What The Met Gala's Really Like, According to Celebrities Who've Gone

The Met Gala might be beautiful, glamorous, and very exclusive, but the one thing it’s not is low-pressure. But you don’t have to take our word for it—mostly because we haven’t been there—you can simply listen to those who have walked the massive red carpet up the stairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the first Monday in May.

In fact, most celebs don’t hold back when it comes to speaking about what the Met Gala is really like. Some gush about how over-the-top and special it is, others have a few gripes, and pretty often guests are simply thrilled to share how they saw Rihanna in the crowd. We relate the most to the latter.

So in preparation for Monday evening’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, take a look at some of the wildest remarks we found from those who’ve been inside the doors (and in front of a hundred red carpet cameras) of the Met Gala.


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“I’m never going again. It was so un-fun. It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all.” 

— Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture gala. Paltrow would take a Met Gala hiatus and then return in 2017.


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“This is my Tamagotchi; it’s been my contribution to this year’s Met Gala. It’s humble, but it’s tech.”

— Katy Perry at the 2016 Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology gala.


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“I’d like to see some real punks in here, some real street punks, but I doubt they were invited.”

— Grace Coddington at the 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture gala.


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“Anna has her ideas about who you should be matched with, and they tend to be good ideas.”

— Claire Danes, at the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass gala. 


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“Nothing compares to coming to the Met Ball. This is more fun. They feed you and only two people make a speech, so it’s a lot more relaxed.” 

Anne Hathaway, comparing the Met Gala to the Oscars, at the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass gala.


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“It’s like a Fellini movie,” she said. “The best and worst of everything is here.”

Madonna, at the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass gala.


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“It’s just like high school.”

— Chloë Sevigny, at the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass gala.


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“It’s an honor to be a part of it. The Met Ball is the Super Bowl of social fashion events.”

— André Leon Talley, discussing the Met Gala in the First Monday in May documentary. 


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“My wife and I were standing with someone who knew Rhianna, and they waved to her, so Rhianna waved back, not at us, but at the person standing next to us, and it was the most exciting part of the night. Just to be in the Rhianna wave zone."

— Seth Meyers discussing his experience at the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass gala on the Tonight Show.


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“The Met stairs, the famous red carpet, has grown in spectacle over the years; it’s a kind of theater.”

Anna Wintour discussing the Met Gala in the First Monday in May documentary. 


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Vogue actually cut off the arms of one of the chairs and turned it into a stool to make Claire’s dining experience more enjoyable.”

— Zac Posen discussing the dress he designed for Claire Danes at the 2016 Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology gala. 


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“I get up there and everyone’s silent. I’m posing, but no one is taking my picture. I look above me and Rhianna is there, I look below me and it’s Madonna. So, of course, no one is taking my picture!”

— Sarah Paulson discussing her red carpet experience at the 2017 Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between gala. 


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“This photo summed up my first and probably last Met Gala”

— Demi Lovato shared this photo on her Instagram following her experience at the 2016 Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology gala. 


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“I was getting tired so I laid down on the stairs!”

— Sean “Diddy” Combs on his experience at the 2017 Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between gala. 

Craving more Met Gala info? Take a look at what some of your favorite celebrities wore the first time they were invited

Gina Marinelli
Senior Editor

Who's your style icon?Taylor Tomasi HillWho are your 5 favorite people to follow on Twitter/Instagram? @tamumcpherson @lisasaysgah @therealgracecoddington @everyoutfitonsatc @notmynonni What's the fashion essential you can’t live without? A leather jacket.What's your desert island album? Beyoncé "B'Day." Or pretty much anything Beyoncé.