2019 Met Gala: Behind-The-Scenes Drama You Didn't See

The 2019 Met Gala made fashion fun again. Though 2018's "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" blessed us with Pope Fenty, this year saw some of the most over-the-top, whimsical fashion to ever grace the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (well, beyond Blair Waldorf's early '00s-era headbands). Even Lady Gaga forced a rare smile out of the typically stoic Anna Wintour with four epic costume changes before she made it through the door.

2019's theme was "Camp: Notes on Fashion." No, we're not talking about camp as in Disney's Camp Rock, though Joe Jonas deeply regrets missing the opportunity. We're talking about hyper exaggerated, larger-than-life fashion — the kind of vibe that would prompt Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke to wear twin fetish outfits like a dark, sexy Ice Climbers cosplay. It's the kind of vibe that makes Jared Leto carry a his own head like a handbag because just the one isn't big enough. 

According to Harper's Bazaar, the actual costume exhibition was inspired by Susan Sontag's 1964 essay that defines the word as "love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration." Needless to say, a lot of stuff happened where selfie cameras were strictly banned. Let Katy Perry's chandelier light your way through everything you missed at the 2019 Met Gala.

The real reason you didn't see Millie Bobby Brown

It's a shame Millie Bobby Brown won't be able to lift Anna Wintour's new age restriction with her mind because toting around a pack of Eggo waffles as an accessory would have been the definition of the Met Gala's 2019 theme. Unfortunately, the event closed its doors to anyone under the age of 18 in 2018. That means our hopes of seeing the cast of Stranger Things, Billie Eilish, and Sia prodigy Maddie Ziegler in their teenage incarnations of camp — which if adolescence has taught us anything, would be crazy dramatic — were effectively squashed.

The reason for the policy change was initially up in the air. According to The Hollywood Reporter, people guessed it was a reaction to the rule-breaking A-listers who were caught smoking in the bathrooms, but these celebrities — including Kim Kardashian West, Bella Hadid, and Chris Martin's consciously coupled girlfriend Dakota Johnson — weren't teenagers at all. It ultimately came down the the fact that organizers deemed the event inappropriate for those under the age of 18. All kids need a parental chaperone, and that's the law of the land.

Karlie Kloss ripped her dress right before walking the carpet

Sometimes the universe sends us signs. Karlie Kloss ignored all of them. The model was absolutely dragged by Twitter for her decidedly uncampy metallic gold mini dress. If only she listened when it apparently revolted against her and ripped before hitting the pink carpet. Instead, the starlet ignored the universe's will and had her team mend her getup's puffy sleeve before it could float away like a deleted scene from Up.

This wasn't Kloss' only Met Gala hiccup. In an Instagram story (via Town & Country), the model revealed her husband forgot to pick up his tux from the dry cleaner — an offense which should be punishable by divorce, but alas, they're still basking in that newlywed glow. Girl, that behavior is going to be very annoying in 30 years.

Despite the rough start, Kloss did end up making it to the gala on time, where she strutted down the pink carpet looking like the interior of Donald Trump's NYC penthouse apartment. Her brother-in-law was probably very pleased.

Katy Perry got totally lit

If Maddie Ziegler was old enough to attend the Met Gala, she would be swinging from Katy Perry's costume all the way across the pink carpet. The singer brought a new, painfully literal meaning to "lit" when she showed up to the event dressed as a giant, functional crystal chandelier — but where did she put her battery pack? (Get your head out of the gutter. It was hidden in her corset).

As an occasional wearer of fashion orthodontic headgear and the inadvertent brainchild behind Left Shark, Perry is no stranger to camp, but she definitely suffered for her art. According to Vogue, Moschino designer Jeremy Scott and his team spent six weeks affixing thousands of Swarovski crystals to the dress, which weighed a whopping 40 pounds. He estimates that it's his most complicated creation to date (he also did Kacey Musgraves' simple but kitschy hot pink Barbie look).

Perry, who knows her way around a costume change, didn't remain a light fixture for the entirety of the night (the batteries were bound to run out eventually if the lifespan of our iPhones tell us anything). Instead, she hopped into what appeared to be the Met bathroom and emerged a glittering hamburger. Considering the Met Gala has a ban on unattractive food, we're guessing she didn't go animal style.

Ryan Murphy skipped the seatbelt

If American Horror Story didn't tip us off that Ryan Murphy had an incredibly twisted mind, his commitment to suffer for fashion proves he must truly have a dark soul — or in the very least, he doesn't mind torturing himself by lugging around 100 pounds of beaded cape. That's basically like a whole Olsen twin (who, by the way, also looked stunning while eschewing the theme. Those gals don't do camp, they do couture)!

