Kim Kardashian Met Gala Looks: Her Most Controversial Moments


Photography courtesy of Getty Images

Always audacious, oftentimes offensive and anything but boring, the star’s looks at the annual event always deliver. Here, we’re documenting her buzziest ensembles ever.

Kim Kardashian is very good at being famous. I know this. You know this. Anna Wintour definitely knows this. Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that the reality-star-turned-billionaire-businesswoman knows how to garner attention — and her talent for stirring up spectacle shines brightest at the Met Gala.

Ever since she first attended the esteemed event in 2013, the Skims founder has nary missed the opportunity to saunter up fashion’s favourite steps on the first Monday of May. And why would she? Kim Kardashian has become a fixture of the fussed-about ball, and the 2024 “Sleeping Beauties” theme — which celebrates rare, archival fashion — is even speculated to be a cheeky nod to her hotly debated Marilyn Monroe cosplay. (More on that later.)

Kim Kardashian met gala looks 2022
Photography by Theo Wargo/WireImage

In preparation for this year’s shindig, below is a rundown of the most contentious looks Kim Kardashian has ever dared to don to the Met Gala. Sorted in chronological order, these are the ‘fits that most angered, confused and provoked the court of public opinion. What can I say? I love mess!

2013 Met Gala: Givenchy does florals for spring

Kim Kardashian met gala looks 2013
Photography by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Your grandmother’s couch could never. For her first go at the spiffy soirée, a pregnant Kim Kardashian was the plus-one of her now ex-husband Ye. Her flower-print Givenchy gown featured a thigh-high slit, gloved sleeves and matching open-toe shoes.

Everything was not coming up roses for this look, though, with it being promptly compared to matronly home decor and immortalized in the worst imaginable way — as memes. Most recently, it served as the inspiration for Kourtney Kardashian’s 2023 Halloween costume.

“I was crying the whole way home because I just couldn’t believe it,” Kardashian later told Vogue. On the bright side, it served as a harbinger of viral Kim Kardashian Met Gala looks to come. And to that, I say, good for her!

2019 Met Gala: Mugler’s drenched dress

Kim Kardashian met gala looks 2019
Photography by Getty images

While Karlie Kloss was looking camp right in the eye to prepare for the 2019 Met Gala, Kim Kardashian was squeezing into a gown of unnatural proportions. The skin-tight, soaked-looking ensemble, which was a result of Manfred Thierry Mugler coming out of retirement for the first time since 2003, immediately set off alarm bells on the internet.

Not only was the trompe l’oeil wet effect otherworldly, but conspiracies were hatched as to how, exactly, Kardashian’s waist could be so tiny. She later told WSJ that she had “never felt pain like that in my life,” and that the dress left her with physical indentations on her stomach and back. (Safe!) Little did the world know far more intense body manipulation was on the horizon…

2021 Met Gala: Balenciaga’s blackout

Kim Kardashian met gala looks 2021
Photography by Getty Images

One thing about Kim Kardashian? She can’t seem to pass up the chance to wear Balenciaga. The star has become an unofficial mascot for the much-disputed brand (pre- and post-scandal), and her 2021 Met Gala look is the perfect example.

A year after Covid prevented stars from posing on the viral staircase, she came back with a new look that saw her covered her from head to toe. For the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” theme, Kardashian presented her recognizable silhouette and literally nothing else. Coming from arguably the most famous pop culture figure in the country, it was an undeniably all-American statement to make. A true patriot!

2022 Met Gala: The Marilyn Monroe moment

Kim Kardashian met gala looks 2022
Photography by Getty Images

When it comes to bodily transformations, the star’s 2019 Mugler look was but an amuse-bouche for her jaw-dropping 2022 get-up. To honour the “Gilded Glamour” theme, she plucked the very dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy.

The shimmery design, which hadn’t been worn in decades, further established her any-means-necessary costuming commitment. Not only did she dig deep into the archives for this dress, but she claimed she lost 16 pounds in three months to fit into it. “It was this or nothing,” she told Vogue.

Needless to say, the ensemble was so shocking that the fact that Pete Davidson was her date seemed completely normal.

2023 Met Gala: Schiaparelli’s sea-inspired set

Kim Kardashian met gala looks 2023
Photography by Getty Images

Snatched shapewear met mermaidcore for this Kim Kardashian Met Gala look. Sporting custom Schiaparelli by Daniel Roseberry, the star modelled opulently draped pearls, satin waist cinching and a trailing white cloak.

The freshwater jewels were a nod to the late Karl Lagerfeld, who was the theme of the evening and whose affinity for pearls came through in his time as creative director at Chanel. Though it wasn’t as contentious as the dress she plucked from a museum, reviews were still mixed. But the critic who detested the look more than anyone? Her daughter North West, who famously opined that “the pearls look fake.”

There’s always next year, Kimmie.

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