Over the years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala has become synonymous with striking displays of couture, rivalled only by the masterful coifs—decorated with subtle blooms and subversive headpieces alike—that accompany them. See: Beyoncé’s beaded birdcage veil, circa 2014, designed by Riccardo Tisci, or, in a move that has left an indelible mark on red-carpet history, the extraordinary bejewelled bishop’s hat that Rihanna donned to the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” gala four years later.
This year, the star-studded event will be “America: An Anthology of Fashion.” To mark the upcoming First Monday in May, we’re looking back at the best Met Gala hair accessories of all time, below.
Marisa Berenson, 1974
Marisa Berenson glittered from head to toe at the 1974 “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design” gala.
Paloma Picasso, 1980
Six years later, Paloma Picasso, pictured here alongside Carolina Herrera, attended the 1980 Met Gala with a striking floral updo.
Claudia Schiffer, 1995
For the 1995 Met Gala, Claudia Schiffer, the longtime muse of Karl Lagerfeld, wore a camellia-topped ponytail that now recalls the floral brooches on Chanel’s fall 2019 runway.
Diana Ross, 2001
Diana Ross may win the award for the biggest hair in Met Gala history thanks to her 2001 mane, which was taken to new heights with a shimmery black tulle headpiece.
Iman’s finger wave lengths, accented with a striking white flower, was a lesson in pared-back beauty at the 2003 Met Gala dedicated to the “Goddess: The Classical Mode” exhibition.
Kate Moss, 2009
Kate Moss stole the 2009 Met Gala in a gold lamé minidress and matching turban, designed by fellow cochair Marc Jacobs.
That same year, Madonna made headlines when she arrived in a minidress, thigh-high boots, and oversized bunny ears plucked right off the Louis Vuitton fall 2009 runway.
Sarah Jessica Parker, 2013
“Me, literally sitting on the floor of the car in order to accommodate my mohawk, was pretty freaking amusing,” Sarah Jessica Parker told Vogue in reference to the sculptural Philip Treacy headpiece that she sported to the 2013 punk-themed gala.
Drawing inspiration from Diana Ross circa 1977, Beyoncé stunned at the 2014 Met Gala in a sheer black Givenchy dress and beaded birdcage veil designed by Riccardo Tisci.
Karen Elson, 2015
The following year, Karen Elson looked every bit the modern-day empress in a bright red lip and glimmering Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda crown.
Selena Gomez, 2015
For her second Met Gala, Selena Gomez complemented a slinky Vera Wang gown with a tight chignon delicately decorated with real orchids by the hairstylist Renato Campora.
For the 2018 “Heavenly Bodies” Met Gala, Rihanna completed her epic red-carpet ensemble with an equally epic bishop’s hat created by Stephen Jones millinery.
Frances McDormand, 2018
Who could ever forget the towering blue bouquet of leaves, imagined by none other than Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, worn by Frances McDormand?
Jared Leto, 2018
That same year, Jared Leto graced the red carpet with flowing locks and a gilded celestial crown dreamed up by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele.
Céline Dion, 2019
Céline Dion, no stranger to head-turning fashion, wowed at the 2019 camp-inspired Met Gala in a larger-than-life Noel Stewart headpiece made from singed peacock feathers.
Lupita Nyong’o, 2019
Inspired by Lauren Kelley’s 2007 self-portrait Pickin’, hairstylist Vernon François dotted Lupita Nyong’o’s backcombed Afro with gold spray-painted combs that were topped off with “Fight the Power” raised fists.
Tessa Thompson, 2021
Taking hair accessorising to a new level, Tessa Thompson wore a sculptural cowboy hat crafted from intricately-woven braids. In the back, a horseshoe-shaped plaited updo finished the conceptual look.
To top off her Bode look made from “repurposed antiques,” Lorde wore a regal beaded crown featuring a trio of sunbursts.
Yara Shahidi, 2021
Paying homage to Josephine Baker, Yara Shahidi wore the famed performer’s signature kiss-curl and accessorised the style with an ethereal veil and bejewelled Art Deco headband.
Kaia Gerber, 2022
The model adorned her cascade of Lady Godiva-esque spirals with a pair of shimmering diamante barrettes.
This article was first published in Vogue.com.