According to People, Murphy's Liberace-inspired, pearl-encrusted Christian Siriano getup took two months to make, and weighed more than 100 pounds. It was so heavy it came equipped with a harness, and it took five people just to put on the hood. By all accounts, Murphy might have risked his life for fashion because he couldn't even sit down in the car once he got dressed, meaning he most likely skipped out on a seat belt.

"I had to lay flat in the car to get here," he told People.

Now, we're all just picturing Murphy's team sliding him out of limousine doors like a pearlescent pizza in a brick oven, and you thought American Horror Story was scary.

Billy Porter was inspired by Diana Ross

Tony Award winner Billy Porter took a page from the Lady Gaga playbook, and made a really powerful entrance. It was such a spectacle that Vogue hailed it the "most fabulous entrance in Met Gala history." Mere hours before jumping on a velvet throne carried by a team of well-oiled, shirtless dancers, Porter was sipping rosé in bed and collecting his thoughts. As it turns out, it was just a small diva moment inspired by the diva that basically created the definition.

Porter's "Sun God" look — which included gold-leaf shoes and a custom catsuit with a 10-foot wingspan — was inspired by none other than Diana Ross. In an interview with Playbill, the actor admitted that Ryan Murphy, who went to the gala as Liberace, initially floated the idea that the Kinky Boots star should dress up as the iconic singer's Mahogany montage. The montage saw five outfits, but Porter felt most connected to the "Egyptian moment," which included notes of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Camp at its finest.

Lady Gaga had four outfit changes and almost $2 million of jewels

There can be 100 people in a room, and maybe 99 of those people won't believe in you. All you really need is the one person who does — and four outfit changes on a single red carpet to convince those other 99. That's exactly how Lady Gaga rolled up to the Met Gala.

In the past, we've seen Gaga master the art of camp — need we look any further than the time she sported the Trader Joe's refrigerated food aisle as formal wear? For the 2019 gala, Gaga shuffled through four outfits starting with a hot pink parachute dress that was so heavy it had to be carried by five people. After an elegant black gown and hot pink slip dress (complete with '90s-style cellphone), the "Shallow" singer ended her tour de fashion rolling around on the Met Gala stairs in glittery fishnets.

On top of the obvious theatrics behind Gaga's four different looks, the singer reportedly sported nearly $2 million worth of jewelry. Curiously enough, one of those gems looked exactly like the $400,000 engagement ring given to her by Christian Carino before they called it quits, though E! News claims it was a sapphire. The majority of the jewelry's value came from Gaga's 15 carat, diamond Tiffany True Ring, which runs a reported $1,165,000.

Kim Kardashian West pulled Thierry Mugler out of retirement

Kardashian West channeled a California surfer babe rising from the depths of the frigid Pacific ocean, and walking straight onto the Met Gala pink carpet. For her dripping wet, sea-inspired look, the reality star pulled off a feat like no other. Not only did she either temporarily remove her internal organs or put up with some very uncomfortable corset work, the star pulled Thierry Mugler out of his 20-year retirement.

In pink carpet interview with Vogue, Kardashian West revealed that her dress marked the first time in two decades Mugler personally designed a look for the House of Thierry Mugler. It took a whopping eight months to wash up on shore and probably even longer to splash down the reality star's bizarre, desk-like bathroom sink

For the after-party, Kardashian West dried off and slipped into something a little less comfortable — a baby blue latex look with a tinsel wig and matching go-go boots. Kanye stuck with an affordable $43 jacket worth slightly less than the socks he sold at Coachella. There wasn't a prayer he wouldn't be overshadowed by his wife, so what's the point? 

Tiffany Haddish brought her own chicken

The Met Gala isn't exactly known for its menu beyond serving up the occasional Katy Perry-burger. According to the New York Post, "unattractive" foods are strictly banned, and it apparently gets so dire that even Celine Dion was starved enough to grab a hot dog from a street food cart after the event in 2017. This year, Man Repeller's Instagram story (via Refinery29) revealed celebs dined on baby shrimp toast (hopefully sans cocaine), panna cotta-stuffed tomatoes, asparagus tarts, and an entree involving beef filet, tomato rye tartlets, "haricots verts" (you can just call them green beans here in Hollywood), an orange flower-garnished citrus balsamic, carrots, and a mascarpone potato purée. But, like, where's the real food?

