On the Met Gala red carpet you’ll find two kinds of people: those who strictly follow the theme and those who opt to ignore it completely. And you can always count on one guest to take the dress code very seriously — Rihanna. For the last few years, she’s not only followed the dress code, but worn the most opulent, over-the-top creations imaginable. And for the 2018 bash, she did not disappoint.
She wore a papal mitre (a ceremonial head-dress of bishops) and an opulently bejeweled strapless mini dress with a matching collared robe that perfectly embodied the theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” The theme is meant to explore the ways the Catholic church has inspired fashion designers, and she honored that history through her outfit by paying homage to traditional headwear and long, elaborately embroidered robes the clergy wears.
Our 30 Favorite Met Gala Looks in under a Minute
And we’re not the only ones who think so. Twitter lit up the minute she hit the carpet with praise for the pop star’s interpretation of the theme, even joking she should now replace Pope Francis as pontiff.
— Claudia (@claudia_hockey) May 7, 2018
— F (@postbestfshn) May 7, 2018
White smoke seen pouring out of Vatican chimney as Rihanna hits the Met Gala runway, meaning she has replaced Francis as pontiff. pic.twitter.com/gxnlErEIeg
— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) May 7, 2018
— Lottie (@Lottie_Lamour) May 7, 2018
This is not the first time Rihanna’s Met Gala look shut down the carpet. She’s been wearing stop-and-stare gowns for so many years, and has cemented her red carpet status as Met Gala royalty.
Last year, Rihanna made a statement on the carpet wearing a design straight off the honoree, Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo’s runway. She chose a fall 2016 RTW creation that featured allover 3-D flower embellishments around the sculptural dress. She teamed the look with strappy red sandals that she said took her “an hour to get into.”
But that floral creation may not even be the most dramatic piece she’s worn on the Met Gala red carpet. In 2015 for the “China: Through the Looking Glass” event, she shut down the red carpet (literally) with her custom yellow ball gown from Guo Pei that had such a long train it nearly covered the entire staircase entrance of the museum.
In 2014 she attended the event for the Charles James exhibition wearing a white Stella McCartney two-piece ensemble featuring a long-sleeve crop top with jeweled neckline and a high-waisted matching skirt and long train. And in 2012 she went sleek and minimalist with a textured Tom Ford column gown at the “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” gala.
For the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” exhibit in 2011, she upped the ante in a sheer, lace Stella McCartney gown with see-through side panel cutouts. And in 2009, she attended in a memorable Dolce & Gabbana strong-shouldered suit with cropped pant and bowtie at “The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion” gala.