All The Little Shawls From Past Met Galas

by Rosie Narasaki

Often named the most fashionable events of the year, the Met Gala has been going strong for decades. First established in the '40s, it's now one of the most sought-after soirees around. Trends come and go — take for instance all the little shawls from Met Galas in the '90s and early 2000s. Nowadays, it's all about Oscar de la Renta showstoppers, a la Sarah Jessica Parker, or international models like Liu Wen in architectural Zac Posen, or oversized beaded capes as worn by megastar Fan Bingbing, but a couple of decades ago? Well, pint-sized shawls reigned supreme in a serious way.

It's a trend most of us are familiar with — after all, who among us didn't wear a shawl to a school dance at some point in their high school and middle school career? As with your standard Homecoming dance, it was something of a must-have accessory on the Met Gala red carpet back in the day, with '90s (and current) style icons like Charlize Theron and Iman taking them out for spins. '90s redux trends are currently on the rise — so maybe we're due for a resurgence of little shawls on the red carpet. Who knows? Maybe we'll be seeing Met Gala queens like Emmy Rossum and Diane Kruger adding tiny shawls to their style routines this year. At any rate, let's take a look at 9 stylishly small shawls from Met Galas past.

1. Liv Tyler

Tyler was quite the fashionista when she first came onto the scene (Empire Records, anyone?), and this slightly goth-esque blunt bob/sheer black shawl combination is pretty much peak '90s chic.

2. Claudia Schiffer

Schiffer's Strawberry Shortcake-esque from 1998 ensemble somehow manages to be both timelessly stylish and ridiculously '90s at the same time.

3. Charlize Theron

Theron's Met Gala style has gotten a bit more sophisticated since her debut at the event back in '99, but this bridesmaid-adjacent ensemble is still pretty darn awesome.

4. Iman

Oh, you know. Oversized diamonds and fur-lined mini shawls. As one does.

5. Giselle Bundchen

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That photographer frantically screaming her name in the background has the right idea; this look is ***flawless.

6. Talisa Soto

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It's a lowkey look as far as Met Galas go, but if the shawl/clutch/bejeweled T-strap sandals combo isn't making you nostalgic, I don't know what will.

7. Bernadette Peters

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Slaying then as she continues to slay today. Anyone else loving her on Mozart in the Jungle right now?

8. Soledad O'Brien

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The ruffles. Oh, the ruffles.

9. Katie Couric

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We can always count on Ms. Couric for a classically classy turn on the red carpet, can't we?

It was certainly a fun trend, albeit one we've largely moved away from in more recent red carpets. What kind of ensembles will we get this year? It's tough to say, but I think we can safely assume they'll be fabulous as ever.