The 30 Worst Met Gala Outfits That Had Nothing To Do With The Theme Of The Evening
As the 2015 Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala rapidly approaches, attendees and fashion critics alike reminisce about the sartorial past of the legendary event. No matter the theme, the Met Ball encourages designers, celebutantes, and actors to trot out their finest wares in hopes of landing a coveted spot on the Best Dressed List. Some ensembles do merit such a nomination, but many sadly fall short thanks to imprecise tailoring, lack of creativity, or sheer insanity. In anticipation of 2015's Met Ball, read on for the most off-theme and generally unsightly gowns ever to hit the event's red carpet.
Madonna's Punk Suit
No one but Madonna could take a Met Ball theme so literally and fail quite so miserably. Though incredibly on-trend for the 2013 Met Ball’s Punk: Chaos to Couture theme, Madonna’s belted, embellished jacket and shredded fishnet stockings are ever so slightly overdone.
Gwyneth Paltrow's Pink Punk Gown
Gwyneth Paltrow received considerable flak for her simple, fuchsia gown. And so she should have; the Met Ball’s punk theme was decidedly not reflected in such a simple, conformist frock.
Coco Rocha's Embellished Leopard Gown
Though her spirit of irreverence was on-point, Coco Rocha’s embellished, leopard-print gown veered too heavily towards gaudy as opposed to defiant.
Mary-Kate Olsen's Bohemian Robe
Mary Kate Olsen’s fur-trimmed satin robe and silken dress certainly appeared comfortable, but 2013’s theme required punk attire, not bohemian bedclothes.
Ashley Olsen's Orange Caftan
It only seems fitting that both Olsen sisters would eschew the Met Ball’s theme simultaneously. In no way could Ashley Olsen’s wispy orange caftan be considered punk, but then again, when has the designer ever played by the rules?
Sandra Lee's Cinderella Gown
There is a fine line between timeless elegance and excessive opulence, and Sandra Lee’s Cinderella gown unfortunately crosses the boundary into the latter category.
Lupita Nyong'o's Be-Feathered Confection
Though Lupita Nyong’o rarely takes a sartorial misstep, the 12 Years A Slave actress’s netted, embellished contraption certainly played with the boundaries of beauty in 2014. No ensemble should draw comparisons to a haphazardly-draped fishnet.
Brie Larson's Futuristic Getup
Do I sense a Blade Runner theme in Brie Larson’s avant-garde getup? The ensemble was innovative in nature but could have used a dose of streamlining.
Kate Upton's Striped Nightmare
How Kate Upton was wrestled into such an uncharacteristically unflattering gown remains a mystery, but the garment’s horizontal stripes and oddly-placed flared train are uncomplimentary even to a Sports Illustrated model.
Kristen Stewart's Patchwork Combination
Kristen Stewart’s avant-garde sartorial concoction was one part Raggedy Anne and two parts Flash Dance at the 2012 Met Ball.
Christina Ricci's Fanned Frock
Though I admire Christina Ricci’s daring in adopting a complex style like this fanned, embroidered frock, the actress’s petite frame appeared to be swallowed whole by the garment’s folds.
Florence Welch's Tiered Frock
One couldn’t design a more imaginative dress to grace the Met Ball, but the garment’s proportions and tiers unfortunately resemble that of a spruce Christmas tree.
Kirsten Dunst's Vintage-Inspired Coat Dress
Kirsten Dunst often favors frocks that are inspired by eras past, and often to great effect. However, this ’40s-style belted coat dress appeared too informal for the Met Ball’s black tie sartorial code.
Shailene Woodley's Transparent Embroidered Gown
When an actress herself appears uncomfortable in a gown, the sartorial jigs is up. An uneasy Shailene Woodley hit the red carpet of the Met Ball sporting a transparent, off-the-shoulder, metallic, embellished gown that featured a few too many competing elements.
Katy Perry's Pyrotechnical Gown
Technologically speaking, Katy Perry’s illuminated ball gown was a great feat of creativity. However, the singer still appeared to have wandered off the set of Tron: Legacy.
Coco Rocha's Trailing Train
An elegant train can be a thing of beauty when fashioned in a simplistic manner, but Coco Rocha’s tie-dyed tail appeared more like a discolored duvet.
Rosario Dawson's Saccharine Gown
In small doses, Pepto-Bismol pink can lend ensembles a certain flair. However, Between the bow, corsetry, and ruffles, Rosario Dawson’s pink gown reads as cloying, not couture-inspired.
Joy Bryant's Pastel Confection
At its core, Joy Bryant’s pastel apricot-hued gown with its embroidery and flutter sleeves is lovely. However, there is just too much fabric.
Naomi Watts' Golden Age Attire
In order to channel a bygone era without appearing staid, an ensemble must have at least several modern elements. Though perfectly appropriate and quite like something Marilyn Monroe might have worn, Naomi Watts’ pleated gown was stuck in the 20th century.
Christina Ricci's Crimson Bodysuit.
Pairing pink and crimson shades always poses the potential to appear like a Valentine’s ensemble gone wrong, especially when said ensemble consists of little more than a silk bodysuit veiled in transparent rose drapery.
Kimora Lee Simmons' Modern Artwork Gown
A riot of color and pattern, Kimora Lee Simmons’ dress looked more like a piece of modernist artwork than a couture gown.
Kate Mara's Highlighter-Yellow Ruffled Gown
Though its tailoring was impeccable and its shade an inspiring, neon hue, Kate Mara’s ruffled gown was simply too overwhelming to the eye.
Amanda Peet's Sad Satin Shift
Inexpertly fitted, drop-waisted, and rendered in an uninspiring combination of noir and teal hues, Amanda Peet’s frock was the sartorial equivalent of a paper bag.
Ellen Barkin's Vamp Suit
Thanks to its burgundy satin composition and slight train, Ellen Barkin’s vampy suit appeared more appropriate for a guest spot in Interview With The Vampire than the Met Ball.
Emmy Rossum's Military-Inspired Gown
Emmy Rossum deserves serious props for effect and innovation, but her military-inspired, gilded coat was an overwhelming choice for the Met Ball.
Linda Evangelista's Reimagined Kimono
Whether or not model Linda Evangelista intended to evoke the idea of a kimono with her satin, single-shoulder embroidered frock is a mystery, but the stiff, heavily detailed gown looked like it belongs in a museum than on a Met Ball attendee.
Margherita Missoni's Strappy Sundress
Sometimes, less is more in terms of fashion, and Margherita Missoni’s multi-strapped maxi dress simply proves the point by way of bad example.
Amber Valetta's Courtly Couture
A mashup of modernity and 17th-century courtly couture, Amber Valetta’s corseted, printed gown was more befuddling than beautiful.
Kristin Davis's Dalmatian Shrug
With a slightly longer hemline and a more polished shrug, Kristin Davis’s Met Ball ensemble could have been pitch-perfect.
Victoria Beckham's Babydoll Dress
In all likelihood, Victoria Beckham has gazed at this boudoir-ready babydoll dress in the intervening years since she first wore the look, and slowly shaken her head at the sheer insanity of such an ensemble.