The 16 Best Met Gala Hair Accessories of All Time, From Subtle to Subversive

Zoe Ruffner

Over the years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala has become synonymous with striking displays of couture, rivaled 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 bejeweled 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 has been postponed indefinitely, but we’re marking the upcoming First Monday in May with a look back at the best Met Gala hair accessories of all time, below.

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Marisa Berenson, 1974

Marisa Berenson glittered from head to toe at the 1974 “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design” gala.

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Paloma Picasso, 1980

Six years later, Paloma Picasso, pictured here alongside Carolina Herrera, attended the 1980 Met Gala with a striking floral updo.

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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.

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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.

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Iman, 2003

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.

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Kate Moss, 2009

Kate Moss stole the 2009 Met Gala in a gold lamé minidress and matching turban, designed by fellow cochair Marc Jacobs.

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Madonna, 2009

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.

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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.

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Beyoncé, 2014

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.

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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.

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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.

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Rihanna, 2018

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Originally Appeared on Vogue