The 2019 Met Gala red carpet ranked best to worst

The Met Gala, in case you aren't already familiar, is a star-studded affair designed to raise funds for The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, including the launch of its spring exhibition. Vogue editor Anna Wintour took the annual benefit to the next level in 2003, when she began courting celebrities to co-chair the glitzy ball, all the way from model Gisele Bündchen to tennis pro Serena Williams, to name a few famous faces. And now that the coveted event is catnip for the rich and famous, fans across the world tune into social media every year to see what their favorite celebs are wearing. 

What makes the Met Gala different from other red carpets? There's a different theme every year, so odds are you won't see many black tuxes and traditional dresses at the event. The fundraiser's 2019 theme, "Camp: Notes on Fashion," was a testament to this sentiment, paying homage to "irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration," according to the Met's press release. Andrew Bolton, the head curator of the Met's Costume Institute, took the definition of the concept a bit further, describing it as "a site of debate rather than consensus," according to NBC News.

So, how did your top celebrities tackle this ambiguous theme? Some knocked it out of the park (we're looking at you, Janelle Monáe), while others weren't as successful (sorry, Patrick Schwarzenegger). Put on your trademark sunglasses and let's dissect the 2019 Met Gala red carpet, ranked from best to worst.

Janelle Monáe was a walking piece of art

We don't know where to start with singer-actress Janelle Monáe's iconic look, but we'll try our best to do her justice. For starters, Monáe absolutely nailed the theme in a black, white, and hot pink Christian Siriano-designed gown complete with a blinking eye bra. No, for real — the feathered eye actually blinked. The eye was programmed with a random blinking sequence, which is why Monáe's stylist, Alexandra Mandelkorn, joked to The Hollywood Reporter: "So she really does have a mind of her own."

Oh, and how could we forget Monaé's impressive hat sculpture? Girl walked around the event with not one, but four hats on top of her head throughout the evening. Simply incredible.

Mandelkorn elaborated on the ensemble's concept in an interview with Variety, stating: "We looked to campy surreal art for our inspiration. Janelle is a huge fan of Picasso and Dali and we really wanted the surreal nature of their works to come through in the look." 

Harry Styles embodied the theme

One Direction alum and singer Harry Styles co-chaired the 2019 Met Gala alongside Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele, and Vogue's Anna Wintour. Given Style's role of prominence at the affair, he probably had high expectations to live up to, all the way from his fans to other famous attendees. Luckily for the ex-boy bander's clout, he rose above the occasion in a sheer Gucci top paired with high waisted trousers. The black top, that showed off Styles tattoos, we might add, had a big bow down the front and frilly sleeves. Swoon.

To top the daring look off, Styles wore a single teardrop pearl earring adorned with a bee and rings bearing his initials. The fine print can really make or break a look, right?

"This look is about taking traditionally feminine elements like the frills, heeled boots, sheer fabric and the pearl earring, but then rephrasing them as masculine pieces set against the high-waisted tailored trousers and his tattoos," Styles' stylist, Harry Lambert, told Miss Vogue about the outfit. "The look, I feel, is elegant. It's camp, but still Harry." 

Lady Gaga stole the show

The 2019 Met Gala's "camp" theme was tailor-made for songstress and co-chair Lady Gaga, who stole the show with four different Brandon Maxwell-designed outfits. The pop star arrived at the event wearing a massive and bright pink gown, the train of which was held up a squad of umbrella holding dudes in tuxedos. Lady Gaga's makeup was equally as intense, with the actress sporting incredibly long and gold eyelashes.

Lady Gaga then transitioned into a black ball gown that she accessorized with her very own umbrella, followed by a skintight and spaghetti strap pink dress. The "Shallow" singer ended her performance with black lingerie comprised of platform heels, a glittery bra, and fishnet stockings. Talk about an impressive journey.

Although everyone might not be a fan of Lady Gaga's theatrical fashion, it's hard to deny her homage to camp impressed fans. "The QUEEN of camp indeed!" an admirer on Twitter wrote. 

Serena Williams was a leafy dream

Tennis star and co-chair of the 2019 Met Gala Serena Williams was a stunning vision of beauty in a custom and neon yellow Atelier Versace gown adorned with bright pink leaves. From the dress' long train to the ruffled shoulders, the mama was a showstopper from start to finish. 

What made the look especially iconic? Williams wore electric green "Nike x Off-White Air Force One sneakers, logo'd with 'Air' underneath the breathtaking gown, according to Vogue. Too cool.

If you're surprised by Williams' playful take on fashion, don't be — as it turns out, the talented athlete would often play "designer" as a young girl. "I've always loved fashion," she told Business of Fashion. "I remember when I was a kid, my mom used to make all our outfits. Back then, they had Vogue patterns. I would always see her pinning them and making all our clothes. And she taught us how to sew early on. So, I used to sew clothes for my dolls out of old socks and I would cut them up and make little outfits out of them." Aww.

Billy Porter was so extra, but in a good way

Singer-actor Billy Porter arrived to the 2019 Met Gala as an Egyptian "Sun God," carried by a group of men in revealing gold outfits. As if that stunning entrance wasn't enough, Porter dazzled the event's fellow attendees with a custom made outfit by The Blond's, which included "10-foot wings, a 24-karat gold headpiece, as well as custom gold-leaf Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and fine jewels by Andreoli and Oscar Heyman," according to Vogue. Ugh, we're so not worthy of Porter's genius.

