CULTURE

Rihanna’s Met Gala Look Instantly Inspired Instagram’s Best Artists

Statistics and fan art don't lie.


Benedict Evans

If Rihanna‘s 2018 Met Gala look has been gracing all of your social media feeds over the past 24 hours then you can already guess who officially won this year’s soirée. Conceptually, stylistically, and now statistically, Bad Gal RiRi was once again the highlight of the Met Gala. Out of all of the celebrities who attended, Rihanna had the most engaging Instagram post of the night, according to social media firm Talkwalker. (The photo she posted of her pearl-laden, pope-inspired Maison Margiela ensemble by John Galliano has amassed over two million likes just over the past 12 hours.) As it turns out, though, Rihanna also inspired the best fan art of the evening.

While it took Galliano’s team “250 hours to sew and 500 hours to hand-embroider,” according to a statement from Margiela, it took hours for Rihanna’s fans to turn around some of their artistic interpretations of the already iconic look. One rendition, created by Jovan Rosario, popped up on social media after the artist spent all evening on it. (“Work, work, work, work, work, work,” to quote Rihanna.) “Six hours straight and it was all worth it! ⛪️,” wrote Rosario on Instagram, where he posted it.

Digital artist Yung Jake also quickly churned out a piece of Rihanna-inspired artwork. “Pope RiRi,” he captioned his piece, which—like his most well-known work—consists of hundred of emojis that make up a photorealist portrait, à la Chuck Close. “I think of the art just as life and the things I do are all just part of it,” Yung Jake told The New York Times of his approach last summer, adding, “I just happened to be good at it, so I did a bunch of celebrities.”

Meanwhile, other artists took as much inspiration from the Met Gala theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” as Rihanna, who cohosted the event in a dress, coat, and pope hat with an impressive feat of balance. (“My train is glued to my head; I can’t stop!” she said on the red carpet.) “The Nu Rihligion,” CITIZINS captioned its take.

Some went in a more minimal direction.

The most beautiful thing about all of Rihanna’s Met Gala–inspired fan art, though, is the variety of interpretations, many of which you can see below.

Related: Met Gala 2018: A Minute-by-Minute Breakdown of Everything You Missed on the Red Carpet and Beyond

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.

Kevin Mazur/MG18/Getty Images

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.

John Shearer/Getty Images

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.

Neilson Barnard

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.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

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.

Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Mike Coppola/MG18/Getty Images

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.

John Shearer/Getty Images

In addition to her pant legs, Kendall Jenner let her newfound ponytail fly on the red carpet, which she walked with Virgil Abloh.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

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.

Mike Coppola/MG18/Getty Images

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.

Matt Winkelmeyer/MG18/Getty Images

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.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Sasha Lane wrapped her dreadlocks in diamonds, which she piled up to make the case that the higher the hair, the closer to god.

Mike Coppola/MG18/Getty Images

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.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

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.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

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.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Issae Rae carried over the gold on her Michael Kors dress to her braids, which she adorned with a variety of metallic beads.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

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.

Kevin Mazur/MG18/Getty Images
1/17