Met Gala 2021 red carpet: Standout outfits from Grimes, Rihanna, Lil Nas X and more

"Fashion's biggest night" produced big, bold statement-making looks, including a "tax the rich" dress worn by AOC.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
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Abrar Al-Heeti
Jennifer Bisset
4 min read
Grimes at Met Gala

Grimes brought a sword to the Met Gala. 

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Celebs arrived on the steps of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 2021 Met Gala Monday evening donning extravagant, bold and flashy getups in the theme of In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. The annual gala, organized by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, raises funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.  

Vogue shared a livestream, co-hosted by actor and recording artist Keke Palmer and actor, writer and director Ilana Glazer. Palmer and Glazer greeted guests on the grand steps of the Met and offered commentary on the many unique ensembles. Here are some of the standout looks from the highly anticipated event that followed a year of pandemic-related lockdowns and cancelations.  


The piece de resistance: Rihanna. The icon everyone was waiting for finally appeared at the show, and boy did she bring it. As the final celebrity to walk the red carpet, Rihanna closed out the night wearing a Balenciaga overcoat and matching hat.

Hailee Steinfeld

Not only did she feature in the Marvel's new Hawkeye trailer these past 24 hours, the singer-actor rocked up looking near unrecognizable at the Gala, and not just thanks to her Iris Van Herpen outfit.

Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes

The stunning couple brought flair (and more bare skin) to proceedings, making their debut at the gala as a pair in style.

Kristen Stewart

The actor made waves a couple of weeks ago as Princess Diana in the trailer for the upcoming biopic Spencer. She hit the red carpet looking even more striking in her playful Chanel interpretation of the In America theme.

Lil Nas X

The rapper stole the show not once, not twice, but three times as he revealed multiple looks from Versace. Starting with a royal dress, he de-robed to a gold armor suit and then a sparkling body suit.

Frank Ocean

It's the weird we've all been waiting for. The singer wore a sleek velvety outfit, accessorized with... what can only be described as one of Shrek's kids. The green robot baby doll certainly shares his babysitter's hair.

"In America, we do set some trends, especially in music," Ocean told host Keke Palmer during his red carpet interview, offering the tiniest of explanations for his accessory.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC wrapped herself in a literal fashion statement: a Brother Vellies, tuxedo-inspired dress adorned with the words: "Tax the rich."


Supermodel Iman Abdulmajid sailed in with a certified show-stopper, wearing a custom Harris Reed and Dolce Gabbana number.

Olivia Rodrigo

Eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo made her Met Gala debut a memorable one, pulling on a sheer lace Saint Laurent jumpsuit.

Simone Biles 

The Olympic gymnast doesn't do things by halves. She does things by thirds -- wearing a three-in-one, 88-pound outfit, consisting of a skirt, mini-dress, black catsuit and a whole lot of Swarovski crystals.

Jennifer Lopez

JLo understood the assignment, tipping her hat to Ralph Lauren in a magnificent leather and feather harmonizing gown.

Megan Thee Stallion 

The rapper brought '80s prom vibes with her classy pale pink number by Coach. As she raps in her Grammy-winning song Savage, "classy, bougie, ratchet (yeah)."

Timothée Chalamet

The actor, one of this year's Met Gala co-chairs, showed up in a comfy-looking white ensemble featuring a satin tuxedo jacket, sweatpants and beige high-top Converse shoes.

Amanda Gorman

The poet, another event co-chair, arrived in a dazzling blue dress and matching strappy heels.

Billie Eilish

Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, yet another co-chair, looked stunning in a flowy, Marilyn Monroe-esque Oscar de la Renta dress with a massive train.

Pete Davidson 

Actor Pete Davidson channeled prep school vibes, wearing a thigh-length blazer... and a dark frock. With long socks to his mid calves and big boots, he pulls it off.

Naomi Osaka

Rounding out the list of this year's co-chairs, the tennis star arrived in an ensemble featuring an array of fun colors, textures and cuts.

Megan Rapinoe

The USWNT soccer star traded the soccer pitch for the red carpet -- wearing a redder than red suit to match. Her blue clutch left yet another statement, reading "In gay we trust."

Dan Levy

The Schitt's Creek star flaunted an eye-catching, puffy sleeve top with matching pants and studded black boots.

Leon Bridges

Singer-songwriter Leon Bridges paid homage to the American south with a blue fringe look and cowboy hat. 

Maisie Williams 

The Game of Thrones star graced the red (white, actually) carpet in a black dress with a long, sequined train and a partial cage hoop skirt.

Jon Snow, Rose Leslie 

Everyone's favorite Game of Thrones golden couple on screen and off. Harington's white-topped suit let his wife's eye-catching mustard dress take center stage.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney's outfit gave a nod to the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the US Constitution asserting that someone's legal rights shouldn't be determined by their sex.