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“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”: Met Gala 2024 fashion highlights

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Featured image: PA

The first Monday in May can only mean one thing – The Met Gala. The theme for this year’s red carpet was ‘The Garden of Time’, inspired by the Costume Institute’s Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion exhibition, which will open to the public on 10th May in New York.

This annual fashion event raises funds for the Costume Institute, where a record $22 million was raised last year. The designs that graced the Met steps on Monday were a vast contrast to last year’s ‘A Line of Beauty’, which celebrated the work of designer Karl Lagerfeld with a predominantly black and white colour scheme. ‘The Gardens of Time’ had a spring sentiment with whimsical colour schemes and plenty of floral motifs.

The story behind the dress code was taken from a JG Ballard tale about a count who, to prevent intruders to his castle, plucked individual roses from his garden to slow down time until eventually none remained. Aside from the obvious references to gardens and flowers, there exists a darker undertone about time and avoiding the inevitable, which paired with the exhibition’s focus on blending the old with the new, allowed for some interesting interpretations of the theme. 

Here are some of the red carpet fashion highlights from the event.


Zendaya has become a highly anticipated fashion favourite with her commitment to theme and pushing fashion boundaries. Together, with her friend and stylist, Law Roach, she graced us with two looks for the carpet, changing into a third inside the venue. Both  looks were by John Galliano; the first a “peacock-inspired” dress from Maison Margiela and the second a Givenchy gown from Spring/Summer 1996, that Galliano also designed. 


Another memorable look from the carpet was by rising singer and songwriter, Tyla, most well known for her song “Water”, which won her a Grammy back in February of this year.  she wore an hourglass Balmain sand dress inspired by The Sands of Time, which was moulded to her figure. The dress was so perfectly shaped to her body that she was carried up the steps  

Emma Chamberlain 

Once again, Emma Chamberlain was interviewing for Vogue on the red carpet this year, at her fourth Met Gala. She wore a custom Jean Paul Gaultier dress inspired by a look from their Fall 2003 Couture collection. It was a spin on the darker elements of the theme and meant to resemble the brambles in the garden. 

Bad Bunny 

Rapper Benito (Bad Bunny) was a co-chair on the panel for this year’s Gala and wore a custom Maison Margiela by John Gallian satin corset and smoking jacket. Arriving on the red carpet with a black floral bouquet and looking like a prince from the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. 

Elle Fanning 

Actor Elle Fanning arrived in a sheer, custom, body fitting, Balmain dress which had been dipped in resin to make the gown look glass-like. Her look referenced Sleeping Beauty , a homage to her role as Aurora in the 2014 movie Maleficent. 


Fashion TikToker Wisdom Kaye, made his Met Gala debut wearing a red burnt floral tailcoat by Robert Wun, receiving enormous praise online as one of the ‘Best Dressed Men.’ A full circle moment for the creator who modelled for Robert Wun’s Couture Collection back in January. 

Alia Bhatt

Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt amazed with her bespoke look which celebrates culture and craftsmanship, and took 163 artisans 1,965 hours to make. The Sabyasachi saree was heavily embroidered and featured a 23-foot train.

Lana Del Rey

Singer Lana Del Rey provided gothic romance in her interpretation of the theme wearing a homage to an Alexander McQueen look from Fall/Winter 2006, titled “Widows of Culloden”, with a signature tulle veil headpiece.

Mindy Kaling 

Actor Mindy Kaling wore a sculptural dress named “The Melting Flower of Time” as her response to the “The Garden of Time” dress code. The dress was designed by Gaurav Gupta who described the visual of the dress to represent the bud, blossoming, and wilting of a flower to reference the time element in the theme.

Mona Patel

Mona Patel caused a stir online when she walked the red carpet wearing an Iris Van Herpen design featuring working mechanical butterflies, being dubbed online as the “mystery woman”, with many not knowing who she is. Patel is an Indian business woman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who was also styled by Law Roach and reviewed to be one of the best dressed of the night. 

About the author / 

Caitlin Baber

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