The Worst-Dressed Stars In Met Gala History

In the universe of fashion, the Met Gala is the ultimate playground. The showiest in showbiz come out to play — and they're expected to know how to, because Anna Wintour didn't put them there without reason. Under the watchful, glassy gaze of the Vogue top boss, the annual gala dazzles the world from the ramparts of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The upper-crust guest list is tightly limited, leaving even the who's who of fashion pining for an invitation. It took beauty mogul Kim Kardashian years to get her first Met invitation in 2014 and, if Page Six is to be believed, she could likely be snubbed from this year's event altogether. 

Tough as it is to make it to the coveted invitee list, it's apparently equally easy to be eliminated. Wintour "loves a dress-up party," Vogue insider Lisa Love told Time. So attendees go above and beyond each year to pick out fineries to match the theme and hope their fashion statement is well within whatever shadow lines Wintour has drawn around the iconic benefit. Naturally, there are many hits and way more misses with each consecutive event. Here's looking at the worst-dressed stars in Met Gala history. 

Beyoncé's latex look was not one for the books

There is nary an occasion where Beyoncé gets it wrong. Ever deserving of her crown, Queen Bey is always at the top of her wardrobe game. Well, almost. Her 2016 Met Gala outfit will go down in history as a rare fashion fail because, as it turned out, even Beyoncé couldn't make rubber work. The theme for the most glamorous night on the calendar that year was "Manus x Machina," which alluded to a confluence of fashion and tech. And surprisingly, Beyoncé didn't touch either end of the scale. She wore a nude, floor-length embellished piece by Givenchy that was made — of all the fabrics in the world — of latex! 

We're surprised the "Single Ladies" hitmaker gave the French designer unrestrained control of her wardrobe in 2016, after the lukewarm response to her sheer Givenchy gown at the previous year's Met carpet. Neither Beyoncé's legendary curves nor her attention-grabbing eye makeup could do much to salvage her look. As ever, the internet was brutally honest and let their beloved Bey know that it looked like she had slipped on a giant condom. Those who listened to "Lemonade" carefully contended that the latex could just as well have been the skin of her mysterious nemesis, Becky, that Beyoncé promised to wear.

Katy Perry morphing into a chandelier wasn't on our Met Gala bingo

We're convinced that Katy Perry and Met Gala Katy Perry are two different people. The latter shows up as an annual phenomenon, fashioned especially for the jazziest night in showbiz. And it gets progressively zanier, year after year. As if things weren't already tipping into surreal territory, the Met theme for 2019 — "Camp: Notes on Fashion" – opened the floodgates of bizarre celebrity interpretations like never before. Perry turned up as a chandelier ... candles, Swarovski crystals, et al. The "Roar" singer went super grand with her dazzling Moschino dress (if you can categorize it as that) and even grander with her 40-pound headdress, The New York Times pointed out. 

The world was only just coming to terms with designer Jeremy Scott's justification of his dress — "Who has ever been to a ball that did not have a chandelier?" he exclaimed to Vogue — when Perry popped more eyeballs by showing up at the Met after-party as a hamburger. Yup, both those iconic outfits belong to the same night.

If not head honcho Anna Wintour, Perry's outing definitely bugged another fashion mogul. Tom Ford complained to Time about the Met's transition to a costume party, quipping that "you didn't have to arrive in a van where you were standing up because you couldn't sit down because you wore a chandelier." Agreed. We'd much rather Perry stick to lighting up the world with fireworks!  

A$AP Rocky's low-effort fashion was ironically a bit much

It was either the best outfit of all time or the biggest Met Gala con ever. The utterly unbending, perennially proper Englishwoman running Vogue probably didn't envision the fashion-sacred zone of the Met red carpet to be a place where people turned up in their jammies. In a daring consummation of what may have been Anna Wintour's worst nightmare, A$AP Rocky attempted this daring feat in 2021 when he walked the carpet wrapped in a ginormous, colorful quilt. If you're wondering, he did wear a tuxedo underneath. But amid the glam, the rapper stood out in bedtime garb that interestingly held deep meaning. 

