The Met Gala Prophecy: 10 Times the Event Predicted the Future of Fashion


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Ladies and gentlemen, fashion enthusiasts, and trend-watchers extraordinaire, gather ’round, for I have a story to tell you. It’s a tale of prophecy and premonition, of fashion moments so iconic, they changed the course of style history. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about the Met Gala – that glittering, star-studded affair where the world’s most daring and dazzling dressers come out to play.

But the Met Gala is more than just a fancy party. It’s a crystal ball, a sartorial soothsayer that predicts the future of fashion with uncanny accuracy.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these 10 unforgettable moments from Met Galas past, each one a harbinger of trends to come.

From Rihanna’s show-stopping yellow gown that sparked a craze for bold, oversized silhouettes, to Kim Kardashian’s “wet look” dress that ushered in an era of figure-hugging, crystal-encrusted glamor, these looks weren’t just stunning in the moment – they were prophetic.

But the Met Gala’s influence goes beyond just the clothes.

These looks have the power to shape our very understanding of what fashion can be. 

And then there are the looks that seem to come out of nowhere, but somehow manage to capture the zeitgeist perfectly.

Billie Eilish’s Old Hollywood-inspired ball gown marked a stunning departure from her signature streetwear style, but it also predicted a wider trend for classic, timeless glamor.

So, my dear readers, join me on a journey through the annals of Met Gala history, as we explore the looks that didn’t just make a splash on the red carpet, but changed the face of fashion forever.

These are the moments that proved that when it comes to predicting the future of style, the Met Gala is the ultimate oracle. Let the prophecy begin!

1.Rihanna in Guo Pei (2015)

Red carpet image with Rihanna in a long flowing yellow gown made by Gap Pei

Image Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Rihanna’s show-stopping appearance in a Guo Pei creation at the 2015 Met Gala was more than just a fashion moment – it was a cultural awakening. The stunning yellow gown, with its elaborate embroidery and seemingly endless train, didn’t just turn heads on the red carpet – it challenged the very notion of what “high fashion” could be.

For too long, the Western fashion world had been dominated by European and American designers, with little recognition for the incredible talent and artistry coming out of other parts of the world.

But Rihanna’s choice to wear a gown by a Chinese couturier was a bold statement that fashion knows no boundaries.

For Guo Pei, the collaboration with Rihanna was a game-changer.

The increased recognition and exposure helped to elevate her profile on the international stage, and paved the way for other Chinese designers to gain greater visibility and respect in the fashion world.

portrait of Gus Pei, Chinese fashion designer in front of her outfit creations which are on display. at the Vancouver art gallery

But the impact of the gown didn’t stop there. In the years since Rihanna’s iconic appearance, we’ve seen a noticeable shift in the way that high-fashion designers approach red carpet dressing.

More and more, we’re seeing celebrities and models embrace bold, dramatic silhouettes and unconventional materials, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in formalwear.

2.Kim Kardashian in Thierry Mugler (2019)

Red carpet image of Kim Kardashion wearing a nude colored "wet" dress made by Thierry Muller for the met Gala in 2019

If Rihanna’s Guo Pei gown was a lesson in cultural exchange, Kim Kardashian’s Thierry Mugler dress was a master class in sartorial sorcery. 

When the reality star stepped onto the red carpet in a figure-hugging nude illusion gown, it was as if she had emerged from the depths of the ocean itself, her skin glistening with a thousand tiny water droplets.

Almost immediately, the “wet look” became a major trend, inspiring countless imitations and adaptations on red carpets and runways around the world.

Suddenly, everyone wanted to look like they had just stepped out of a glamorous underwater photoshoot.

Bianca Censori out and about wearing the Yeezy "wet" tank top, which was made to have a wet, see-through look

Image Credit: BackGrid

More than just a fashion statement, though, the dress was a celebration of the female form in all its curves and contours.

