Five of the Best and Worst Looks at the 2023 Met Gala

Five of the Best and Worst Looks at the 2023 Met Gala

Who impressed the fashion gods at the Met Gala?



The most wonderful time of the year is finally here—and no, we’re not talking about Christmas! At the risk of sounding cliché, the Met Gala is always dubbed “fashion’s biggest night.” It is, after all, an annual benefit that raises funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. And as a gala that celebrates the best of fashion, it’s the one red carpet event where attendees are really expected to do their homework and turn it out look-wise.


With this year’s theme Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty being a little more straightforward than the gala’s previous themes, most attendees did pretty well for themselves, showing up in classic looks that paid tribute to the late designer’s legacy and leaned more towards fashion than costume.


On the flipside, there were less risks made on the red carpet this year as most attendees chose to play it safe. Thankfully, there were a few notable options! Ahead, we single out the best and worst looks that caught our eye at the biggest party of the year.


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HIT: Anne Hathaway in Atelier Versace


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Talk about an absolute knockout of a look! We love how it pays tribute to Karl Lagerfeld’s tweed tailoring prowess for Chanel while also referencing Versace’s infamous safety-pin dress. It feels like the perfect marriage of the aesthetics of both design houses.


Add the big tousled Bardot hair and the overall look feels very reminiscent of the 90s supermodel era, a movement Karl was a huge proponent of. This all feels very apt, but the best thing is just how much Anne is feeling herself in this. You just know she knows she looks incredible, and rightfully so!


MISS: Jack Harlow in Tommy Hilfiger


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Maybe someone had to bring mediocrity to the Met Gala red carpet. The idea behind this look makes sense, a bouclé suit is a Karl signature after all. Our problem lies in the execution—it just looks cheap and like something you can buy off-the-rack at the clearance section.


Rule of thumb: when you can wear something to a quick errand run at the grocery store, it does not a Met Gala look make.


HIT: Micaela Coel in Schiaparelli Couture


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A post shared by GEORGIA MEDLEY (@georgmedley)


Not us lapsing into cliché, but honestly? Micaela is so mother for this. As a co-chair of this year’s Met Gala, she knew that expectations for her on the red carpet would be sky-high, and she came prepared with this breathtaking Schiaparelli Couture confection.


Featuring 26,500 stones and 135,000 golden crystals (!!!), the look calls back to Karl’s adeptness at designing memorable costume jewelry. It also just looks drop-dead stunning. She looks like Cleopatra at the height of her powers.


MISS: Margaret Qualley in Chanel


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Picture this: you’re an A-list actress with A-list parents attending one of the most exclusive and most-photographed parties of the year. You are also the face of Chanel, and have the world’s most talented couturiers at your disposal.


With all these things considered, it feels downright offensive to show up in a basic-as-hell dress that looks like a junior prom dress at best, and a Victoria’s Secret nightie at worst.


HIT: Doja Cat in Oscar de la Renta


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Pardon the pun, but Miss Doja really said purr. There were many Choupette homages last night, but this look is by far the best one. We love how it still feels like fashion: she took a gorgeous slinky glittery gown, but slapped on some cat ears and feline prosthetics. Considering that her stage name is literally Doja Cat, this look has a wit about it that just feels very apt for a Karl Lagerfeld tribute.


And not for nothing, but the way Doja stayed in character and insisted on meowing throughout the red carpet interviews? We stan her commitment.


MISS: Jared Leto in ???


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A post shared by JARED LETO (@jaredleto)


This Choupette look, on the other hand, just lacks imagination. Doja’s look still felt like a fashion fantasy; she would have been right at home for an impromptu Vogue editorial photoshoot. But Jared decided to put on a mascot costume and call it a day.


We mean! This is an event celebrating the best in fashion, so….where is the fashion? Friendly reminder that the Met Gala is not a mascot convention. We don’t mean to kink-shame, but there is a time and place to debut your fursona, and it’s definitely not at the Met steps.


HIT: Cardi B in Chenpeng Studio


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A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib)


One of the reasons why Karl Lagerfeld was so revered as a designer is his masterful use of incongruence in his work. He would take something as prim and proper as a Chanel tweed suit, and by some combination of design tweaks and styling would totally subvert the garment’s context and make it seem sexy and tongue-in-cheek.


This is what comes to mind with Cardi B’s look. You take her larger-than-life va-va-voom personality and put it in a dress befitting a strict schoolmarm, and somehow the final product looks bubbly, flirty and fabulous. It has a sharp wit and playfulness to it, making it a perfect Karl Lagerfeld tribute.


MISS: Lil Nas X in Dior Homme


Listen, we get Lil Nas X’s deal. In fact, we love how he constantly flaunts his queerness at every red carpet he attends. Our problem with this look is it feels like spectacle for spectacle’s sake. It feels like a look that was designed to go viral online, and nothing more.


Don’t get us wrong, this is definitely a head-turner of a look, and we’re sure his makeup artist took great pains to make it happen. But wearing a thong at an event that’s supposed to honor and celebrate the best of high fashion just seems unwise and, frankly, a little disrespectful. He should have saved this for the VMAs instead.


HIT: Sora Choi in Thom Browne


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Let’s make one thing clear: while this year’s Met Gala sought to honor Karl Lagerfeld, the night definitely belonged to Thom Browne. Every girlie he dressed for the Met—from Jenna Ortega, Teyana Taylor to Janelle Monae—absolutely knocked it out of the park and rightfully earned their spots on the night’s best-dressed lists.


The best Thom Browne look of the night, however, was worn by model Sora Choi. Worn by Shalom Harlow in a Vogue editorial celebrating Lagerfeld’s design legacy, it is tailored beautifully but with a much-needed dose of flair and drama. We’re obsessed!


MISS: Rami Malek in Prada


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It’s giving cater waiter. There really isn’t much to say, because there really aren't many design elements to discuss here. Let’s just put it this way: there’s a minimalism that feels intentional and thought-out (see: Phoebe Philo), and there’s a minimalism that feels more “go girl, give us nothing.”


What is it with male actors having the gall to rest on pretty at the Met Gala while their female counterparts spend hours in hair and makeup and endure the night in a tight dress and sky-high heels? This is the patriarchy at play. If an actress showed up in something similar, you just know she’d be crucified.


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Do you agree with our picks for the 2023 Met Gala’s best and worst-dressed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!



Words Jer Capacillo

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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