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Everyone remembers their first time at the Met Gala (we’re speaking from assumptions, not experience). It’s quite a huge deal to be invited to the annual benefit for the Costume Institute, be personally dressed by a designer, walk the iconic carpeted steps into one of the biggest—and arguably most mysterious—fashion parties of the year. But in case Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kate Moss have forgotten that special night, we’re here with a little reminder.

In honor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most well-dressed event of the year, we hunted down some of our favorite guests’ first-time looks. Plus, we’ve paired them with recent outfits as well. It’s a testament to not only how personal style can change (see Victoria Beckham swapping early-aughts sparkle for her most signature minimal aesthetic) but also how others evolved into quite the enthusiastic theme-party dresser (i.e., Rihanna in her jaw-dropping Guo Pei ensemble from 2015).

Keep scrolling to reacquaint yourself with many of the best looks and biggest style evolutions before 2021’s September Met Gala. 

Year: 1995. Theme: Haute Couture . On Gwyneth Paltrow: Calvin Klein

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Gwyneth Paltrow: Calvin Klein by Appointment custom dress

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Gwyneth Paltrow: Chloe dress; Jimmy Choo shoes; Jewels by G jewelry

Year: 1988. Theme: From Queen to Empress: Victorian Dress 1837–1888 

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Anna Wintour: Chanel dress

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Anna Wintour: Chanel S/S 19 Haute Couture

Year: 2008. Theme: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. On Beyoncé: Armani Privé dress

Year: 2016. Theme: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. On Beyoncé: Givenchy dress

Year: 2008. Theme: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. On Blake Lively: Ralph Lauren dress

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Blake Lively: Atelier Versace dress 

Year: 2007. Theme: Poiret: King of Fashion. On Rihanna: Georges Chakra dress

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Rhianna: Comme des Garçons 

Year: 1995. Theme: Haute Couture. On Kate Moss: Calvin Klein dress 

Year: 2008. Theme: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. On Kate Moss: Stella McCartney dress

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Kate Moss: Marc Jacobs gown; Jimmy Choo clutch

Year: 2003. Theme: Goddess: The Classical Mode . On Victoria Beckham: Dolce & Gabbana

Year: 2014. Theme: Charles James: Beyond Fashion. On Victoria Beckham: Her own design 

Year: 1999. Theme: Rock Style. On Gisele Bündchen: Versace dress

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Gisele Bündchen: Stella McCartney dress

Year: 1999. Theme: Rock Style

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Jennifer Lopez: Valentino dress

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Jennifer Lopez: Versace dress;Judith Leiber clutch; Harry Winston Jewelry

Year: 2003. Theme: Goddess: The Classical Mode . On Kate Hudson: Stella McCartney dress (designer pictured)

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Kate Hudson: Stella McCartney dress

Year: 2014. Theme: Charles James: Beyond Fashion. On Selena Gomez: Diane von Furstenberg dress

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Selena Gomez: Coach custom dress

Year: 1990. Theme: Théâtre de la Mode—Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture. On Naomi Campbell: Versace jacket and dress

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Naomi Campbell: Alaïa dress

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Naomi Campbell: Valentino dress; Bulgari jewelry

Year: 1995. Theme: Haute Couture

Year: 2016. Theme: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. On Sarah Jessica Parker: Monse jacket; SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker heels

Year: 2009. Theme: The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion. On Katy Perry: Tommy Hilfiger 

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between Costume Institute Gala. On Katy Perry: Comme des Garçons

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Katy Perry: Moschino dress made with 7,000 crystals and crystal lighting components from Swarovski

Year: 2004. Theme: Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century. On Mandy Moore: Proenza Schouler dress

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Mandy Moore: Michael Kors

Year: 2013. Theme: Punk: Chaos to Couture. On Kim Kardashian West: Givenchy dress and shoes

Year: 2017. Theme: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. On Kim Kardashian West: Vivienne Westwood Couture

Year: 2019. Theme: Camp: Notes on Fashion. On Kim Kardashian West: Mugler dress; Yeezy shoes

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Up Next: A Look Back at Our Favorite Met Gala Looks Ever

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