From atrocious to astounding, this year’s Met Gala looks amazed me

Jared Leto at the 2023 met Gala dressed in a catsuit to commemorate Karl Lagerfelds cat, Choupette.

Angela Weiss

Jared Leto at the 2023 met Gala dressed in a catsuit to commemorate Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette.

Both stunning and hideous outfits make up the Met Gala year after year, from some of the worst ones we’ve seen, like Katy Perry’s burger dress, to some of the best, such as Bianca Jagger’s ‘18th Century Woman’ themed outfit. This year, I found myself pleasantly surprised as few looks elicited a strong adverse reaction; on the contrary, I was gasping with awe at almost every other look and the painstaking effort that was put in. The theme for this year’s Met Gala was a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, the former Chanel designer. Before this, I honestly had no idea who he was, but the theme led to some jaw-droppingly gorgeous looks, so clearly, it was a good one. There were, of course, the outliers that left me disappointed, but overall, this year’s Met Gala has been one of my favorites so far.

Anne Hathaway in her stunning dress held together by gold safety pins. (John Shearer)

Every year, the outfits seemingly get more and more outrageous, from chandelier dresses to catsuits. Very few celebrities maintain the elegant essence in their outfits from previous years, and these are the outfits I most look forward to seeing. In past years, Anne Hathaway has worn overall mundane outfits. Although they’re bold colors, her simplistic style choices make her look like a fly on the wall compared to some of the other looks. But, this year, she brought a sense of class and style to her dress that we haven’t seen from her before. Her look this year has to be one of my overall favorites from the gala. From the meticulously styled hair to the matching dress, jacket, and gloves, everything had a cohesive theme that worked as one to make a flawless outfit. She was perfectly accessorized from head to toe with opulent jewelry and platform shoes to die for. I only hope we can continue to see looks similar to this in her future Met Galas.

Doja Cat with her cat makeup and white dress. (Nina Westervelt)

Speaking of the aforementioned catsuits, among the strangest looks from this year were Doja Cat and Jared Leto, both dressed as cats. Both looks were perfectly on theme as an homage to Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, and while they were both a bit off-putting, their confidence made the outfits work. Jared Leto was dressed in a catsuit that was almost the spitting image of Choupette, and Doja Cat had cat-like makeup and a dress meant to resemble the cat without just wearing the costume. They both fully committed to their outfits, and seeing Jared Leto enter in a cat costume was one of the most iconic Met Gala moments this year.

The iconic glittery ensemble by Lil Nas X. (David Fisher)

Just like Jared Leto and Doja Cat, Lil Nas X’s looks have always been considered a bit weird; most are skin-tight, most are bold, and most are overly extra with the theme. He again upheld this decorum for this year’s event, where he wore silver, glittery body paint, covering himself entirely with only a speedo and heels as his outfit. He was pretty much naked with some crystals stuck on, and yet he had the same effect that made everyone love the look. With an extravagant mask and platform heels that looked impossible to walk in, he stood out in the best way possible and literally shined.

Dua Lipa in the original Chanel bridal gown. (Dimitrios Kambouris)

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Dua Lipa, who came without the sparkle that Lil Nas X brought. This year, Dua Lipa made her second-ever appearance at the Met Gala. After the bright and vibrant look she brought to the 2019 Met Gala, I was waiting expectantly to see how she would compare to her previous look; to be honest, her outfit this year was a bit of a letdown after what we’d seen before. Although this year’s theme did call for more muted tones, her outfit was just dull. The dress was gorgeous and perfectly on theme as she wore a Chanel bridal gown, but she didn’t do the dress justice. Rather than dressing it up and accessorizing, she matched it with a necklace that neither fit the texture nor neckline of the dress and also didn’t complement the material and style of it. Besides the poor additions to the outfit, it also seemed as if she had done almost nothing with her hair as there were no hair pieces, accessories, or any look of styling to it, and it just continued to take away from the look. I came into this with high expectations for her, but I’m only coming away disappointed; she was given an excellent opportunity to stun everyone with the original gown worn by Claudia Schiffer. She could have even taken it to a level beyond how it was first styled, but she only diminished its quality and left me wondering if this is what to expect from her in upcoming events.

Florence Pugh’s debut of her shaved head and gorgeous dress. (Dimitrios Kambouris)

Florence Pugh. I never know where to begin with her; at every event, she amazes everyone with her gorgeous yet bold outfits. This year, she yet again amazed everyone when she arrived with a shaved head and an outlandishly tall feather headpiece. The entire ensemble was beautiful, but my favorite part was the dress. It was a somewhat simple off-white shade, but the cut of the dress and the bow in the front really tied the whole look together; it gave it an elegant yet graceful look. If not for her lack of accessorization, she would’ve easily been one of my favorites, but I think this look would have seriously benefited from even a simple necklace or a bow around her neck.

The mismatched mess of an outfit that Pete Davidson wore. (Matt Baron)

Another beloved celebrity who didn’t quite bring it this year was Pete Davidson. Everyone seems to love him. He’s dated Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and is now rumored to be with Emily Ratajkowski. He has typically known for having a chill and edgy style, and this year, he did precisely that while paying tribute to Lagerfeld with multiple pieces from Chanel. Although he followed suit for what he’s known for, this look just disappointed me. The whole outfit seemed like some random pieces he pulled out of his closet without thinking. Almost nothing in it goes together; he was wearing three different shades of black and a basic t-shirt. People may always be impressed by Pete Davidson’s looks for being ‘outside of the box,’ but at a certain point, when it seems as if no effort is being put in, it’s time to stop praising him for doing the bare minimum by not wearing a plain black suit.

Anok Yai in her elegant look for the Met Gala. (John Shearer)

The exact opposite of Pete Davidson’s outfit this year was Anok Yai’s astounding look. Anok Yai is currently one of the top-ranked models in the world, so obviously, there’s the pressure to impress at an event as prominent and influential as the Met Gala. One bad or great look can seriously affect how people think of you, and every year, so many people disappoint. This year, however, Anok Yai brought a sense of class and beauty that many others didn’t. She wore a strapless gold and silver ombre dress that flared out with a cascading sparkling train that led out of the back. Around the bottom rim of the dress were silver tassels that effortlessly flowed out and made the dress seem majestic. Although I’m typically a sucker for the accessories that can make or break an outfit, I thought her choice of no necklace worked with her outfit. I’m usually an advocate for necklaces with low-cut necklines, but the dress was so astonishing that I think a necklace would’ve only taken away from the look. She wore silver earrings that resembled the tassels on the bottom of the dress, and everything went together eloquently. Her hair was styled in a way that mimicked the pattern of her dress, and she wore a sheer mask and gloves that matched the dress’s train. This was my absolute favorite look from the Met Gala, and I honestly don’t have enough words to describe how much I loved it.

Aside from the 2019 Met Gala, which initially made me fall in love with the concept, this has been my favorite, and it made me remember why I love fashion. Every outfit brought something in one way or another; this theme brought back the sense of class and grace that we used to see in some of the first Met Galas back in the 1900s, and the elegance is something to look forward to in future years.