass,” and singer and Disney star Zendaya perfectly exemplified it with a subtle nod to Chinese cultural attire. In bold shades of black, white and red, her high-low style ensemble by Fausto Puglisi was eye-catching and memorable. Discussing the structural shape of her gown, the starlet said she had to be transported in a truck while standing because it was virtually impossible for her to sit in the dress. Was she joking? We’ll never know for sure... but there was certainly nothing funny about this stunning example of high fashion.

#9: Nicole Kidman
2016

No stranger to beautiful red carpet looks, Nicole Kidman always looks classy and elegant. However, she stepped it up for the 2016 Met Gala, to the point where fashion maven André Leon Talley called her the night’s best-dressed star, amid fierce competition. The theme of the evening was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” and Kidman wore a distinctly modern looking Alexander McQueen dress with artful cutouts and a sheer beaded cape. She topped it off with a matching headpiece, which fully completed the look.

#8: Blake Lively
2014

The theme of 2014’s Met Gala was “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” in honor of the classic American designer. So, Lively wore a custom Gucci gown reminiscent of the curve-hugging silhouettes the designer was famous for. This event came at the beginning of rose-gold mania, so her dress was perfectly on-trend. What’s more, her retro-styled hair and makeup seemed like a nod to James’ 1950s aesthetic. With Lively’s husband Ryan Reynolds also wearing Gucci; many labeled them the evening’s best-dressed couple. And this wasn’t the first time Lively wowed critics: in 2013, she was dressed to impress with an intricately tiered long black train.

#7: Rooney Mara
2013

When you think “punk” you probably don’t think of white lace gowns. But somehow, Rooney Mara and her couture ensemble managed to give off a punk vibe to match the theme of the night. The bold zippers holding her Givenchy dress together added a DIY edge to the look and her vampy dark lipstick cemented the irreverence of the motif. While some stars decided to take on the “Punk: Chaos to Couture” theme more directly in 2013, Mara’s outfit perfectly straddled the line between elegant and edgy.

#6: Emma Watson
2016

In 2015, as part of the Green Carpet Challenge, Watson decided she would only wear clothing made from sustainable materials on the red carpet, and this Calvin Klein outfit was the pièce de résistance of her efforts. Made partly with used plastic water bottles, the ensemble contained multiple elements that the star said she’d wear again separately from one another, so the materials wouldn’t go to waste. Considering 2016’s theme looked at fashion and technology, it seems perfectly appropriate that the socially conscious star used modern techniques to create a sustainable look.

#5: Kim Kardashian
2015

No stranger to wearing looks that turn heads, Kim Kardashian went all out for the 2015 Met Ball. In a move that showed some serious body confidence, the megastar wore a sheer gown with strategically placed embellishment to conceal and reveal certain features. The dress was designed by Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli, and Kim said it’s one of her favorites that she’s ever worn. The feathery train added a romantic and whimsical touch to an otherwise sexy ensemble.

#4: Zoe Saldana
2016

This actress is used to making appearances on the red carpet for award shows, but she took the opportunity to really strut her stuff at 2016’s Met Gala. Her Dolce and Gabbana dress featured a show stopping, colorful train that gave off a peacock-like appearance. While the train was definitely the center of attention, the sheer boned bodice of the gown was equally stunning. With a coordinating clutch and jewelry – also by D&G – a simple, pulled back braid in her hair and low-key makeup, Saldana looked both whimsical and wonderful.

#3: Beyoncé
2015

The theme in 2015 was inspired by China, but it seems like many A-listers interpreted this to mean sheer, beaded and dramatic. Beyoncé and Kim K wore strikingly similar dresses to the Gala in 2015, though Bey’s was designed by Givenchy and featured more color and beaded bling. The dress left little to the imagination, with strategically placed beading and bling offering the majority of the coverage. It seems like the Queen B/Givenchy combo was a winner, because the French design house also created Beyoncé’s 2016 Met Gala pick – another stunning look, this time made of latex.

#2: Rihanna
2015

Not one to be outshined by her fellow pop superstar, Rihanna also came out in a breathtaking outfit in 2015. Again featuring subtle nods to the year’s China theme, Rihanna’s ensemble featured an epic, fur-trimmed cape that fell into a magnificent train, which was embroidered with ornate scrolls and designs. This daring Guo Pei Couture pick was undoubtedly memorable, for fashion critics and Rihanna herself, who said she needed help to walk in it! But we say it was worth it: offset against the red of the carpet, RiRi’s distinct yellow gown made her the unquestionable center of attention.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Karolina Kurkova
2012

- Dakota Fanning
2012

- Florence Welch
2016

#1: Claire Danes
2016

While there have been tons of beautiful dresses at the Met Gala over the years, nothing compares to Claire Danes’ 2016 look. The actress donned a Cinderella-style ball gown with a very modern twist. Using fiber optic technology, Danes’ pale blue dress lit up in the dark. Designed by Danes’ longtime friend, fashion designer Zac Posen, the dress may’ve been gorgeous on the red carpet, but once she got inside and was able to let it glow, this ensemble really got its time to shine.

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