Any well-versed A-lister knows it's best to not rely on a $35,000-per-ticket event to actually feed you, so stars make it a point to fill up before walking the pink carpet. Both GiGi Hadid and Lana Condor opted for noodles, while Camila Morrone chose handfuls of Honey Nut Cheerios. Tiffany Haddish, who admitted to People that she was absolutely starving last year because "it was not enough food," probably had the most sound plan of action. The star stuffed some homemade chicken into her purse to snack on when the haricots verts wouldn't cut it.

Rihanna named Anna Wintour best dressed

Pope Robyn Rihanna Fenty has spoken, and clouds of marijuana smoke and Killawatt highlighter glitter have billowed out from under her umbrella-ella-ella. She has chosen the new queen, and that queen is Anna Wintour. Wait, what?

It shouldn't be news by now that Rihanna is the unspoken queen of the Met Gala. If her Pope outfit didn't cut it, she pulled off the runny yolk look better than a Waffle House omelette (and anyone who's ever had to cure a hangover in the earliest hours of night knows that greasy goodness is impossible to beat). This year, bad gal RiRi skipped out on the event. It's not really clear why, but perhaps the Pope needed his hat, or more realistically, she was working on some new goodies for Fenty Beauty. Nonetheless, Rihanna lent the Swarovski-gilded crown of Met Gala Queen to Anna Wintour, who probably should have been wearing it in the first place. In an Instagram post, the singer named Wintour, who wore a millennial pink-feathered cape, the "best dressed" of the ball. Don't get comfortable, Wintour. There's always next year.

Anna Wintour's dream guests never showed (but Amy Schumer did)

The Met Gala is an event fit for royalty, and that's exactly why Anna Wintour reportedly wants royalty to attend. In an interview with the Today show, Vogue's editor-in-chief revealed that the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge were her "dream" guests (sans husbands because do we really want to see Prince William's interpretation of camp?).

Unfortunately, this year Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle were a little bit busy. According to TIME, Markle welcomed her first child with Prince Harry — seventh in line to the throne — the same day as the event. Amy Schumer, who delivered a less royal baby that same day, managed to stop by the gala for a quick photo-op on her way to give birth. We're not saying you didn't try hard enough Markle, but step it up. You're a princess now.

Wintour's guest list is notoriously exclusive. Beyond her open invite to Markle and Middleton, Wintour allegedly has an extensive list of celebs who have been barred from the event (or are simply not famous enough to attend). According to the New York Post, Tim Gunn, Coco Rocha, Rachel Zoe, and Donald Trump have all reportedly been nixed from invite list.

No selfies, Cole Sprouse!

Ever wonder why we don't see many celebrity selfies from the Met Gala? Well, the event has a litany of rules that are practically made to be broken. In an interview with the Today show, Anna Wintour confirmed that "no selfies" is totally one of them. C'mon, what's campier than a duck-face?

This rule goes along with no smoking (You're in an a museum — let's not damage the priceless works of art), no declining an invite (you won't get invited again unless you're basically Beyonce) and no unattractive food (Tiffany Haddish's purse chicken be darned). According to the New York Post, Wintour even reportedly encourages mingling so fiercely that she seats spouses apart from each other so people are forced to — gasp – make friends.

Of course, you can't really tell A-listers what to do. They're used to a lifetime of yeses, and so they will smoke if they want to smoke, and they will selfie if they want to selfie. According to Page Six, Cole Sprouse and Luka Sabbat were the biggest offenders this year. They snapped a selfie while smoking, and we can be assured we'll never see them at the event again. When you're not as famous as P. Diddy or a Kardashian, do you really want to roll the dice?

Cher showed up for a surprise performance

What would camp be without Cher? Of course the queen of camp was going to swish her wig and turn back time at the Met Gala. She just threw us off her trail by entirely skipping the red carpet. According to People, Cher hopped on stage for a surprise performance during dinner, which is "completely closed off from the public." Luckily for us, Gwen Stefani bent the rules and posted some of the 72-year-old icon's set to her Instagram story (along with Katy Perry crying and singing in her seat).

In typical Cher fashion, the star embodied the campiest of camp by donning a sparkling, sheer catsuit, biker jacket and voluminous blue wig (not pictured) while running through some of her greatest hits like "Believe" and "If I Could Turn Back Time." According to Pitchfork, she also sang a cover of Abba's "Waterloo," and yes, there was a wig and costume change. At one point, Cher even wore relaxed fit, light wash jeans, which belong to the small subsect of '80s camp that makes most fashionistas want to barf up their mascarpone potato puree. At least it probably looks the same coming out as it did going in, but obviously, Cher pulled the look off because what can't she do?