The quilt was a thrifted piece, which a woman on Instagram traced back to her great-grandmother. Designer Eli Russell Linnetz chanced upon the vintage article, imprinting it with intimate symbols from his life — "from my dad's bathrobe to my boxers," he told Vogue — and customizing it to fit the cool, laid-back aesthetic of American fashion, in keeping with that year's Met theme. Twitter roasted A$AP Rocky for his über comfortable Cap'n Crunch look, but we surmise Wintour was less bothered. As the rapper once bragged to GQ, "I love that Anna Wintour doesn't get pissed off at me when I do sh*t like that." 

Marc Jacobs gave onlookers a full expose of his boxers

If Marc Jacobs wears it, who dares question its fashion quotient? But certain things just don't go together — like boxers and lace. Even if one of the world's most well-known fashion authorities does the strange wardrobe combination a favor by parading it around on the Met Gala red carpet. The theme for 2012's exhibition was "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," a cry for the most audacious fits imaginable. True to the gala theme (and his own), Jacobs pushed the boundaries in his button-down Commes des Garcons sheer lace dress, though the exposé of white boxers and the accompanying bejeweled pilgrim shoes did little to aesthetically complement his look. 

Expectedly, Jacobs wasn't going for anything conventional. "I just didn't want to wear a tuxedo and be boring," he explained at the event, implying that his outfit was a dedication to the pathbreaking work of both designers being honored, per The Hollywood Reporter. Naturally, Jacobs' look featured on most lists highlighting the most controversial appearances at that year's Met Gala. High couture isn't everyone's cup of tea ... and if it constitutes a shirt tunic and underwear hybrid that ends up looking like a slapdash effort at best, we suspect many would be thankful for not sipping from it at all. 

Frances McDormand's wild dress was only topped by her wild headdress

Frances McDormand has rarely had any outrageous fashion moments. The Oscar-winning star is famously averse to extravagance, to the point of distancing herself from typical celebrity indulgences like makeup and surgical enhancements, according to The Guardian. McDormand has always flaunted and excelled at a more laid-back wardrobe than her peers, which suits her well! For the one time she strayed from her trademark style and played into the opulence of the Met Gala in 2018, it kinda backfired. One of the charity's most talked-about fits that year, McDormand showed up in billowing green drapes by Valentino and a massive headdress recognizably designed by Philip Treacy. 

Half an arm and bits of a face — that's all that was visible of McDormand that night. And her smart sass, of course! Five minutes was all the time she apparently spared to put together her wild ensemble, she said on "Entertainment Tonight." Hers certainly looked like a comfortable outfit to slip into, but the formlessness of it gave McDormand a vague, indecipherable silhouette that evaded meaning. She was meant to be pagan, she told the press (via Twitter). We deduce she was only meant to be having fun that evening — her memorable dance moves were testament — and for that, her wardrobe flub deserves to be excused. 

Madonna's sheer fashion was tough to digest for many

Few can top the legendary status Madonna has acquired, in bold music and even bolder fashion. The "Material Girl" singer has a notorious penchant for everything risqué, and we're convinced she didn't blink an eye before going all out for the 2016 Met Gala in trademark Madonna style. She showed up in jaw-dropping, dominatrix-like garb with a lot of leather and lace that gave a bare exhibition of her posterior. Her golden locks barely reached her chest, which was also on proud display, albeit under strategic cutouts. Though there were millions worth of precious stones adorning Madonna that night, as Page Six reported, we doubt anyone was able to look beyond the standout headpiece. 

As internet and media critics panned her controversial Givenchy ensemble, Madonna came forward in fierce defense of it. "When it comes to women's rights we are still in the Dark Ages. My dress at the Met Ball was a political statement as well as a fashion statement," she wrote in an Instagram post, via ABC News. Now look, we're all for sheer couture. But nothing that looks like it's put together with bits of electrical tape scraps and a free run of the scissors befits the Queen of Pop! 

Frank Ocean played it too safe for everybody's liking

The Met Gala is an open field for the men in showbiz to gloriously stray from their plain old tuxes and subvert the standards of male fashion. And yet, so many choose to squander this opportunity and take refuge in run-of-the-mill fits. Frank Ocean, for instance. Before the singer stunned with his viral 2021 appearance alongside an inexplicable neon green baby robot, he shocked with a boringly blasé black ensemble in 2019. A severely odd choice, especially for a year that gave free rein to attendees under the allowance of "Camp: Notes on Fashion." All Ocean could manage to fit the theme (or not) was a nylon anorak jacket from Prada paired with basic cropped trousers. 

