TikTok Star Addison Rae Rocks New Blonde Hair at Her First Met Gala

The TikTok superstar made an unforgettable entrance at her first Met Gala

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Addison Rae attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty

Only two years ago, Addison Rae was a regular teenager making TikTok dance videos in her room. Now, after catapulting to superstardom, she's one of the most recognized social media stars around, and she officially made it to the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala red carpet.

Rae, 20, made sure to go all-out for her Met Gala debut. The TikToker showed up embracing classic Hollywood glamour in an electric red vintage Tom Ford for Gucci gown from 2003.

The star told Vogue on the red carpet that she and her image architect Law Roach chose the design because they wanted to go with an American designer known to "empower women." She said, "I wanted to pay homage to that."

Rae added: "We found exactly what kind of message we wanted to put across and this dress was perfect for that."

A few hours before the event, Rae hinted at her Met Gala dress color. She posted some throwback photos of iconic celebrity women wearing red dresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford, Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears and Kate Moss.

Rae also commented on making her Met debut, saying it felt like a surreal experience. "I am shaking in my boots!" she said to Vogue.

The He's All That actress also debuted a brighter hair hue on the red carpet. She's slowly been transitioning from dark brunette to a lighter bronde color, but at the Met Gala Rae's strands were dyed bright blonde. Hairstylist and Virtue Labs Creative Director Adir Abergel styled her hair into a sleek straight blowout "inspired by the early 2000 Tom Ford Gucci campaigns."

"When you look at all of the Gucci references during the Tom Ford era, everything had a certain sleekness that exuded freedom. Tom knew how to bring strength and confidence with his clothes to make a woman feel sexy. That's exactly what I wanted to do with the hair," Abergel tells PEOPLE.

Abergel wanted to create a "new vibe for Rae," so they bleached her hair the night before the Met Gala. "To create the style, I cut her hair into a face-framing waterfall blunt bob. For that amazing new color reveal, we stayed up until midnight with my friend and talented colorist Daniel Moon. The process was really cool," he says.

To make sure her hair looked healthy and shiny, Abergel had Rae use the Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask the night before to give it "some intense hydration and a conditioning boost so it was really silky." The next day, he used the Virtue Volumizing Primer at her root and the Virtue Healing Oil from mid-lengths to ends before blow-drying with a large round brush. Abergel says, "I hit the ends with a flat iron to create a little bit of an edge."

Makeup artist Mary Phillips says she and Rae were "inspired by the beautiful but subtly bold 2000s glam of Kate Moss and Amber Valletta." They went with an "elongated bronze smoky eye with touches of gold using the Pat McGrath Labs Mothership II: Sublime Palette and Mothership Mega: Celestial Divinity Palette.

Using the Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo and Pat McGrath Labs Divine Blush, Phillips ensured Rae had a "dewy, youthful" complexion. She finished with a "glossy lip with golden highlights (Pat McGrath Labs' Lust Gloss in Gold Allure) for a pop in the center."

Rae was joined by other social media stars on the Met Gala red carpet including Emma Chamberlain and Madison Beer.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art confirmed the gala would be back in two parts after the 2020 Met Gala was indefinitely postponed — and ultimately canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's exhibition will include a series of events celebrating American fashion. Part one, titled In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, will debut on September 18, 2021 and run through September 5, 2022 to "celebrate The Costume Institute's 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion," the release states.

Be sure to check out all of PEOPLE's Met Gala coverage to get the latest news on fashion's biggest night.

Part two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will open on May 5, 2022 and "will explore the development of American fashion by presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces." It will also close on September 5, 2022.

To maintain safety amid the rising Delta variant COVID-19 cases, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Vogue are enforcing a vaccination mandate and mask requirement. "Currently, all attendees at The Met Gala on September 13 must provide proof of full vaccination and will also be expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking," a spokesperson for The Met confirmed to PEOPLE. "We will update these guidelines as needed."

Rae has had a busy few days in N.Y.C. leading up to the Met Gala. The star bounced around from TV appearances with Good Morning America to New York Fashion Week parties before Monday night's big bash.

addison rae item beauty nyfw event nyc
Sam Wallander

Last Tuesday, Rae celebrated her cosmetic brand, ITEM Beauty, and its introduction into Sephora at a rooftop party she hosted at the PUBLIC Hotel. For the event, the star looked glam in a curve-hugging, striped Hervé Leger midi dress and matching teal smoky eyeshadow. She also stopped by a Sephora store in N.Y.C., wearing a vintage Dolce & Gabbana dress printed with Marilyn Monroe's image, to see her line displayed in-person.


Rae kept her style streak going with a deep indigo, velvet Dundas mini dress completely encrusted with crystals. She posed in the backseat of a car on the way to her destination and struck a sultry pose in the chic ensemble. "Backseat driver," Rae said.

Of course, Rae's time in N.Y.C. wouldn't be complete without a stop at one of the city's famous hot dog street vendors. She grabbed a bite to eat at an uptown Sabrett truck and couldn't help but take some silly photos posing with her hot dog.

"Haven't you seen a girl try to take a picture with a hot dog in New York before 🙄🙄," Rae joked on Instagram.

Just last week, Rae signed a multi-picture deal with Netflix, meaning the streaming giant is partnering with Rae to develop new films specifically for her to star in. She will also executive produce the projects.

The partnership comes after the success of Rae's acting debut in Netlfix's rom-com remake, He's All That, which premiered less than two weeks ago.

"Getting the opportunity to work with Netflix was such a pinch-me moment, and now to be able to continue the relationship is beyond my wildest dreams," Rae said in a press release. "I'm thrilled to be able to collaborate with this incredible team and am excited to develop projects while continuing to strengthen my skills as an actress."

Celebrating the release of the movie last month, Rae wrote on Instagram that being in the film was "completely surreal."

"This cast & crew will ALWAYS have such a special place in my heart. I love y'all so much. I will never get over this," she said. "Thank y'all for believing in me and making this happen!!! All my wildest dreams are coming true!! AHHHHH. Okay now I'm gonna keep watching the movie (you should too)."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles