My First Met Gala! See These Stars' Amazing Red Carpet Debuts
The iconic annual event provides plenty of great throwback photos for a trip down memory lane. See what these stars wore for their first foray into the fashion fold
CHARLIZE THERON, 1999
Though she jokes she was "14 when she started" working for Dior, for her first Met Gala, a baby-faced Charlize hadn't yet signed the deal that would catapult her into the upper echelons of fashion royalty. (Though she didn't do too badly without their help, rocking a back-in-a-big-way lavender spaghetti-strap gown and matching wrap.)
TAYLOR SWIFT, 2008
Taylor made her Met Gala debut the year the theme was "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy," as a guest of Badgley Mischka. But what was truly superheroic? Catapulting herself from guest to co-chair of the 2016 ball in eight short years.
DIANE KRUGER, 2004
At the Dangerous Liaisons-inspired bash, Diane glimmered with the promise of the über-cool mix of high (that gown!) and low (that artfully mussed hair!) that would come to be her signature.
EVA MENDES, 2004
Was Eva's teal satin-and-rose-chiffon gown and rosette-inspired bag perfect for that year's Dangerous Liaisons theme? Oh fur sure.
ZOË SALDANA, 2006
We have to wonder if attending a gala in a tutu-inspired dress gave her Center Stage flashbacks as soon as the hors d'oeuvres were passed.
ZOË KRAVITZ, 2008
Wonder how the red carpet newbie was able to work Fashion Prom like a pro? It helps having two insanely stylish parents (hers are Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz) to show you the ropes.
KATE HUDSON, 2003
GISELE BÜNDCHEN, 1999
Yes, this photo was taken when the supermodel was 19 years old, and yes, she looks basically the same today, at age 41.
VICTORIA BECKHAM, 2003
The designer didn't launch her eponymous line of high-end minimalist garb until 2008 – and something tells us that this sheer mini didn't make it onto her inspiration board when she did.
JENNIFER LOPEZ, 2004
Bustles and big hair were prevalent at the 18th-century-inspired gala, and J.Lo didn't disappoint in a corseted flamenco-style look by Dolce & Gabbana.
No sign of the singer's famous biceps here! Madonna went for a celestial tunic layered over a '90s-style floral maxi the year the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored Gianni Versace.
Rih's third album was just about to drop when she stepped out in a crystal-encrusted dress by Georges Chakra and fishnet gloves that also were studded with shiny stones. (These days she'd wear those gloves as a bra and use the gown for a dramatic train.)
CHRISTY TURLINGTON, 1992
Lots of ladies have tried to emulate the iconic style of Breakfast at Tiffany's, but we have yet to see as convincing a rendition as Turlington's.
EMMA STONE, 2009
This printed strapless look makes total sense for the Emma Stone of the mid-2000s. After all, she hit the red carpet for 2007's Superbad and 2008's House Bunny in playful minis. Her looks evolved and in 2020 she was selected as a co-host for the gala, though it never happened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
KATE MOSS, 1995
The supermodel was just 21 when she first hit the Met Ball scene in a strappy, sunny gown and beachy blonde waves.
NICOLE KIDMAN, 2003
Sure, her shoulder-grazing earrings are eye-catching, and the hair is noteworthy, but the nearly sheer bodice of Nicole's sparkly Gucci gown? Well, that's unforgettable. No wonder she's been a co-host twice.
BLAKE LIVELY, 2008
Would the fashion-forward Blake of today pick itty-bitty gloves for another Met Gala? It's unclear. But one element of her style that hasn't changed? "I love a cinched waist," she previously told PEOPLE.