Met Gala 2018: A Minute-by-Minute Breakdown of Everything You Missed on the Red Carpet and Beyond
From Frances McDormand declaring that she’s a Pagan to Janelle Monae and Lena Waithe’s dance off.
There are already several moments from this year’s Met Gala that will go down as pop culture canon: Rihanna dressed as the Pope of Fashion, Riverdale stars Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse confirming their long-rumored relationship with one quick photo op, Kylie Jenner’s first big post-baby red carpet appearance…the list goes on. But for every impossible-to-miss moment that you’ll see on the Internet for weeks to come, there were some quiet moments on the Met Gala red carpet that you won’t see in photos. From cohost Rihanna’s late arrival to Kris Jenner’s Mean Girls moment, here is a minute-by-minute recap of exactly what went down on the Met Gala red carpet.
5:40 p.m. As per Met Gala tradition, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is the first person to hit the carpet, wearing Chanel. She describes the look as “cardinal Chanel.”
5:46 p.m. Cohost Amal Clooney is working the red carpet in a remarkably loud Richard Quinn ensemble, while husband George Clooney jokes around with the reporters heckling him from the sidelines. Someone asks if it is fun to be away from the kids for the night. “They’re under the dress,” George fires back.
5:55 p.m. Newly minted Best Actor Oscar winner Gary Oldman hits the red carpet before cohost Rihanna, who was expected to arrive early to fulfill her cohosting duties.
5:57 p.m. Also here before Riri: Daniel Kaluuya. What, you thought she’d be on time?
6:08 p.m. The H&M crew—Lili Reinhart, Kiersey Clemons, Olivia Munn, Alek Wek, and Jasmine Sanders—arrive in color-coordinating metallics, but the real photo op comes when Reinhart grabs Cole Sprouse to join her, conforming their long-rumored relationship in the process.
6:14 p.m. Rihanna still isn’t here, but Rita Ora is!
6:24.p.m. Donatella Versace has arrived and she’s in very good spirits, gamely chatting with reporters as she makes her way down the carpet. She says brother Gianni Versace would have “loved” the theme.
6:32 p.m. A second long-rumored couple is making their public debut: Katherine McPhee and David Foster.
6:35 p.m. Katherine Langford arrives for her first Met Gala with Love, Simon costar Nick Robinson. Both look endearingly overwhelmed.
Met Gala 2018: See What Celebrities Wore on the Red Carpet
Rihanna at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Cardi B at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Lily Collins at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Donald Glover at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Selena Gomez at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Katherine Langford at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Jasmine Sanders at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Rosie Huntington Whiteley at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Kate Upton at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Winnie Harlow at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Alek Wek at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Zendaya at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Priyanka Chopra at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Migos at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
George and Amal Clooney at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Ariana Grande at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Kim Kardashian at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Blake Lively at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Bella Hadid at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
SZA at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Kendall Jenner at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Janelle Monae at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Emily Ratajkowski at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Daniel Kaluuya at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Gigi Hadid at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Katy Perry at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Paris Jackson at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
Madonne and Nicki Minaj at the 2018 Met Gala. Photograph by Benedict Evans for W Magazine.
6:39 p.m. The end of the carpet is going crazy as someone makes their grand entrance. It’s still not Rihanna. But, Bella Hadid! And in a very goth look, no less. The model makes her way inside, full steam ahead. “My train is glued to my head; I can’t stop!” she explains, before indeed stopping to say hi to former stepdad Foster and McPhee.
6:53 p.m. At the top of the red carpet, Kerry Washington’s husband, Nnamdi Asomugha, hands over her phone as she wraps up photos. “I didn’t get any pictures,” he tells her. “You were too busy socializing” she jokes back.
6:55 p.m. Uma Thurman, arriving with designer Gabriela Hearst, is on the hunt for model daughter Maya Hawke. “I think she would’ve been here already,” she muses to a nearby publicist.
7:05 p.m. At last, Rihanna is here, and she is dressed as a pope, of course. She rushes in to take her place in the receiving line. Ashley Graham trails behind her chanting, “Rihanna said I look good!” Wouldn’t you do the same?
7:10 p.m. Hysterics erupt on the red carpet as photographers yell at Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Karen Elson to get out of some apparently very important shot. As it turns out, 2 Chainz just proposed to his wife. “There was an engagement! I’m in the background clapping in all those pictures!” Lily Aldridge confirms, incredulously.