Few endorsed Ocean's look based on the opinion that he was among the few who perceptibly grasped the ironic idea behind camp, as Susan Sontag intended it in her historic notes that inspired the Met theme. The Irish Tatler held up Ocean's outfit in the context of Sontag's essay defining camp as a concept hinged on naiveté and seriousness. Both qualities are inconsequential on the internet, where people found gratification in likening the "Novacane" singer's fit to a security guard's. As a Twitter user put it, Ocean looked like he would ask for an ID any second. 

Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney's matching fits can never be forgotten

Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney were born wearing crowns of rock royalty. As the daughters of two of the all-time best rockers — Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Paul McCartney of the Beatles, respectively — their foremost identities are tied to that legacy. They didn't have to wear one-shouldered tops flaunting that label to the world to prove it. They did, at the 1999 Met Gala themed around "Rock Style," no less. With the towering legacies of their family names in tow, the junior Tyler and McCartney took each other by the waist and walked down their first Met carpet looking like human incarnations of the noughties fashion zeitgeist.

Studs, skimp, slogans — what's not to like? To be honest, the tanks were the epitome of Y2K millennial cool. Their now-iconic reputation even warranted a comeback to a modern McCartney fashion campaign. But as Tyler later spelled it out for Vogue herself, "It wasn't really appropriate that we wore those shirts. Officially, we weren't following the honors of the dress code."

Two decades after the punk moment from their 20s, the women recalled that their fits — bafflingly basic, save for the tees — were last-minute arrangements. McCartney, ever the ingenious designer, took a couple of bargained tank tops to a vintage store to get them embellished and chopped in the right places. Their claim that they didn't overthink their now-iconic Met wardrobe is rather believably evident. 

Kanye West's ripped jeans were a meh gala

Back in the old days when he didn't make headlines for beefing with the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kanye West used to set off buzz about his fashion choices. In a particularly unforgettable style statement from the annals of fashion fails on the Met Gala red carpet, Ye arrived in a hard-to-categorize ensemble in 2016. He was a study in contrast with a lavishly bejeweled Balmain jacket adorning his upper half and garden-variety ripped denim (that cost $900, by the way) trailing down to his ankles. 

The Met is typically liberal, rather insistent, with regards to unorthodox outfits — but jeans are where we must draw the line. Their everydayness is ironically too zany for the zaniest night in fashion. If light blue lenses were Ye's idea of "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology," he should probably have read the memo again. His look was the talk of the season, labeled as a low-effort attempt at observing the year's theme. According to GQ, Ye had a simple explanation for it all: "Vibes." 

Sarah Jessica Parker's flaming headdress was too much to take

Met Gala fashion fails extend to two ends of a spectrum. One end registers appearances that are so bland they fall flat on their faces. The other end, however, is a cluster of over-the-top costumes that shock with their unforgettable outrageousness. Sarah Jessica Parker's 2015 show at the benefit belongs to the latter category. The "Sex and the City" icon opted for a black thigh-slit gown that was, remarkably, a thing of personal creation designed in collaboration with H&M. Unfortunately, that little special detail fizzled out in the heat emanating from her flaming headdress, which upstaged everything else about her outfit — and not in the best way. 

Cultural appropriation was the flavor of the red carpet at that year's Met, which was themed around "China: Through the Looking Glass." And SJP gave in to the only faux pas attendees should have been wary of. Her massive Philip Treacy headpiece was lambasted for its racist overtones that furthered the Dragon Lady stereotype. Interestingly enough, the hat had a rushed delivery and reached Parker at the eleventh hour. A lot about her look hinged on the fire headdress for Parker, who told Vogue that there'd have been "no point going to the Met" without it. Well, public opinion suggested otherwise.

Justin Bieber's baggy tux was all kinds of boring

Baggy clothes are a Justin Bieber mainstay. That much was indisputably established when the "Baby" hitmaker cofounded his over-oversized fashion label Drew House which retails saggy swagger to people who care for that kind of style. At the Met Gala, such tailoring runs the risk of just looking sloppy — which is not too different from the feedback Bieber's suit ended up getting in 2021. It was a plain black number ... almost boring, save for the ultra-wide trouser hems that looked like they could fit three of Bieber's legs through one opening. We're lauding the fun take on the tux but cringing at the strange hip-hop tribute happening down there.

