Last week would have been the Met Gala, a night where the most exclusive celebrities choose the most extravagant and staunchest outfits to walk down the red carpet in New York City. The Costume Institute Benefit --- better known as The Met Gala, began in 1948 as a midnight dinner where you had to be invited to attend the event (for only fifty dollars !). But since Anna Wintour, the editor of the American Vogue became chairwoman in 1995 the event has grown in size, popularity, and magnitude. It is often called the “Oscars of the East-Coast '' and tickets are $30,000 apiece, if of course, Ms. Wintour approves of you coming. There are always memorable outfits from celebrities every year, but these two women never disappoint. I’m talking about Ms. Rhianna and Blake Lively of course! Both of these fashionistas have been coming to the Met Gala since the mid- 2000’s and whenever the question of who the “queen” of the Met Gala is, Rhiana and Blake Lively come up. Even though my fashion sense is nowhere in the same caliber as these two ladies, I thought it would be fun to compare both of their looks year by year to see who takes the title, “Queen of the Met Gala” in my book. On a side note, there were some years that Blake Lively did attend the Met Gala and Rhianna did not, and vice versa, so for those years I compared their looks closest to date.
2007 ‘Poiret: King of Fashion’ vs 2008 ‘Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy’
Rhianna started attending the Met Gala only a year before Blake Lively did and I admire how both of their first outfits were in the traditional black and white category. I’m sure they look back at themselves now and see how much their fashion confidence has grown. Starting with Rhianna, I adore her dress. It’s long, slimming and the jewels near the chest are not too overpowering. Next, Blake Lively’s dress is not terrible but I’m not in love. The feathers at the bottom are a little much and I think you have to be careful when wearing an all-black gown. The material of the dress also looks very tacky and Sweet 16-esque.
WINNER : Rhianna
2009 'The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion’
The theme of the 2009 Met gala was 'The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion', and both women took their shot at being the inspiration for their favorite designers. I love the pacific blue color of Blake Lively’s dress, it is subtle but she still strikes out in a crowd. Normally I’m not a fan of the one sleeve dress, but she makes it work. The lovely sheer fabric matched with the glittering straps across the dress suit one another. I think Rhianna’s outfit choice was bold but it didn't hit the nail on the head for me. The puffed shoulder blades and shiny exterior of the fabric make it overwhelming to look at. This felt very wedding like to me and it was as if a 1980’s groom was at the altar. However, her hair matched her outfit well.
WINNER : Blake Lively
2011 ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’
Just over a year after Alexander McQueen’s death an exhibit in the Met opened prompting the theme, ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ in 2011. Starting with Blake Lively, I think her hair, dress, and makeup are all so beautiful. I love the color gold, and she pulls it off well. The silver flowers penetrating down the nude fabric bleed seamlessly into the draping gold fabric. Her hair gives me a 1920’s feel and I like how it is flowing against her shoulders instead of a tight bun or a slick ponytail, it gives the piece volume. Rhianna’s dress does not awe me as much. Again all-black pieces are very hard to pull off and I don't like the lace at all. It seems goth bride inspired and the lace train doesn't do anything for the look. The red braid isn't amazing either but it does add some color to the piece.
WINNER : Blake Lively
2012 ‘Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ vs 2013 ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’
Rhianna’s dress for the 2012 Met Gala is edgy but sexy. I love the way the dress looks on her and only Rhianna has that baddie attitude to pull off this Tom Ford dress. There is an immaculate texture on the dress that reminds me of lizard skin and what can I say she overall rocks this look. Moving on to Blake Lively, it seems like she went for an outfit more dramatic this year because the theme was ‘Punk : Chaos to Couture’. I think that theme has so much power in its title, guests really should show how punk looks don't just have to look like a hot mess, punk inspired outfits could be fashionable as well. I’m not sure if Blake Lively presents that ideal. While her dress isn't chaotic I just don't love it. However, I do admire how the grey seamlessly translates into the black and the dress has many dimensions.
