Hidden meanings and bathroom selfies: 8 moments you missed at the Met Gala.

Ah, the day after the first Monday in May.

Across New York City, famous people have woken up with hangovers, with their fancy Met Gala gowns on the floor, in a room full of pizza boxes. 

Well, actually, who am I kidding? Stylists, managers and entourage will have ensured the safety of gowns, thrown out the boxes and placed a Gatorade on their nightstands. All I can hope is that someone, somewhere, woke up with their full face of makeup now squished under their eyes and on their chin. Just for relatability sakes, you know.

In case you missed it, the theme for this year's Met Gala was an homage to New York's Gilded Age, and while some celebrities delivered, others arrived in neon pink sneakers that nobody in 1882 could even have dreamed of.

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But in amongst the wide variety of outfits, there were plenty of hidden details, behind-the-scenes and post-event moments you might have missed. Here are eight of them.

The meaning behind Kylie Jenner's dress.

Kylie's dress was one of the outfits most roasted online, because... well, it does give off big 'when you have your wedding at five and a tennis match at six' vibes.

After the red carpet, Kylie explained the meaning behind the design on Instagram, sharing it was a tribute to Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founder of fashion label Off-White.

Image: Instagram.

Virgil died of cancer in November 2021.


"Virgil and I were supposed to go to the Met together before it got postponed in 2020," Kylie wrote.

"To celebrate V tonight and his incredible legacy truly means the world to me. I'm humbled to wear this dress and honour my talented, beautiful friend. We felt you tonight Virgil and love you forever."

The tributes to the forgotten heroes of the Gilded Age.

I am neither a fashion nor a history expert but... the Gilded Age is revered for its prosperity. It was a time of major industrialisation in the US, where wages rose quickly and led to extreme wealth. Hence all the... 'gold' red carpet looks.

But conversely, the concentration of that money did not trickle down to everyone (what a surprise!) and there was a rampant exploitation of many immigrant workers.

So on the red carpet, a few stars interpreted the theme differently and decided to pay their respects to the less glamourous parts of the time.

Image: Getty.

Riz Ahmed's outfit was inspired by a traditional Gilded Age workers uniform, evoking the persecution that immigrants, particularly immigrants of colour, faced.

"This is an homage to the immigrant workers who kept the Gilded Age going," he said on the red carpet.

Similarly, Gabrielle Union explained how her Versace dress, which included a large red flower embellishment at the waist, represented the blood shed of people of colour.


Image: Getty.

"Because when you think about the Gilded Age and Black and brown people in this country, this country is built off of our backs, our blood, sweat and tears. So we added these red crystals to represent the blood spilled during the accumulation of gross wealth by a few during the Gilded Age, off of the backs of Black people and people of colour in this country," she explained.

Lizzo spotting Kim Kardashian on the red carpet.

Flute queen Lizzo was mid-performance when Kim K in all her Marilyn Monroe glory arrived at the Met, and her reaction was perfect.

I just feel like it's important for everyone to see this video:


Rihanna attended... as a statue.

Rihanna, Queen of the Met Gala, was not in attendance this year because she could have her baby at any moment. So fair, although I will posit that I think the Met Gala stairs would be an extremely on brand place for baby Riri to enter the world.

However, Vogue and The Metropolitan Museum of Art honoured her, as they damn well should, in the best way possible: with a CGI marble statue.

In a video, a digital version of a Rihanna statue stands in the museum’s gallery, rocking the exact same pose she did on Vogue's May 2022 cover. 

"Shut down the met in marble! What's more gilded than that? Lol!" Rihanna wrote in response. "Thank you @metmuseum and @voguemagazine for this historic tribute! Y'all bad for this one!"


The many, many exes in attendance.

It was very early into Vogue's red carpet coverage - co-hosted by Vanessa Hudgens - when I thought 'oh... no'.

Because her ex Austin Butler was walking the carpet. WITH HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND, KAIA GERBER. Also in attendance? Australian actress Olivia DeJonge, Austin's Elvis co-star who he was rumoured to be dating for most of 2020, following his breakup with Vanessa.


Lucky for Vanessa, her co-host La La Anthony took over the Austin interview duties, but it was just the first of many possible run-ins throughout the night. 

Let's see:

Speaking of Kaia Gerber, two of her exes were also there: Jacob Elordi and Pete Davidson. So, then there's Pete, who famously arrived with girlfriend Kim Kardashian, only to enter a room containing exes Kaia, as well as Phoebe Dynevor.

Meanwhile, recent exes Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello were both there too, as well as Shawn's other ex Hailey Bieber.

Joe Jonas was there with wife Sophie Turner, and definitely saw ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid. Because you simply couldn't not see Gigi and her giant red jacket/blanket(?) situation.

There was also Brooklyn Beckham and Chloe Grace Moretz, Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk, and Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin. And though not exes, Olivia Rodrigo and Sabrina Carpenter - two sides of 2021's most intriguing Disney drama - were both present.

Oh,  to be a fly on the wall!

The food.

Last year, Keke Palmer raised eyebrows by sharing the food she received inside the Gala... because it was simply not... enough.


Posting a photo of her meal to her Instagram Story, Keke showed off a rather sad looking zucchini, tomato and corn dish. And underneath it, she wrote, "This why they don’t show y’all the food. I’m just playinnnn."

Image: Instagram/@keke

This year, no one was as bold, but there were hints that the food was once again less than... satiating. A number of celebs shared photos of themselves (and their dogs) eating pizza and burgers post-event:


Image: Instagram @kimkardashian.



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Image: Instagram @kaiagerber.

The surprise performances.

Each year, there are performances at the event that are held as a closely guarded secret until everything has wrapped up.

This year, guests were treated to a show from Kacey Musgraves, Lenny Kravitz and his corset.

Kasey sung her cover of 'Can't Help Falling in Love' from the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Elvis biopic, while Lenny went full rockstar (duh!) with 'Are You Gonna Go My Way', 'Fly Away' and 'American Woman'. Bangerssssss.


All the behind-the-scenes selfies/videos/fun.

So, allegedly, selfies are banned inside the Met. Not that anyone cares.

Here's a bunch of BTS shots from the stars themselves:

Image: Instagram.

Image: Instagram @gemmachan.


Image: Instagram @voguemagazine.

Image: Instagram @gemmachan.


Gemma is really angling for a Bridgerton role. Image: Instagram @gemmachan.      

Image: Instagram @theestallion.


Image: Instagram @theestallion



Image: Instagram @lizzobeeating.

Image: Instagram.


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Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer. For more pop culture takes, sarcasm and... cat content, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Instagram.

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