7:26 p.m. The couple debuts just keep coming! Here comes Shawn Mendes and Hailey Baldwin, who has pink hair for the evening. Guess that’s how they do things at noted cool church Hillsong.
7:27 p.m. Frances McDormand causes a mad scene as she runs by in a fully feathered Valentino headdress. “I’m a pagan!” she exclaims when asked about the evening’s theme.
7:33 p.m. The entire red carpet whoops as Katy Perry arrives in full-size angel wings. Even James Corden stops mid-interview to turn around and stare. “Should we go photobomb her?” Taylor Hill jokingly asks fellow model Jourdan Dunn. When Perry finally makes it to the top of the stairs, she shares that her look is Versace. “I’m feeling very angelic,” she adds. Perry then has to get crafty when it comes to actually walking in the museum doors, turning fully to the side to fit that giant wingspan.
7:42 p.m. No one is enjoying the red carpet as much as Ariana Grande. When she gets to the top of the stairs, she turns right around to do it again, this time crouching down to get some truly dramatic shots. Girl’s got a new album to milk.
7:44 p.m. Gisele and Tom Brady arrive, sans kids. “Thank God for my sister,” she says. “She’s watching them.”
7:50 p.m. “I’m so shy,” claims Gucci designer Alessandro Michele, a man who currently has Lana del Rey wearing blue angel wings on her head. “I’m his interpreter. Everything can go through me” says Jared Leto. A tempting offer from a man dressed like Jesus.
7:56 p.m. How does one top bringing their own cutoff dreadlocks to the Met Gala? You bring your gold record, of course. Jaden Smith touted his seemingly very heavy plaque all the way up the red carpet but had to hand it off to a handler before actually getting in the Met doors.
8:01 p.m. Stella McCartney rolls in with two fellow musical scions—Paris Jackson and Miley Cyrus (sorry, but “Achy Breaky Heart” qualifies the latter). McCartney and Jackson patiently wait to do a livestream interview while Cyrus books it inside. No so fast: “Where’s Miley?” Jackson yells, as McCartney runs into the front doors to retrieve the singer and drag her back outside.
8:09 p.m Janelle Monáe, on the arm of Marc Jacobs, is saying the type of profound statements about God that you’d expect Janelle Monáe to say. Meanwhile, Jacobs remarks, “I consider myself more of a spiritual person.”
Met Gala 2018: The Boldest Hair and Beauty on the Red Carpet
Lily Collins made waves early on by showing up pale as ever, accenting her headdress with rhinestones around her eyes and a single, blood-red tear.
Now that J.Lo’s mermaid hair is clearly gone, Sarah Jessica Parker seems to have taken it upon herself to step in, going all out not only with her miniature home of a headpiece but also a swath of hair that looked to be as long as half of her body.
Zendaya immediately turned heads when she stepped onto the carpet, to the point that the Joan of Arc-themed armor she was wearing was a secondary talking point. Though she’s been known to change up her hair, she’s never gone as far as chopping it into an auburn bob, complete with bangs, which was so transformative she at first looked unrecognizable.
This year’s Met Gala could have just as easily been dubbed Madonna-themed—something that didn’t escape her holiness, who protected herself from earthlings with a fishnet veil and also managed to channel a goth Pippi Longstocking.
Cynthia Erivo’s septum piercing looked quite understated compared to the two rows of jewels applied to her face, making the case for bejeweled eyebrows.
Jennifer Lopez took out her extensions for the night, debuting a blunt lob just a week after walking a runway with mermaid hair that went down to her knees.
Most would pair a crown that’s as big as their face with something like a sleek bun, but Cardi B did exactly the opposite, purposefully making it so that her bushy hair almost get just as much attention as her bedazzled face.
In addition to her pant legs, Kendall Jenner let her newfound ponytail fly on the red carpet, which she walked with Virgil Abloh.
Last year, Cara Delevingne showed up to the Met Gala with a silver-painted hairless head—a look she actually managed to follow up on this year with a purple pixie cut; yellow, um, earshadow; and an unmissable crown of sorts that looked like a regal, miniature set of door beads you might find at Hot Topic.
Like Lily Collins, SZA also went down the tear route, opting for gold rather than blood-red to match her spangled headdress and glittery eyeshadow.
The delightful peculiarity of the yellow eyeshadow seemingly haphazardly gracing Cara Delevingne’s face ended up being complimented—and arguably outshined—by Adwoa Aboah, who made the unmissable move of dying her hair bright green.
Sasha Lane wrapped her dreadlocks in diamonds, which she piled up to make the case that the higher the hair, the closer to god.