In a world that often prizes thinness and conformity, Kardashian’s unapologetic embrace of her own body was a powerful message of self-love and confidence.

But the real magic of the dress was in its ability to spark conversation and debate. 

Some praised the dress as a work of art, while others dismissed it as a publicity stunt.

But regardless of where you stand on the issue, there’s no denying that the gown got people talking – about fashion, about beauty standards, and about the nature of celebrity itself.

3. Zendaya in Tommy Hilfiger (2019)

Zendaya wearing a grey and blue color shape shifting cinderella inspired outfit, made by Tommy Hilfiger for the 2019 met gala

Image Credit: iHeart

When Zendaya stepped onto the pink carpet at the 2019 Met Gala in a glowing, Cinderella-inspired Tommy Hilfiger gown, it was a moment of pure magic.

As the cameras flashed and the crowd gasped, the dress suddenly lit up from within, transforming the young actress into a real-life fairy tale princess.

But this was no ordinary ball gown.

Designed in collaboration with Hilfiger’s team of innovators, the dress was a true feat of fashion engineering, incorporating state-of-the-art LED technology to create a dynamic, interactive fashion experience.

With each step Zendaya took, the dress seemed to come alive, pulsing and glowing in response to her movements.

It was a stunning example of the power of fashion to merge with entertainment, creating a spectacle that was both visually arresting and emotionally resonant.

In many ways, Zendaya’s gown was a harbinger of things to come.

In the years since that unforgettable moment on the pink carpet, we’ve seen a surge of interest in wearable technology and fashion-tech collaborations, with designers and engineers working together to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

From dresses that change color based on the wearer’s mood to accessories that double as fitness trackers, the future of fashion is looking more and more like something out of a science fiction novel.

And Zendaya’s Tommy Hilfiger gown was one of the first high-profile examples of this exciting new frontier.

4.Cher’s naked Bob Mackie dress (1974)

portrait of Cher wearing her "naked" embellished outfit made by bob Mackie

In 1974, Cher stepped onto the red carpet at the Met Gala in a daring, barely-there Bob Mackie creation.

The sheer, feathered gown, which left little to the imagination, was a jaw-dropping display of sartorial audacity, a middle finger to the stuffy conventions of high society.

In an era when women were still fighting for basic rights and freedoms, Cher’s dress was a bold declaration of sexual liberation and empowerment, a refusal to be bound by the strict moral codes of the time.

Of course, the gown also sparked plenty of controversy and conversation.

Some saw it as a cheap attempt to grab headlines, while others argued that it objectified and commodified women’s bodies in the name of fashion.

But love it or hate it, there’s no denying the lasting impact of Cher’s dress on the fashion world.

In the decades since that unforgettable night at the Met, we’ve seen countless variations on the “naked dress” theme, from the barely-there slips of the 1990s to the sheer, embellished gowns of today.

5. Cara Delevingne in Dior (2017)

Red carpet image of Cara Delevingne wearing an embellished silver Dior suit and rounding out the look with silver short hair

Image Credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Cara Delevingne’s entrance at the 2017 Met Gala, clad in a sleek, silver Dior suit, was nothing short of sartorial magic. 

The futuristic design and metallic sheen of the suit gave her the appearance of an otherworldly android, as if she had stepped straight out of a science fiction movie.

Yet, this was no mere costume. Dior’s innovative use of fabric and cutting-edge design elevated the ensemble to a true work of art, showcasing the fashion house’s expertise and vision.

More importantly, the suit perfectly captured the avant-garde spirit of the 2017 Met Gala theme, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.” 

Its futuristic styling and gender-bending silhouette embodied Kawakubo’s boundary-pushing, deconstructionist approach to fashion. 

Remarkably, the look closely resembles the main aesthetic of digital fashion nowadays, reflecting a prescient influence we couldn’t have fully appreciated at the time. 

