When it comes to the Met Gala, nobody does it like Sarah Jessica Parker. The actress is known to take each year’s theme very seriously and puts deep thought and research into every look. Over the years, she’s worked with top designers like Alexander McQueen and Oscar de la Renta to bring her creative ideas to life. For a fashion-forward walk down memory lane, check out SJP’s absolutely stunning Met Gala looks through the years.
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With a theme like “Haute Couture,” it makes sense why Sarah Jessica Parker chose this fitted black number. She bought it from a thrift store and did her own hair and makeup for her very first Met Gala.
When the actress asked Alexander McQueen to attend the 2006 event with her, she was surprised that he accepted her invitation. He designed their coordinating looks according to that year’s theme, “AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion.”
The side view of her dress is just as gorgeous as the front, with the red and black plaid giving a nod to both British fashion and that year’s sponsor, Burberry.
Despite her stunning outfit, the actress later told Vogue that her nerves got the best of her: “It wasn’t a fun night. Like, it was, but it wasn’t because I was so nervous.”
SJP also revealed she kept every piece of extra fabric and all the pins the late designer Alexander McQueen used for her fittings for this look.
This iconic Halston gown was meant to symbolize late ’70s American fashion. Everything from the silhouette to the accessories went along with the “American Women: Fashioning a National Identity” theme.
While in motion, the dress takes on a life of its own. It’s easy to see why this is still considered one of Parker’s best Met Gala looks.
Choosing Halston was an easy choice for SJP, who at the time was the brand’s president and chief creative officer. She stepped away less than a year later, but remains grateful for the experience. “There is no way that I would have walked away from that enormous responsibility without learning something,” she later told Vanity Fair.
A year after Alexander McQueen’s passing, the Met Gala honored the designer by making him and his influence on the fashion industry the theme of 2011. Parker arrived in this high-neck, beaded gown by the late designer, calling it “not something I normally wear” to Vogue.
While it was the dress that stole the show, her mint green shoes added a playful pop of color to the look.
The full look—from the detailed embroidery to the polished updo—reminded Parker of style icon Lee Radziwill, as well as Valentino in the ’60s.
This taffeta Valentino gown wasn’t just beautiful, it was also one of her most comfortable looks. The floral fabric and the beautifully-made dress celebrated the “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” theme.
Check out her matching shoes—they were covered in the same fabric as her dress. Since the dress was so long, the special shoes only made an appearance when the actress moved around.
For the clearly-defined theme “Punk: From Chaos to Couture,” Parker opted for this memorable pink, gold, and black Giles Deacon dress. “I should not pick favorites and I’m not going to say that it’s my favorite, but it’s pretty close,” she told Vogue.
We can’t talk about this look without mentioning the headpiece, designed by professional milliner (hat designer) Philip Treacy. The accessory was so tall, Parker had to sit on the floor of her car on the way to the event.
As if Parker’s mohawk and metallic dress weren’t enough, her plaid thigh-high boots brought the look to even greater heights.
With her long gloves, satin skirt, and black bodice, Parker fully embraced her inner Old Hollywood starlet with this look for the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” theme.
The back of Parker’s dress was a tribute to Charles James’s mathematical approach to fashion, since the theme celebrated the life and legacy of the 20th century designer.
Having Oscar de la Renta’s name in scarlet on the back—now one of the most memorable parts of the look—almost never happened. The designer was extremely hesitant, and only agreed after Parker repeatedly asked him and his team to do it for her. Thankfully, he ended up loving the look, which was his last public design before passing away the following year.
This gown was an extra special one for the actress, who helped personally design it as a collaboration with H&M. The elaborate headpiece, made once again by Philip Treacy, arrived within hours of the Met Gala starting.
This dramatic train is what the Met Gala is all about. Everything from the bold red color to the dragon-inspired headpiece went along with the “China: Through the Looking Glass” theme.
The actress was involved in every part of this look’s creation, right down to the shoes. The see-through bootie heels were part of her SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker collection.
This Monse look was inspired by Hamilton. After seeing the musical, Parker was mesmerized by the costumes, and wanted to bring them into 2016’s “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” theme. “We didn’t want it to be about the electronic screen or something that could turn on and off. We wanted it to be about the technology of thought, of application, of fabrication. The technology of the hand and the machine,” she wrote in T Magazine.
The back is where you can really get a sense of the 1700s influence, including the lace-up corset.
To give the look a quirky touch, the actress placed two of her own brooches—each a different shape and color—on her shoes.
In 2017, SJP wore this Dolce & Gabbana look. She nailed the theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” in the Naples-inspired gown.
Despite this gold headpiece looking weighty, it wasn’t very heavy at all. The hardest part about it, Parker later revealed, was unpinning it from her head by herself once she got home.
The train also took some work to squeeze into her car. But, as the actress told Vogue, “You just do it. You’re going to the Met, you know what I mean? It’s not taxing.”
Clearly, Parker has left a huge impression on the Met Gala. What will she wear next? Only time will tell.
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