GQ seemed to think that Bieber's ill-fitted trews were a profound statement aligned to the benefit's theme around American fashion, in how it represented the pain of finding a suit "that's reasonably priced and fits nicely." As someone with a newly launched brand and a usual preference for baggy clothes, we barely think the Biebs went that deep into symbolism while picking out a Met outfit. He wore customized Nikes on which were embossed teddy bears and carried a bag that bore his brand's smiley insignia, for crying out loud. We contend he looked more like a child gone rogue with clothes from a working parent's wardrobe and accessories from his own. 

Rihanna's omelet gown is still confusing couture

No one does Met Gala better than Rihanna. Period. Which is why it was confounding to see the Barbadian beauty show up at the fundraiser in 2015 as an omelet. Hey, we're not saying it. It's all the internet could compare her to, as Rihanna walked the red carpet steps trailing her grand, yellow gown behind her. The outfit was impossible to look past for how shockingly unconventional it was, and naturally, it became the frontispiece of that year's Met Gala coverage. As for Rihanna, who initially felt like a "clown" in her omelet gown — "People are gonna laugh at me, this is too much," she recalled for Access Hollywood – it took her a moment to settle into the extravagance of the dress. 

Chinese designer Guo Pei dressed the "Umbrella" hitmaker for that year's theme, which was "China: Through the Looking Glass." The 25-kilogram piece had apparently been designed years prior and was waiting to be worn since 2010. And who should reach out and grace it first but Rihanna, who (if you can believe it) was someone Pei hadn't heard of before! She likely received the full impact of RiRi's power when her single showcasing of Pei's creation propelled the Chinese designer to international stardom. As the designer later told Evening Standard, "I really appreciate Rihanna for giving this dress a second chance, a chance to come to life again." 

Kim Kardashian's floral gown made her cry too

Fans have worshiped Kim Kardashian as a fashion goddess for years. But Anna Wintour doesn't seem the type to be pleased by a filtered selfie. It took time for Vogue's elusive editor to build enough confidence in the famous socialite to put her on the coveted Met Gala guest list. And it's possible that she immediately regretted her decision to expand the elite circle upon seeing Kim K turn up in floral upholstery. 

For her first appearance at the 2013 gala as her then-partner Kanye West's plus one, Kardashian made an underwhelming statement in a Riccardo Tisci dress that did little to flatter her glam quotient but did lots for memes on the internet. Even Robin Williams got in on the fun, proclaiming that he pulled off the floral dress better as Mrs. Doubtfire than Kardashian did (via The Hollywood Reporter)!  

As Tisci later explained to Women's Wear Daily, the flowers were a symbolic offering to Kardashian, who was heavily pregnant at the time. "People can say what they want," the Givenchy designer concluded. Kardashian wasn't as indifferent to the wide trolling as Tisci, revealing to Vogue that she "was crying, like, the whole way home because I just couldn't believe it." We can't say the same, but Kardashian eventually warmed to what is now infamously known as the couch dress — well, good for her! 

Lupita Nyong'o didn't impress with her green-feathered net

Lupita Nyong'o is a Met Gala queen. Her afro-denim blend slayed as suavely in 2021 as her drag-inspired color pop delighted in 2019. But it took Nyong'o a hit-and-miss trial before she found her groove on the red carpet. The actor's first appearance at the benefit ball was underwhelming in a green feather and net dress by Prada that didn't do her justice. As she herself revealed to Vanity Fair, it was an outfit Nyong'o "didn't understand" and initially refused. Two dresses later, she returned to it. We wonder how unflattering the rejected pieces were for Nyong'o to have chosen the one she did.

From the neck up, Nyong'o looked somewhat like a vintage Parisian vision from the Roaring '20s with her dazzling Cartier headband. Considering that the 2014 Met honored designer Charles James, who did spend a part of the early 20th century in Paris, her precious accessory did align Nyong'o's outfit with the theme. Unfortunately, it couldn't save the rest of her outfit, which the Los Angeles Times said gave Nyong'o "her first red carpet fail."