The Costume Institute Gala, the annual opening of the Metropolitan Museum’s fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute, is one of the most important social events in New York, and celebrities always show up looking their best.
The theme for the upcoming 2014 Costume Institute Gala is “Charles James: Beyond Fashion”, celebrating America’s first couturier. In anticipation of the May 5th Met Ball, check out a few of the best Met Gala dresses of all time, in context of the main theme of each event.
Nicole Kidman in Gucci 2003
In a sparkling Gucci gown with an asymmetric design, Nicole Kidman honored the “Goddess: The Classical Mode” theme in a truly stunning way. The actress completed her look with a sophisticated bun and sparkled on the red carpet at the Met Ball.
Scarlett Johansson in Calvin Klein 2004
While not many stars took the “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century” theme literally, Scarlett Johansson displayed 18th century cleavage in a yellow gown designed by Calvin Klein.
Pairing it with a golden clutch, she kept the look simple and effective.
Selma Blair in Chanel 2005
Wearing one of the best Met Gala dresses of all time, Selma Blair was a gorgeous appearance in Chanel for the Costume Institute event that celebrated “The House of Chanel” in 2005.
A sophisticated updo was the perfect companion to her dress.
Sienna Miller in Burberry 2006
The theme “AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion” allowed for varied looks in 2006, but Sienna Miller really stepped up to the challenge in a gold minidress by Burberry, complete with black tights.
Perhaps not the perfect red carpet look, but a winner at the Met Ball.
Cameron Diaz in Dior 2007
Celebrating French designer Paul Poiret, the 2007 Costume Institute Gala had the “Poiret: King of Fashion” theme.
The designer’s contributions to fashion have been compared with Picasso’s legacy in art, and Cameron Diaz showed up in one of best Met Gala dresses of all time, a fuchsia Dior gown accessorized with turquoise jewelry for a modern touch.
Amber Valetta in Versace 2008
Finding the perfect balance for the “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” themed Met Ball, supermodel Amber Valetta rocked a Versace creation in 2008, with stunning shoulder detailing that was evocative without being literal.
Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs 2009
Leave it to Kate Moss to wear one of the best Met Gala dresses of all time at the “The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion” themed event.
Wearing a gold lamé dress created by Marc Jacobs, the supermodel accessorized it with a cool turban created by Stephen Jones.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Halston Heritage 2010
Wearing a dress from a design team she temporarily joined was a risk for Sarah Jessica Parker, but the actress managed to embody 2010’s theme: “American Women: Fashioning a National Identity”.
Gisele Bündchen in Alexander McQueen 2011
For the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, Gisele Bündchen outshined the red carpet with one of the best Met Gala dresses of all time, created by the late British designer.
Christina Ricci in Thakoon 2012
The 2012 Met Ball was dedicated to “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”. Both Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli have made important contributions to fashion, but Christina Ricci chose a dress designed by a man, a truly stunning creation with an oversized bow.
Florence Welch in Alexander McQueen 2012
Taking risks is a given at the annual Costume Institute event, but they rarely pay off as well as they did in 2012, when Florence and the Machine lead singer wore one of the best Met Gala dresses of all time, an Alexander McQueen creation.
Rooney Mara in Givenchy 2013
Honoring the “Punk: Chaos to Couture” theme, Rooney Mara went for a Givenchy gown, combining classic lines with edgy zipper detailing and finished her look with a bold lip.
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior 2013
In Christian Dior, Jennifer Lawrence clearly went for the more couture approach and ended up with one of the best Met Gala dresses of all time, complete with a birdcage veil.