Digital fashion image of a woman wearing an all silver outfit. Showcasing the futuristic style of digital fashion similar to that worn by Cara Delevingne at the 2017 met gala

The suit’s digital, otherworldly appearance prefigured the current trend of virtual clothing and avatars, highlighting how far ahead of its time it was and how much of an impact it would have.

Cara showcased bold statements on gender fluidity and the power of fashion to challenge and subvert traditional norms. By opting for a tailored suit instead of the typical gown, Delevingne made a powerful declaration about the constructed nature of gender roles and the importance of self-expression.

6.Harry Styles in Gucci (2019)

red carpet image of harry styles wearing black gucci lace outfit, with a singular pearl earring to top it all of

Image Credit: Getty Images

At the 2019 Met Gala, Harry’s daring, gender-fluid lace ensemble by Gucci made headlines, but it was the single earring dangling from his right ear that truly stole the spotlight.

The delicate pearl, hanging from a sleek silver hoop, served as a quiet yet powerful rebellion against the rigid confines of traditional masculinity.

In an era when gender norms are being increasingly questioned and redefined, Styles’ earring symbolized self-expression and individuality.

By embracing a traditionally feminine accessory, he sent a clear message: fashion has no gender, and true style knows no bounds. 

close up image of harry styles at the met gala, showing a closer look at this pearl earring

The outfit, which was almost fully lace, has since gained immense popularity as a material nowadays, further showcasing his influence on fashion trends.

Styles is not the first male celebrity to don a pearl earring—icons like Prince and David Bowie embraced the look decades ago. 

However, his casual and effortless style felt distinctly modern and fresh, resonating with a new generation.

Following the Met Gala, “pearlcore” became a major trend, with pearls appearing everywhere, from delicate earrings to chunky necklaces and even embellished denim jackets.

7.Zendaya’s Joan of Arc Versace armor (2018)

Zendaya on the red carpet of the met gala wearing all silver, flowing, armor Versace dress for the 2018 met gala

Image Credit: Getty images

Zendaya graced the 2018 Met Gala red carpet in a jaw-dropping Versace gown that left spectators spellbound. 

This glittering chainmail masterpiece, reminiscent of Joan of Arc’s legendary armor, was a powerful tribute to strength and resilience.

The gown celebrated the power and courage of history’s iconic warrior woman, Joan of Arc.

With its innovative use of chainmail and metallic fabric, the dress was a testament to the skill and artistry of the Versace atelier, and a reminder that fashion can be a tool for empowerment and self-expression.

Zendaya’s gown had a far-reaching impact beyond the red carpet.

Following the Met Gala, old-fashioned utilitarianism and armor-inspired fashion began to dominate runways and street style globally.

From bulky upperwear to metal-plated accessories, the trend was a clear nod to the warrior aesthetic that Zendaya had so powerfully embodied. 

Jaden smith at the spring /summer 2023 Louis Vuitton show wearing an embellished, armor inspired cropped top, a yellow scarf and blue denim jeans.

The gown’s intricate detailing and all-over embellishments also helped pave the way for a resurgence of shiny, eye-catching elements in fashion, making bold, statement pieces a staple in contemporary wardrobes.

For Zendaya, the gown was a deeply personal choice.

As a young woman in Hollywood, she has often spoken about the challenges of navigating an industry that can be dismissive of women’s voices and experiences. 

By channeling the spirit of Joan of Arc, she sent a clear message: she would not be silenced or diminished and would always fight for what she believed in.

8.Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta (2021)

Red carpet image of Billie Eilish wearing a coral, old Hollywood style, flowing dress made by Oscar de la renta for the 2021 met gala


As the world watched with bated breath, Billie Eilish stepped onto the red carpet at the 2021 Met Gala in a gown that was nothing short of a revelation.

The Oscar de la Renta creation, with its plunging neckline, cinched waist, and billowing skirt, was a stunning departure from the singer’s signature oversized, streetwear-inspired style.

In a single moment, Eilish transformed from a rebellious teen sensation into a sophisticated, elegant woman.