WINNER : Rhianna
2014 ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’
Both of these ladies SERVED looks in the 2014 Met Gala. At this point their looks can only get better from here! With Blake Lively in Gucci for the second consecutive year she looks stunning. Few rock the Old hollywood style as well as Blake Lively and we can tell that gold is her color. Lively looked like a total movie star with her side swept curls, million dollar smile and the perfect lip shade to match her champagne sequined gown. I love the train/cape going on in the back and how the dress wraps around her body so effortlessly. And I believe she was pregnant with her first child at the time of the event, super mom of the year. Next, we can see that Rhianna did not come to play this year. All white is hard to pull off, without looking like you're at a wedding (we don't want a repeat of 2009 of course), but this stunning look from Stella McCarteny did everything right. I love how we get a peek of her midriff, another testament to Rhianna’s gorgeous body. The sharp but not overpowering shoulder blades makes me intimidated to say the least and the clean skirt at the bottom with the right amount of train, adds a level of couture. Her hair as well is so cute. I love the messy ponytail vibe that it gives. This was a great year of outfits for both Rhianna and Lively.
WINNER : Rhianna
2015 ‘China Through The Looking Glass’ vs 2016 ‘Manux X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’
The Met Gala was looking like a nice event in 2015 and then Miss Rhianna walked in full storm on the red carpet. She left me speechless and I know everyone bowed down to her for the night, she absolutely killed the ‘China Through The Looking Glass’ theme. Her designer, Guo Pei said the dress took over 50,000 hours to make and major kudos to Rhianna for being one of the few attendees who wore a dress made by a Chinese designer in an event celebrating Chinese influence on the fashion world. The beautiful and striking yellow color adorned with a fur trimmed cape and scrolls of flora made her dress an amazing sight to look at. She even wore a matching headdress and looked like such a queen. Rhianna told Vanity Fair, “I’m so in love with the dress, but the train is insane!” and she is most certainly right. Her train is magnificent and anyone walking nearby knows they have to make space for the queen. Thank goodness, Blake Lively didn't attend in 2015 because her dress would have had to be out of this world to beat Rhianna’s look. I did like Lively's 2016 look, the pink and red match her so wonderfully and there's even some sheer fabric added on. Super classy and put together.
WINNER : Rhianna (duh!)
2017 ‘Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between’
Blake Lively did another gold look but I was a little iffy about the blue feathers. The two colors don't go together at first glance, but as I looked at it more the dress is appealing. I truly like the structure of the dress and it’s a bit more boxy which shows she’s changing it up from the traditional flowy look. Rhianna wore Comme des Garcons to a Comme des Garcons themed event which makes sense, but I don't love this outfit like crazy. I mean the architecture of her dress is beautiful, it barely even looks like a dress but she makes it work. It looks like she is wearing a work of art. But the strappy boots are a no for me. This was not one of the best years for both ladies to me.
WINNER : Blake Lively (by a slim margin)
2018 ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’
The theme for 2018 was ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ and both Lively and Rhianna showed what it is like to look heavenly and slay regal Catholic inspired designs. I think Blake Lively certainly upped her game because her dress is breathtaking. It is hard to do a red and gold look without looking old -fashioned or grandma-like, but Blake Lively looks nothing like grandma, she looks like a whole queen! The amazing train makes you want to just look at her forever and embrace all the little details that must have taken into making her dress. I love her hair in the mid-bun and she looks incredible, plain and simple. Rhianna is giving me Pope Francis vibes with her mitre styled headdress. There is such cool bling around her and she looks so … expensive ! Her outfit is shiny, the coat is blinged out and sparkling, she looks great.
WINNER : Blake Lively
And the queen of the Met Gala is …
RiRi is the QUEEN of the Met Gala. She has come a long way from her 2009 look and she tops it year after year. Although it was a tie between Blake Lively and Rhianna for the years above, overall Rhianna outfits have been crazy and I love it. Her dresses are never identical from the years prior and she has shown us that she can do it all! Het cute and prom-like dress from 2007, the edgy white two piece from 2014 and the breathtaking Guo Pei piece from 2015 are all so different and work in their own respective matters. I choose not to include one of Blake Lively’s dresses from the Met Gala, her 2010 look by Marchesa (pictured below). If I included that dress there would have been an uneven amount to judge, but I think her dress that year is bubbly and reminds me of an octopus.
Although both queens choose not to come to the 2019 Met Gala, I hope both Blake Lively and Rhianna pop out for The Met Gala 2020 which is postponed until October as of now. The theme for this year would have been ‘About Time : Fashion and Duration’ but if Coronavirus still looms by October, there will still be more years for both women to shine. On an ending note, both Blake Lively and Rhiana are amazing and inspire me to be bold with what I wear and to be confident. We only have one life to live and if you don't strut your stuff on the red carpet like these two, you’re doing it wrong !