Rihanna at the 2015 Met Gala. (Photo: Getty)
At the 2015 Met Gala, the biggest figures in fashion and Hollywood turned themselves into red carpet empresses with elaborate phoenix-crown inspired headpieces from the likes of milliner Philip Treacy and Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana. The history of these headpieces goes back to the noblewomen in Tang and Ming Dynasty China who wore the phoenix crown, a traditional headpiece, for ceremonies and official occasions. This ornate — and heavy — crown was adorned with gold dragons, phoenixes, pearls, and precious stones, making it weigh up to six pounds. The types and amounts of stones, gold pieces, and pearls reflected the rank of the noblewoman, whether she was a concubine or crown princess or even the empress. Chinese opera also popularized the elaborate headpieces with male actors wore the crowns to enact noblewomen. (Women were not allowed to perform.) From Sarah Jessica Parker to Tabitha Simmons, here are some of the most elaborate headpieces of the night: we’ll leave the ranking up to you.
Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Zendaya at the 2015 Met Gala. (Photo: Getty)
Lady Gaga stepped out in a black bejeweled headpiece with a spiked crown. Rihanna stunned on the red carpet in a gold gown and headpiece by Chinese couture designer Guo Pei, who designed the costumes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In dynastic China, only the emperor was allowed to wear yellow. Well played, RiRi. Actress and singer Zendaya went with a gold crown around her loose, flowing hair.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Tabitha Simmons, and Brie Larson at the 2015 Met Gala. (Photo: Getty)
Sarah Jessica Parker, always a fashion risk taker, made her entrance in a Philip Treacy headpiece: fiery, bold, and very theatrical. Shoe designer Tabitha Simmons’ gold Dolce & Gabbana headpiece was otherworldly and modeled after an aristocratic Chinese headpiece. Actress Brie Larson, who stars in The Gambler alongside Mark Wahlberg, sparkled (literally) in a Dolce and Gabbana headband.
Selena Gomez, Courtney Eaton, and Karen Elson at the 2015 Met Gala. (Photo: Getty)
Selena Gomez dazzled with a silk crepe gown by Vera Wang and a chignon framed by a crown of orchid flowers. Australian actress and model Courtney Eaton also wore a Dolce & Gabbana gold headpiece that perfectly complemented her gown. British supermodel Karen Elson, known for her fiery ginger locks, made a bold statement with a gold Dolce & Gabbana crown.