The gown, with its delicate peach hue and intricate embroidery, evoked the glamor and romance of Old Hollywood, a fitting tribute to the evening’s theme: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”

But the impact of Eilish’s gown went far beyond mere aesthetics.

For a young woman who had built her career on defying expectations and challenging norms, the dress represented a bold new chapter in her evolution as an artist and fashion icon.

Eilish’s choice resonated deeply within the fashion community, signaling a revival of Old Hollywood glamor. 

Her look inspired a renewed appreciation for classic silhouettes, vintage-inspired details, and a refined approach to red carpet fashion. 

With designers beginning to reintroduce elements such as fitted bodices, full skirts, and intricate beading into their collections, creating a resurgence of timeless elegance in contemporary fashion.

9.Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga (2021)

Kim kardashian wearing all black from head to toe . Long, flowing dress created by Balenciaga for the 2021 met gala


In a sea of glitz and glamor, Kim Kardashian’s arrival at the 2021 Met Gala in a head-to-toe black Balenciaga ensemble was a moment of pure, unadulterated audacity. 

The custom-made outfit, which covered every inch of the reality star’s famous figure, was a bold statement of minimalism and mystery, a daring departure from the usual red carpet fare.

At first glance, the ensemble seemed to defy logic – how could one of the world’s most recognizable women make an impact by obscuring her face and form?

But as the initial shock wore off, it became clear that Kardashian and Balenciaga had created something truly remarkable.

In an era when social media has made oversharing the norm, there was something refreshingly subversive about Kardashian’s choice to conceal herself entirely.

Pouring fire on the era of face-covering looks which were beginning to crop up on runways and red carpets around the world, a testament to the enduring influence of the reality star and the legendary fashion house.

Celebrities and influencers, always keen to stay ahead of the curve, embraced the trend with enthusiasm.

At subsequent events, stars like Kanye West, Playboi Carti, Bella Hadid, and Janelle Monáe have been huge contributors to the aesthetic. 

Kanye West at Paris fashion week wearing all black, including a predominantly black face mask and cream Yeezys


But perhaps the most enduring legacy of Kardashian’s 2021 Met Gala appearance is the way it challenged us to rethink our assumptions about fame, beauty, and self-expression. 

In a world where conformity is often rewarded and individuality is discouraged, her willingness to take risks and push boundaries is a powerful reminder that true style is about more than just looking good – it’s about having the courage to be unapologetically oneself.

And that, in the end, is the very essence of what makes fashion such a vital and transformative art form.

10.Odell Beckham Jr. in Thom Browne (2019)

Odell Beckham Jr at the met Gala wearing a sleeveless tuxedo with a black shirt instead of trousers. he rounded out the outfit with matching black boots

Image Credit: FilmMagic

OBJ, known for his bold style both on and off the field, chose to wear a classic tuxedo jacket and trousers, but with a twist – instead of the traditional pants, he donned a kilt-inspired skirt that stopped just past knee length.

It was a look that immediately sparked conversation and debate, with some praising Beckham for his willingness to push boundaries and others questioning whether a man should be wearing a skirt at all.

But for Beckham and Thom Browne, the outfit was a powerful statement about the fluidity of gender and the importance of self-expression..

High-profile celebrities such as A$AP Rocky, Jaden Smith, and Russell Westbrook further propelled the trend into the spotlight by confidently wearing skirts.

ASAP rocky performing in Tokyo wearing gucci from head to toe. Cream gucci monogram cap and jacket and a gucci multi-fabric skirt.

Odell, alongside these celebrities, with their significant influence and large followings, helped normalize the idea of skirts and dresses for men in a way that felt more masculine, making it a celebrated choice rather than a controversial one. 

Streetwear, always a reflection of current fashion trends, also saw a surge in the trend.

This was not just limited to fashion capitals like Paris, Milan, and New York but was seen in cities worldwide.