NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: Charli XCX attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Re...
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NYLON’s 2024 Met Gala Best-Dressed List

The Zendaya look you’re expecting isn’t on here.

My laptop keyboard is still steaming because the 2024 Met Gala red carpet concluded with a Cardi B train that required at least eight handlers, but there’s no time to cool off — we’re going straight into the post-game analysis.

Though, overall, the guest list took a darker, more Boschian reading of the “Garden of Time” dress code than anticipated — “everyone is Maleficent” popped up early on in the group chat — we did see plenty of florals and a smattering of well-placed archival pulls. (Kendall Jenner, for example, went with ‘90s Givenchy that had never previously made contact with a human body.) But because this is the Met Gala, most looks were new creations that drew on older work, such as Zendaya’s Maison Margiela gown, designed by John Galliano referencing John Galliano (when he was at Dior); Penelope Cruz’s off-the-shoulder Chanel chimera-ed together from three disparate frocks; and Nicole Kidman’s Cristóbal-influenced Balenciaga.

But which celebrities were able to transcend the restrictions of both a theme and a dress code that could be taken in many different directions, not to mention down-to-the-wire production times, to reach a higher sartorial plane? Ahead, see our (highly subjective) best-dressed of the evening.

Brie Larson in Prada

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The beading and slightly off color combination are classic Mrs. Prada, but what I really like most about this for tonight is that the bottom half acts like the skeleton of a hoop skirt dragged through — you guessed it — the garden of time. The effect is very “Brie Larson if she were a grand lady from the 19th century who traveled through a wormhole.”

Zendaya in Givenchy Spring/Summer 1996 couture

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Surprise! Zendaya walked the carpet in a second, even stronger look. Some might prefer the first Maison Margiela gown, but I’m all for the infanta drama and the more fashion-y, less punky styling, which aligns with the night slightly better.

Kendall Jenner in 1999 Givenchy

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Yes, the thinking here is pretty “point A to point B” — Jenner said she knew of the existence of this vintage dress, which happened to fit her perfectly — but “Sleeping Beauties” was made for waking up old clothes snoozing away in cold storage and showing them a night on the town. And while the adherence to the theme kind of stops there, does it really need to go further when Jenner looks this good?

Charli XCX in Marni

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The temporal aspect of this, Charli XCX revealed on the red carpet, is that this clingy Marni is made from old reworked T-shirts. The fit is impeccable, as is the level of craftsmanship (just look at that distressing), and it still feels true to a party princess on a fancy night out — which might be why it earned double votes from team NYLON.

Tyla in Balmain

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Upon learning of the theme, I had visions of Flavor Flav clock necklaces, but Olivier Rousteing went the hourglass route with a kitschy accessory and a cheeky (literally — see the next slide), silhouette-emphasizing gown. Love that this is a not-super-straight-on take on the theme that, if you really want to read into it, touches on ideas of mortality!

The Aforementioned Cheekiness

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Taylor Russell in Loewe

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Russell said Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson was inspired by marquetry, which is such an unexpected jump to make from “garden” (to “trees,” I guess, then to “wood veneers”). The juxtaposition of the woodwork and the draped skirt also makes Russell look like a statuesque, half-petrified nymph.

Greta Lee in Loewe

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I couldn’t decide between the previous select and this one... so I’ve included both. The draw of this Loewe dress mostly lies with the sheerness and face shield, but Greta Lee carries it beautifully, and while some will hate on the mullet, it feels more fairy-ish than punk here.

Amelia Gray in Undercover & Messika jewelry

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Another divisive choice that maybe could have done with different styling, but just you wait — once more pics are released of the light-up flowers in action, we bet you’ll change your mind.