After asking Twitter for style advice, Solange Knowles made sure her headpiece stood apart from the rest by also topping things off with a simple black do-rag.
Bella Hadid’s all-black latex Chrome Hearts ensemble came with a surprise in the back: a lace veil long enough to trail on the ground which, according to the New York Times, was sewn into her head.
Pink hair is even more officially in, now that Hailey Baldwin has joined the ranks of recent converts Kim Kardashian, Michelle Williams, Paris Jackson, and Emma Roberts.
Issae Rae carried over the gold on her Michael Kors dress to her braids, which she adorned with a variety of metallic beads.
There’s makeup and hair, and then there’s simply calling it a day like Frances McDormand, who sat back and let one of Philip Treacy‘s ever marvelous creations do the work.
8:19 p.m. Kris Jenner re-emerges from inside to stand at the top of the stairs and film daughter Kylie Jenner walking up the stairs with Travis Scott. She has a Kimoji phone case. It’s all very Amy Poehler in Mean Girls. Remember: she’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom!
8:33 p.m. The Balmain army arrives, including designer Olivier Rousteing, Jennifer Lopez, and Alex Rodriguez. In the midst of the chain-mailed chaos the group causes, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen sneak in inconspicuously. To be clear, they are not wearing Balmain. But imagine!
8:34 p.m. Kim Kardashian has arrived, sans Kanye West, as expected. “Versace!” she yells out as she slinks up the carpet in a gold dress by, yes, Versace.
8:36 p.m. A pregnant Cardi B walks down the carpet on the arm of Jeremy Scott. “I’m feeling great,” she declares. The best part of the gala? “All of this!” she says, gesturing to her own heavenly body. Okay, then! Time for the gala—and then on to the afterparties.
12:52 a.m Four hours after the red carpet wrapped—and nearly 12 hours after many of the guests first started getting ready—the night’s biggest afterparty, taking place at the Top of the Standard and hosted by Rousteing, is just kicking off. Among some of the early arrivals, because on Met Gala Monday, 1 a.m. is early: Sweetbitter’s Ella Purnell and Evan Rachel Wood.
12:55 p.m. By far the most popular—and fun-looking—table in the room is the Louis Vuitton crew. Justin Theroux posing for pics with Ruth Negga, as Emma Stone wields the DSL camera. Nearby, Alicia Vikander is sidling up to designer Nicolas Ghesquière, as Laura Harrier and Riley Keough chat away.
12:59 p.m. Yara Shahidi rolls in with Daniel Kaluuya. Both have changed from their red carpet attire: Shahidi now in Chanel sneakers, and Kaluuya in a denim jacket and backward cap. Shahidi heads to the side, where she posts up with her friends to dance to the constant stream of Drake playing over the speakers.
1:24 p.m. Things are getting crowded at the bar; Janelle Monáe and Tessa Thompson shimmy together while trying to order a drink, as Lily Collins, now sans bloody tear, tries to sneak by.
1:31 p.m. Theroux intercepts Jared Leto as the actor, seemingly solo, tries to make his way to the roof. Soon Paris Jackson joins them and Theroux whips out that camera from the Vuitton table to take a picture of the two.
1:52 p.m. By the DJ booth, Diplo is dancing like nobody is watching. And nobody is.
1:55 p.m. Jackson, carrying a full backpack, stops to chat before heading out the door. How was her night inside the Met? “Magical.” What was the best part about it? “Stella.” What did she think of Madonna’s performance? “Incredible.”
2:07 p.m. Monáe and Lena Waithe are having a dance-off as Shailene Woodley and Darren Criss stand by, appearing to be very deep in conversation.
2:16 p.m. DJ-ing for a room full of musicians can certainly be nerve-wracking, but tonight’s music maestro seemingly has everyone’s approval. “Vogue” by Madonna causes Negga to grab Ghesquière’s shoulders and make a two-person conga line, as Eiza González emphatically sings along. Next, J. Lo sings along to her own “Get Right.” How’s that for a moment?
2:32 p.m. The line for the elevators is started to get chaotic—and one seems to be out of order, sending Shahidi, Gabrielle Union, and Trevor Noah back into the foyer. Tiffany Haddish, however, decides to stay. “ Y’all get out, it’s just supposed to be me in the elevator,” she calls out. “Bye, now.”
Related: Evan Rachel Wood Can Confirm That the Girls’ Bathroom Is the Best Place to Be at the Met Gala