As for how Porter arrived at this gorgeous and unique concept? You can thank Glee creator Ryan Murphy.

"We stumbled upon this Egyptian idea. Ryan Murphy, we were talking — I'm at Ryan's table. Ryan was talking about, 'You should go as Diana Ross' Mahogany montage, five outfits,'" Ross told Playbill. "But who wants to work that hard throughout the evening? But I watched the montage and the thing that stuck out to me the most was the Egyptian look. It was this Diana Ross Egyptian moment that launched it and we expanded from there, to Elizabeth Taylor, to Egyptians were gods so this is the sun god. All different ideas came into play and we landed on what we got."

Celine Dion was a sparkly goddess

Similarly to Lady Gaga, the 2019 Met Gala's "camp" theme seems to fit Celine Dion's personality perfectly. And given Dion's flair for dramatic and colorful attire, we're not too surprised that she graced the high-profile affair wearing a metallic and fringe-accented Oscar de la Renta gown that "weighed in at over 22 pounds," according to People. To top the sparkly look off, the musical icon wore an eye-catching headpiece that was out of this world. Oh là là.

Although Dion's Ziegfeld Follies-inspired ensemble was a hit, the breathtaking outfit almost didn't happen due to Dion's confusion about the event's camp theme. "I was ready to camp and sleep all night. They said, 'Girl, you don't know what camp is. Oscar de la Renta's going to show you,'" she told E! News (via People) about her initial mixup. Ha! We're glad to hear Oscar de la Renta swooped in to save the day.

Hailey Baldwin missed the mark

Hailey Baldwin's first Met Gala as a married woman fell flat, despite the fact that she looked gorgeous in a pink and open back Alexander Wang gown. The form fitting ensemble hugged Baldwin's curves in all of the right places and we loved her classic makeup, but we couldn't help but notice that the model misunderstood the "camp" theme. We're not fashion experts by any means, but the look is missing a certain je ne sais quoi. "Why does Hailey Bieber always serve the most basic boring looks," a frustrated commenter vented on Twitter.

Hey, at least her hubby, Justin Bieber, was a fan of the outfit. "STUNNING GOO GOO," the singer shared to his Instagram Stories, according to People. Um, "goo goo?" We haven't heard that one before.

Who knows, maybe the visible Alexander Wang thong that Baldwin wore that evening is what did it for Bieber. To each their own, right?

We're not sure what Travis Scott was aiming for

Kylie Jenner's boyfriend, rapper Travis Scott, showed up to the 2019 Met Gala wearing a very curious ensemble. The "Sicko Mode" rapper donned a tan brown suit, complete with black leather gloves and a holster. We not sure what vibe Scott was going for here (military theme or space cadet?), but at least he upped the ante by choosing a stellar fashion house for the look — Dior Men.

Scott has never been one for elaborate looks, however, a sentiment he touched on in an interview with Houstonia magazine. "Back in the day when I was traveling about, I didn't have clothes, so I just used to pull shit together, but once I got settled it changed a bit," he told the outlet. "But I always had my staples, you know, like a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, so I had to go from there. But I didn't have the same quality back then."

But the rapper doesn't need many accessories when he has Jenner on his arm — the new mom slayed in a lavender Versace gown. 

Karlie Kloss' look was a bit of a snooze

Model Karlie Kloss is typically a fashion powerhouse, so we were a bit surprised when she showed up to the 2019 Met Gala in an arguably boring Dapper Dan-designed ensemble. Although the gold mini dress with black balloon sleeves looked stunning on the runway vet, many people roasted Kloss for playing it safe given the party's loud and eccentric theme. "A moment of silence for Karlie Kloss, she ain't dead but her fashion is," one Twitter user quipped.

There's a good chance Kloss paid the backlash no mind, as she's no stranger to public criticism. "At the end of the day, I've had to make decisions based on my own moral compass — forget what the public says, forget about social media," she told Vogue in September 2018.

Not to mention, Kloss had the support of her husband, Joshua Kushner, at the event. Joshua tends to be pretty private, so it's a big deal that he came out to support his new wife —hopefully, the two had a fabulous time at the party.

Patrick Schwarzenegger phoned it in

Arnold Schwarzenegger's son and model Patrick Schwarzenegger didn't do himself any favors when he showed up to the 2019 Met Gala in a tuxedo blazer paired with jeans and a cowboy hat. Yep, you read that correctly — Patrick showed up to the star-studded affair looking like Billy Ray Cyrus, the dad of his ex-girlfriend, Miley Cyrus. But unlike the flashy and loud Billy Ray — who is the definition of camp, in our opinion — Patrick didn't really lean into any character. Instead, the actor played it safe with cowboy boots and topaz jewelry, or as one amused fan on Twitter put it: "Patrick Schwarzenegger took a wrong turn looking for the Old Town Road.' Burn. 

The upside for Schwarzenegger? He showed up to the event with Victoria's Secret model Taylor Hill on his arm. But don't get any ideas about a possible romance — as of February 2019, Hill is dating her longtime boyfriend, model and actor Michael Stephen Shank. Oh well.