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Best and worst dressed: MET Gala 2022

Nicki Minaj, Chloe Bailey and the Kardashians — see who won on the red carpet

Nicki Minaj arrives on the carpet with designer Ricardo Tisci.
Nicki Minaj arrives on the carpet with designer Ricardo Tisci.
Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

After two years of Covid-19 chaos, the Met Gala finally returned to the first Monday in May.

It’s a night of true escapism, editorial fashion and the most famous faces in the world. That’s all good and fun, but the main point of interest for any Met Gala is its theme and how the attendees attempt to mesh it with personal style and taste.

Part two of last-year’s “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”, this year’s “America: An Anthology of Fashion” theme was a historical lexicon of American fashion, particularly during the gilded age.

Also known as “Gilded Glamour and White Tie”, this year’s theme was as ostentatious and formal as you get. So expect everything but subtlety.

Take a look at this year’s best and worst dressed:

Best dressed

Cynthia Erivo

Honouring black women in Louisiana from the 1800s, Cynthia Erivo and Louis Vuitton created a masterpiece that gives thanks to millions of women who have been overlooked in the world of fashion to this day.

It’s Met gala moments such as this that will live in the echelons of high-fashion for decades to come. The multilayered and multi-textured white number is taken to another level with Erivo’s famously edgy style. Paired with statement black and gold nails, gold choker and Louis Vuitton bag, this look has something for everyone, yet is executed so perfectly it doesn’t seem to be too much.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Another day, another Sarah Jessica Parker slay. This gown is not only on theme but tailored and styled to perfection. When one thinks of “gilded glamour” one cannot help but think of ruffles, bows and fringes.

Seeing a piece that has none of the gilded tropes but is so absolutely of the time is pure artistry. From the peplum-like style of the corset, masculine black buttons and her off-the-shoulder sleeves, there is a reason SJP is the Met Gala’s golden girl.

Of course a Sarah Jessica Parker Met Gala look is never complete without a fantastical headpiece, and this year was no different. The over-the-top hot-pink fascinator brought needed texture and colour to the look.

Kendall Jenner

Besides winning the most dramatic brow transformation of the evening, Kendall Jenner wowed in this voluminous black number.  One part gilded glamour another part 1990s Goth, we love her total 180º turn from last year’s Met Gala’s naked dress. The ruffled black skirt and sheer top are an interesting pairing which seems to work beautifully.

In its own way, this look is minimalistic. It does not lack anything, it is the perfect amount of everything. Plus, those eyebrows. Can we please all jump on this trend now? She looks like a femme fatale princess. It’s a Kendall Jenner world and we’re just living in it.

Chloe Bailey

We can’t swing a ponytail without hitting a Bailey sister on the red carpet, and we’re all for it, especially when they look like this! Chloe Bailey looked majestic in this a-symmetrical golden number. The look may seem a little futuristic but we’re getting Betty Boop cartoon vibes.

One part sexy another part characterful, if Betty Boop were alive (or real) this is what she would have worn to this year’s Met Gala. The styling may have been dramatic with her larger-than-life winged choker, but it did not detract from the dress and only upped its ante. We love the full-glamour makeup and fierce ponytail. The new generation of celebs can learn a thing or two.

Honourable mention

Kim Kardashian

We cannot write this article without mentioning an icon wearing an icon’s iconic dress. That is Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s most famous dress she wore to sing Happy Birthday to US president John F Kennedy in 1962. This nude dress contains 2,500 crystals and was sold on auction in 2016, setting a record at $4.6m.

Many are worried the dress has been tailored to fit Kardashian, but the truth is the body was tailored to fit the dress. Kim reportedly lost more than 7kg in three weeks to make sure she could fit into the dress. She was not in the original all night, having changed into a replica after being photographed.

Worst Dressed

Emma Stone

Emma Stone may have stuck to the theme perhaps a little too on the nose. This drab white frock is right at home during the gilded age but certainly not at home on the Met Gala red carpet. One part flapper girl and other part nightgown, this dress has left us wondering that perhaps its an ode to the sleepwear of the time, or of our time as it put us to sleep.

This cold white colour is too drastic on Stone’s pale skin and her makeup does not help. The orange hue of both her cheeks and lipstick brings out her pink undertone. This is one big, fat no from us.

Nicki Minaj

Where to start? Props to Miss Minaj for bringing the drama. Yet drama does not work on the red carpet if style and taste are not present. The Black Burberry-tiered, tulle gown is perhaps the only saving grace. Even the leather baseball hat is a look, a look for another day that is.

The black leather leggings are possibly the look’s biggest offence. Never mind the random paint splatters or massive belt, those leggings are hanging in my wardrobe from 2014. They should never be on any red carpet, let alone the one red carpet that truly matters. This looks is all bark and no bite.

Emily Ratajkowski

If that arts and crafts table at my local nursery school were to be a dress, this would be it. Emily Ratajkowski did not understand this year’s theme. This near-to-naked carnival look may be vintage Versace, but perhaps it is best left in the past.

Besides not sticking to the theme, at all, this look is awful all on its own. The bright, gauche colours and craft market-like skirt should not be allowed in the vicinity of the gilded glamour red carpet. There is so much going on and still Ratajkowski decided to have an early noughties hairstyle when a sleek ponytail would have sufficed. The only thing that would have saved this look would be nothing. Nothing could possibly save this.

Kourtney Kardashian

Another day another worst dressed look by Kourtney Kardashian. What is happening to the queen of Calabasas? She’s never been happier yet her style has never been worse. This is her first Met Gala red carpet and this is what she chose to wear? Perhaps “trying hard” isn’t on brand for the reality TV star.

Besides the cropped white shirt, there is nothing that indicates gilded fashion or fashion at all. We’re surprised Kim would allow her sister to attend looking like this. The styling is as disappointing. It’s as if she woke up from a nap five minutes before this picture. Her soon-to-be husband outshone her in every way.

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