If there’s one red carpet that has seen its fair share of unorthodox sartorial choices, it is the Met Gala. The annual ball held at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has long served as an avenue of experimentation for celebrities and designers alike, bolstered by radical—and, at times, contentious themes—established by the Costume Institute’s Chief Director. And while the Met Gala 2023 encompasses a more simplistic theme dedicated to one of fashion’s key luminaries, that’s not to say the dress code and accompanying beauty moments were austere in any shape or form.
Titled ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’, the Met Gala 2023 acts as a homage to the illustrious designer with a storied career spanning decades and across iconic maisons such as Chanel, Fendi, and Chloé. Guests were given free reign to interpret and convey themselves in styles that paid tribute to the late designer, from sporting Lagerfeld’s archival frocks and threads to donning hair, make-up, and nail looks that spoke to his personal style.
On that end, attendees did not disappoint, particularly on the beauty front—the Met Gala 2023 comprised a slew of head-turning hair and make-up options that exuded energy characteristic of the creative luminary. Take Emma Chamberlain, who opted for a smokey eye with a rebellious twist utilising blue eyeshadow instead of the archetypal neutral palette. Then there’s model Grace Elizabeth who incorporated pearls onto her visage and strands; a tribute to both Coco Chanel and Lagerfeld through one of the most iconic motifs from the brand. Not forgetting Jennie from Blackpink, too, who followed suit with a camellia hair pin speared through her braided ‘do.
Naturally, the aforementioned ensembles are only the tip of the iceberg. Below, a curation of the most stunning beauty looks spotted at the Met Gala 2023. Brace yourself for a feast of unique hair configurations, razor-sharp wing flicks, and more.
1 / 19
It comes as no surprise that bad gal RiRi is the one who has finally answered the age-old question: how does one show off their eye make-up when sunglasses come into play? As it turns out, the answer was right there in front of our faces—if only any of us were brave enough to attempt it.
2 / 19
The Daisy Jones and the Six actress has never met a contrasting colour combination that she didn’t like. Dreamy hues of pastel pink and green are further enhanced with tinted brows and spidery-long lashes that draw the gaze to her peepers.
3 / 19
Soft, voluminous waves are a mainstay of the red carpet. Model Quannah Chasinghorse’s rendition comprises a playful twist (literally) featuring micro-braids and and feathered hair accessories.
4 / 19
The American Internet personality presents a subversive take on tried-and-tested make-up trends. See: her vividly blue smokey eye, topped off with a nose ring.
5 / 19
FKA Twigs is living proof that sculptural updos make for the most intriguing visual spectacles.
6 / 19
Baby bangs are back, if Emily Ratajkowski has anything to say about it. The inclusion of positioned tendrils and a velvet bow helps add a dainty touch to the entire ensemble.
7 / 19
Talk about taking a statement eye to the next level. Anok Yai’s bedazzled mesh visor and immaculately sharpened talons serves up a hefty dose of avant-garde edginess.
8 / 19
According to Coco Chanel, “a woman should have ropes and ropes of pearls.” Model Grace Elizabeth presents an updated execution on this by adorning her mien and mane with the gemstone in varying sizes to punctuate her vibrant make-up look.
9 / 19
A vampy pout isn’t just limited to shades of berry and wine. Take a leaf from Adut Akech’s book with this khaki hue that is sure to inspire double takes.
10 / 19
More is certainly more when it comes to hair accessories. Billie Eilish exemplifies this with an assortment of bedazzled clips and a silk ribbon that is deftly wound through her braid.
11 / 19
Jennie from Blackpink
Jennie is a picture of refined elegance with slicked-back tresses paired with just a hint of sparkle over the lids.
12 / 19
Talk about a seriously impressive bouffant. Anne Hathaway reaches new heights with this half-up, half-down style that draws its inspiration from the signature camellia blooms seen at Chanel. Hairstylist, Orlando Pitta, deems it “a flower made out of hair.”
13 / 19
Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette might not have made it to the Met Gala, but singer-songwriter Doja Cat proves to be a worthwhile stand-in. Nothing says committed quite like a prosthetic nose, talons, and feline flicks.
14 / 19
Lil Nas X
The Grammy-winning singer and performer delivers on a blinding showcase by decking himself out with an array of gleaming crystals and pearls that extend from head to toe.
15 / 19
Jessica Chastain makes a splash on the red carpet by debuting a bold new hair hue that provides a nice contrast against her cool-toned smokey eye.
16 / 19
Now that’s one showstopper of a hairstyle. Janelle Monae keeps the focus on her gravity-defying updo by ensuring the rest of her make-up is kept clean and crisp. Spot the hint of white eyeliner adorning her lids.
17 / 19
Operatic make-up is very much in vogue this season. Everything Everywhere All at Once actress, Stephanie Hsu, is well-aware of this with a modern take on the look featuring graphic eyeliner and dark lipstick.
18 / 19
Soft, tousled waves are the perfect complement to a glowing complexion and a glossy lip. Jackson Wang hits the mark with this understated look that allows for his all-black get-up to really shine.
19 / 19
Pop punk at its finest. The bubblegum hue injected a fun touch to Marion Cotillard’s elaborate outfit comprising sequins and large organza panels.