Ever since its first instalment in 1971 (aptly themed, ‘Fashion Plate’), the Met Gala has persevered as the undisputed pinnacle for style, bringing celebs, designers (and the odd politician?) together for one unmissable evening of champagne-fuelled revelry.

An unhindered playground for visionary (nay, out-of-this-world) fashion, the Anna Wintour-hosted event is a place where dreams are made; where gauche and glamour collide to ensue a new set of wild and headlining moments, year upon year. And that’s just the frocks.

A style soiree of gram-worthy proportions, the Met Gala has been known to host many a memorable beauty transformation, with guests far and wide saving their sartorial best for a night of unrivalled glitz, glamour and of course… peacocking. (We wouldn’t have it any other way.)

While the annual event has hit pause for 2020 (sigh), there’s no reason we can’t marvel upon Met’s past. From structure defying head pieces (*cough* Lady Gaga) to subtle, pared back elegance (à la Christy Turlington); we trace some of the most memorable hair and beauty moments in Met Gala history.

CHER // 1974

Cher, 1974, ‘Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design’.

Long before Kim Kardashian West, there was Cher; a woman with a one-of-a-kind style legacy and soaring vocals to boot. For Met Gala 1974 (‘Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design’), the OG Armenian stepped out swathed in this barely-there number; an early iteration of the now iconic ‘naked dress’.


Bianca Jagger, 1981, ‘The Eighteenth Century Woman’.

For Met Gala 1981 (‘The Eighteenth Century Woman’), the ever iconic Bianca Jagger all but ascended the Met Gala steps, with this stunning throwback to the Hollywood of yesteryear. Her hair? Elegantly pinned into vintage curls. THIS is how it’s done.

CHER // 1985

Cher, 1985, ‘Costumes of Royal India’.

Cher strikes again. We couldn’t look past this dazzling moment for Met Gala 1985 (‘Costumes of Royal India’). Here the songstress donned this (heavily) adorned number, topped off with two jaw-skimming ear pieces. The legacy continues.


Christy Turlington, 1992, ‘Fashion and History: A Dialogue’.

For Met Gala 1992 (‘Fashion and History: A Dialogue’), supermodel Christy Turlington channeled yet another iconic figure (Audrey Hepburn circa Breakfast at Tiffany’s), sporting this elegant up-do that highlighted her enviable bone structure and natural features.


Amber Valetta, 2004, ‘Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century’.

In keeping with 2004 theme, ‘Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century’, model Amber Valetta sported this, powdered periwig, reminiscent of both Marie Antoinette and the original Dangerous Liaisons film. C’est magnifique.


Crystal Renn, 2011, ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’.

A nod to designer Zac Posen’s 2011 runway offering, Crystal Renn’s hair look for Met Gala 2011 (‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’) was every beat the vintage dream. A modern take on the classic pompadour, Renn’s hair was structured, dramatic and oh so chic.


Miley Cyrus, 2013, ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’.

Yet another (momentous) departure from her Hannah Montana days, Miley Cyrus channeled her inner p̶o̶p̶ punk princess, for Met Gala 2013 (‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’). The picture of punk perfection, this look heroed sharp spikes, and dark roots with bleached tips.

RIHANNA // 2015

Rihanna, 2015, ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’.

While most were floored by the Bajan beauty’s floor-grazing, canary yellow Guo Pei gown, others (including us) remain obsessed by Ms Fenty’s statement making hair ‘do. The look? A flipped-out, red bob accented with an oriental silver/gold headpiece.


Kim Kardashian, 2016, ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’.

Queen of the the wet hair look, KKW sent pulses racing at the 2016 Met Gala, though it wasn’t just her Balmain frock that had onlookers gawking. For her take on futurism, Kim paired bleach brows with a glossed-up slick back, finishing the look with mid-length waves.

RITA ORA // 2017

Rita Ora, 2017, ‘Comme des Garçons’s: Rei Kawakubo’.

Rumour has it that it took celeb hairstylist César DeLeön Ramirez three days to create this futuristic, scalp-tight wig for Ms. Ora’s 2017 Met sojourn. A look he achieved by glazing and gluing a selection of custom cut hair wefts to a stocking cap. As you do.


Lily Collins, 2018, ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’.

Few looks are as simultaneously complex… and heavenly (pun intended) as this feat of burnished, textural wonder. Donned by actress Lilly Collins for Met Gala 2018, the intricate up-do came courtesy of celebrity hairstylist, Gregory Russel.

LADY GAGA // 2019

Lady Gaga, 2019, ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’.

For Met Gala 2019, Mother Monster transcended the pink carpet; wowing in, not one but four, styles from Brandon Maxwell. Hair artist Frederic Aspiras once again made his trademark magic creating a crown of platinum blonde bows from Gaga’s own locks.

Want more? Check out Part Two of our top Met Gala hair moments, here.