As sure as the sun will rise bes, we know that them starz come out fighting for The Met Gala. According to Andre Leon Talley, it is the Superbowl of fashion and “everyone who is anyone” gets to go there and parade around in whatever creative volcanic eruption or physics-defying creation he or she so chooses. (Me, while looking at myself in the mirror: “Bes, you are someone even if Andre Leon Talley doesn’t think so.”)
If we were to pick a queen though—oh okay, fine, kween—it would be none other than Rihanna, who comes out year after year in red carpet showstoppers. Let’s go down memory lane AKA the pegs for your next costume party.
2007: ‘Poiret King Of Fashion’
Rihanna first graced the Met Gala red carpet in 2007. She’s wearing a white Georges Chakra gown with crystal embellishment along with 80s Madonna fishnet gloves. It’s like the dress started out dancing in a disco, changed its mind, and went running around a castle halfway through.
2009: ‘The Model As Muse’
One of our favorite RiRi looks is from the 2009 ball. She wore a Dolce & Gabbana suit with comically puffed up sleeves, black pumps, a punk ’do, and an “I’m ready to rumble” expression. She looks like she’s about to get into a fistfight with Jessica Rabbit. We love it.
2011: ‘Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty’
The singer’s Stella McCartney gown from 2011 is the bomb. It’s equal parts Halle Berry when she won the Oscars, equal parts Death Becomes Her, and equal parts Disney Princess.
2012: ‘Schiaparelli And Prada Impossible Conversations’
This Tom Ford dress looks tricky to pull off, but our RiRi is up to the task. It looks like it was freshly skinned from a recently deceased Alien, uh, alien.
2014: ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’
Wishing @badgalriri a happy belated birthday 🎂 🌟✨🌟✨ #Rihanna ‘s #Metgala2014 look was my ultimate favorite red carpet look of her ❤ She rocked a @StellaMccartney white draped train, backless crop and @jacobandco diamond choker 💍💎 #rihannabirthday #rihannastyle #fentybeauty #fentyxpuma #fentyfoundation #rihannahassan #hassanjameel #metgala #redcarpet
Was co-ords already a thing four years ago? Well, anyway, Rihanna made it a thing, bes. Even homeboy in the background was like, “damn, girl.”
2015: ‘China Through The Looking Glass’
When you think of Rihanna, “tame” is probably the last word that comes to mind. The singer has been wowing the Met Gala’s red carpet since 2007 and will be co-hosting this year’s gala alongside Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace. With the annual event just days away, look back at RiRi’s red carpet evolution by 👉 tapping the link in our bio. _ 📷: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images | #Rihanna #MetGala #RedCarpet
While others only saw a cheese omelette, slathered with mustard, baking in the midday sun, we choose to see royalty with the cojones to pull off something like this. As the designer Guo Pei says, “only women who have the confidence of a queen could wear it.”
2017: ‘Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between’
The R&B singer looks like a flower in full bloom. Or the site of an epic end-of-all-time death match (or maybe dance-off) between a bunch of dominant red and plucky white blood cells. It’s a Comme des Garçons art installation, think piece.
2018: ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’
The Fenty beauty founder shines bright like a diamond with the Maison Margiela-designed papal crown and cape this year. I mean, really, bes, take all of that in. She looks like she should be in Infinity War, with Thanos under her heels. (The gauntlet can complete the look.)
Header image by Madel Crudo