Every Look Sarah Jessica Parker Has Worn to the Met Gala

The star has said she's "a stickler for the theme," and proves it by hitting the Met Gala steps in unforgettable outfits, over-the-top headpieces and — always — plenty of homework put into the final ensemble: "I don't understand how everyone else didn't spend seven to 10 months working on it," she told Vogue. Look back at every outfit she has worn to the Costume Institute benefit gala

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 1995 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
K. Mazur/WireImage

The simple, thrifted black velvet dress she wore to the "Haute Couture" event is a far cry from the elaborate styles she is now known for wearing, but to hear her tell it, it used to be a very different gala. "It was a quieter affair, simply put," she told Vogue in a video recapping all her looks.

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2006 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker Breaks Down 10 Met Gala Looks From 1995 to Now
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

The star's appearance at "Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion" is considered one of the most memorable Met Gala looks of all time, as she and designer Alexander McQueen arrived clad in high-fashion takes on his family tartan. But for Parker, "It wasn't a fun night," she recalled to Vogue of attending with the famously introverted McQueen, who died in 2010. "It was, but it wasn't. Because I was so nervous. I just wanted him to be okay."

"I was in love with him," she went on. "I have every pin he dropped from his mouth in my possession still. I have everything he cut off in my possession still. I have things that seem like nothing, from every fitting I did with him, in my possession."

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2010 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
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The star's role as creative director at Halston Heritage dovetailed perfectly with the 2010 theme; as she explained to Vogue, some years are easier to interpret than others. "This was easier because it was like oh, well, Halston! And a certain silhouette was super- American and super-Halston," she said.

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2011 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker Breaks Down 10 Met Gala Looks From 1995 to Now | Life in Looks | Vogue
Dimitrios Kambouris/FilmMagic

The star picked an outfit that she told Vogue was "not something I'd normally wear" due to the high collar, but she loved the '60s feel of the Alexander McQueen design she wore to the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" event in 2011.

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2012 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

"It was so comfortable, it was so easy. It was like going out with friends," Parker told Vogue of the Valentino gown she wore to "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," which she wore with shoes in the same fabric.

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2013 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
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The star always understands the assignment, as evidenced by the knockout look she wore for "Punk: Chaos to Couture," comprised of a Giles Deacon dress and a Philip Treacy headpiece so big she had to sit on the floor of the car to the event.

In her Vogue video, Parker suggested this look was among her all-time favorites, pointing out all the specific details of the elaborate look. "You always work really hard," she said. "Sometimes it comes together in surprising ways, sometimes it's exactly as you plan, sometimes it's better."

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2014 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" theme paid tribute to a famous designer of the 1940s and '50s, so Parker went for classic glamour with a gardenia in her hair. She then put a twist on the look by working with Oscar de la Renta to design a gown that referenced the elaborate construction of the ballgowns James was famous for.

As for the scarlet signature across the skirt? Parker's idea, but she had to persuade the designer to do it. "He did it and then people told us afterwards he was so happy to be talked into it," she told Vogue. "He would never have said yes on his own because that would've been so immodest of him."

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2015 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

"We've had some very abstract themes where you're like, Well, how do you interpret that?" she told Vogue. "It's like singing a song. Either you're an interpreter or you're not."

She interpreted that year's "China: Through the Looking Glass" theme in an H&M dress of her own design with a Philip Treacy headpiece, which got held up in customs until the eleventh hour and only got released with some help from her friend and the COO of her brand, Alyssa Arminio. "if you didn't forcibly enter the 'No Trespass' zone at US Customs and Border Protection in Terminal 4 at JFK did you even do Met?" Arminio jokingly wrote on Instagram.

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2016 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
Larry Busacca/Getty

While many people went for a robot-type interpretation of the "Manus x Machina" theme that year, Parker took it in a different direction with a Hamilton-inspired ensemble by Monse, printed with a design "that really spoke to the theme of machinery and hand coming together," she told Vogue.

Her take on it wasn't a hit with some bloggers, who accused her of not getting the theme — and she responded directly to the criticism. "Always welcome thoughts but I'm a stickler for the theme and pay close attention to what it means. Every year with great consideration, research and conviction," she wrote. "The understanding of man and machine, how they intersect, when and why is what we considered. Perhaps you weren't aware of the technology used in the details and embellishments of the design. Or perhaps you simple didn't like that I wore which is completely fine but you can't accuse me of not paying close attention and adhering to the theme. With respect and warmest regards, sj."

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2018 Met Gala

Sarah Jessica Parker
Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic

What better way to pay tribute to "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" than a headpiece featuring a full-on nativity scene?

"One can only do your best," she told E! that year. "This was particularly enjoyable because Dolce & Gabbana — they're devoted observant Catholics — and so they've grown up with the church and imagery and they had a lot of strong feelings and beautiful sketches so it was easy."

(Her plus one for the evening, Andy Cohen, jokingly grumbled that her sweeping train was "the bane of my existence.")

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Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2022 Met Gala

The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" - Arrivals

The star was back — and so were her statement headpieces! — in full force for the "In America: An Anthology of Fashion"- themed event, for which the dress code was "Gilded Glamour."

About the Christopher John Rogers gown she selected, she told Vogue, "This dress was really exquisite and pretty much fit the period of time that Andrew Bolton [head curator of the Museum of Modern Art's Costume Institute] picked for this exhibit."

Rogers explained on his Instagram that "This look was inspired by an 1860's ensemble by Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley — a prominent designer, seamstress, author, philanthropist and social activist active during the Gilded Age."

A scarlet feathered fascinator from Philip Treacy completed the look.

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