The Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
Photo: Getty Images/ Amanda Lauro

Did you know the Met Gala has been around since 1973? Sure, the outfits seem bigger and bolder now, and the event's name has been altered ever-so-slightly (it used to be the Costume Institute Gala and also the Costume Institute Benefit), but the goal has remained the same: to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, and also mark the opening of its latest exhibit. Each year, celebrities are invited alongside designers and asked to dress for the exhibit's theme. Unsurprisingly, those creative dress codes have led to many memorable fashion moments, so choosing the best Met Gala looks ever — ever! — isn't an easy task.

And yet...

InStyle decided to comb through the archives and pick out the gowns, suits, skirts, and more we feel can't be — and haven't been! — forgotten. From the whimsical to the wild, the voluminous to the va-va-voom, check out the best Met Gala looks in history, ahead.

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2021, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta.

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2021, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Jennifer Lopez in Ralph Lauren.

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2021, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

Met Gala Best Looks Ever
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Lupita Nyong'o in Versace Jeans Couture.

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2021, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

Met Gala Best Looks Ever
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Gigi Hadid in Prada.

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2021, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Iman in Dolce & Gabbana x Harris Reed.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kacey Musgraves in Moschino.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Serena Williams in Versace and sneakers by Off-White.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Elle Fanning in Miu Miu.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Harry Styles in Gucci.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Billy Porter in The Blonds.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kendall and Kylie Jenner in Versace.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Zendaya in Tommy Hilfiger.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kim Kardashian in Mugler.

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2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Hailey Bieber in Alexander Wang.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Rihanna in John Galliano.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Zenday in Versace.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Amal Clooney in Richard Quinn.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cara Delevingne in Christian Dior Couture.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Blake Lively in Versace.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cardi B in Moschino.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Solange in Iris van Herpen.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier.

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2018, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Katy Perry in Versace.

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2017, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Rihanna in Comme des Garçons.

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2017, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren.

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2017, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana.

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2017, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kendall Jenner in La Perla.

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2017, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Lily Aldridge in a Ralph Lauren dress and Balenciaga boots.

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2017, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cara Delevingne in Chanel.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Lady Gaga in Versace.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Claire Danes in Zac Posen.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Lupita Nyong'o in Calvin Klein.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Taylor Swift in Louis Vuitton.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Solange in David LaPort.

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2016, Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Beyoncé in Givenchy.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Amal Clooney in John Galliano.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kim Kardashian in Roberto Cavalli.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Miley Cyrus in Alexander Wang.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Solange in Giles.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Rihanna in Guo Pei.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Jennifer Lopez in Versace.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Anne Hathaway in Ralph Lauren.

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2015, China: Through the Looking Glass

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Beyoncé in Givenchy.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Janelle Monae In Tadashi Shoji.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Emma Stone In Thakoon.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Katie Holmes in Marchesa.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Taylor Swift in Oscar de la Renta.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Blake Lively in Gucci.

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2014, Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Emmy Rossum in Carolina Herrera.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Ashley Olsen in Dior Couture.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kerry Washington in Vera Wang.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cara Delevigne in Burberry.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Sienna Miller in Burberry.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Madonna in Givenchy.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Beyoncé in Givenchy.

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2013, PUNK: Chaos To Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Rooney Mara in Givenchy.

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2012, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cameron Diaz in Stella McCartney.

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2012, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Carey Mulligan in Prada.

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2012, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Christina Ricci in Thakoon.

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2012, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Florence Welch in Alexander McQueen.

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2012, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Emma Stone in Lanvin.

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2012, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Beyonce in Givenchy.

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2011, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Jennifer Lopez in Gucci.

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2011, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney.

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2010, American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Sarah Jessica Parker in Halston.

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2010, American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Anne Hathaway in Valentino.

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2010, American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Taylor Swift in Ralph Lauren.

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2010, American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Diane Kruger in Calvin Klein.

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2010, American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Doutzen Kroes in Zac Posen

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2009, The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Jessica Biel in Versace.

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2009, The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Ashley Olsen in The Row.

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2009, The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs.

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2008, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Christina Ricci in Givenchy.

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2008, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Victoria Beckham in Giorgio Armani.

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2007, Poiret: King Of Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cameron Diaz in Dior.

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2007, Poiret: King Of Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cate Blanchett in Balenciaga.

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2006, AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Emmy Rossum in Ralph Lauren.

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2006, AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen.

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2005, The House of Chanel

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Karolina Kurkova in Viktor & Rolf.

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2004, Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century

Met Gala Best Looks of All Time
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Scarlett Johansson in Calvin Klein.

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2003, Goddess: The Classical Mode

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kirsten Dunst in Marc Jacobs and a Missoni hat.

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2003, Goddess: The Classical Mode

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kim Cattrall in Roberto Cavalli.

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2003, Goddess: The Classical Mode

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Iman in Calvin Klein.

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2003, Goddess: The Classical Mode

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Nicole Kidman in Gucci.

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2003, Goddess: The Classical Mode

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Selma Blair in Behnaz Sarafpour.

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2001, Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Angie Harmon in Oscar de la Renta.

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2001, Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Naomi Campbell and Iman in Dolce & Gabbana.

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1999, Rock Style

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Amber Valletta in Versace.

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1999, Rock Style

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Jennifer Love Hewitt.

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1999, Rock Style

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Liv Tyler in Stella McCartney.

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1998, Cubism and Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Claudia Schiffer.

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1998, Cubism and Fashion

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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1997, Gianni Versace

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Elizabeth Hurley in Versace.

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1997, Gianni Versace

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Salma Hayek in Versace.

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1995, Haute Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Princess Diana in Dior.

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1995, Haute Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Naomi Campbell in Versace.

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1995, Haute Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Kate Moss in Calvin Klein.

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1995, Haute Couture

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein.

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1982, La Belle Époque

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Raquel Welch in Thierry Mugler.

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1981, The Eighteenth-Century Woman

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Iman in Calvin Klein.

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1981, The Eighteenth-Century Woman

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Diana Ross.

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1979, Fashions of the Habsburg Era: Austria-Hungary

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Valentino.

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1974, Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Bianca Jagger in Halston.

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1974, Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design

Best Met Gala Looks of All Time
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Cher in Bob Mackie.

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