Met Gala 2024: Irish stars shine among the bold blooms and botanical-inspired designs

The illustrious annual event, often dubbed the fashion Oscars, had a solid Irish showing

Actors Andrew Scott, Eve Hewson and Barry Keoghan at the 2024 Met Gala in Manhattan on Monday. Photograph: Getty Images

Florals? For the Met Gala? Groundbreaking. Bold blooms, botanical-inspired designs and home-grown talent flourished on the Met Gala carpet Monday night, with “The Garden of Time” as its dress code. Even the carpet got the memo, as it does every year, with the organisers going for an off-white carpet tinged with green foliage.

The illustrious annual event, often dubbed the fashion Oscars, had a solid Irish showing. Sean McGirr, the newly minted Irish creative director for Alexander McQueen, dressed singer Lana Del Rey in a mother nature-inspired beige tulle and root embroidery design. Actor Andrew Scott arrived with Donatella Versace and fellow Mr Ripley actor Jude Law. Barry Keoghan returned to the Met Gala, again in Burberry, with a modern Victorian flair in the form of an olive velvet suit, ruffled silk shirt and top hat. Actor Eve Hewson wore a custom Simone Rocha design. Loewe, a fashion house with Irish designer JW Anderson at its helm, was one of the gala’s sponsors, and their designs dominated the red carpet.

First to arrive was Anna Wintour, Vogue editor and host of the Met Gala, in a cape created by Loewe and inspired by a design on display. The Irish actor and star of Saltburn, Alison Oliver, was dressed in Loewe with an oversized sequin suit and a vintage fabric train. Opting for a morning suit was Jamie Dornan, who was also donned Loewe.

Florals have long been part of London-Irish designer Richard Quinn’s design DNA, so it was only fitting he was represented on the nature-themed red carpet. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a structured, subtle floral lace embellished dress by Quinn and topped off by a hat by Philip Treacy.


Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the glitzy style-focused event celebrates the opening of the museum’s new exhibition with a dress code inspired by its theme. Attention-grabbing attire, archival looks and viral moments are de rigueur as A-listers strive to embrace the theme or go rogue.

This year, the exhibition is not just a fashion display; it’s a journey through time. Entitled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”, no, it’s not focused on the Disney princesses but a style spectacle of 250 rare, treasured items spanning more than 400 years, including Dior, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Schiaparelli. Many items on show are too fragile to be worn again, even on a mannequin, and are displayed lying flat, as if in a sleeping position. The exhibition is divided into three main zones – Land, Sea and Sky – and pays homage to the natural world.

Gala-goers were encouraged to draw from nature and tasked with interpreting the official dress code – “The Garden of Time”, inspired by a 1962 JG Ballard short story. From the outset, it was evident the theme would first be expressed on the red carpet through a myriad of unique floral interpretations. Also, with roses and rosettes among the most notable fashion trends for the spring/summer season and a burgeoning red carpet inclination, it was apparent there would be plenty dressed in budding, blooming beauties. Renditions varied dramatically. Greta Lee wore a Chantilly lace and 3D flowers shield dress by Loewe. Also in Loewe, Ayo Edebiri made her Met Gala debut in a floral lace halter-neck gown. Riley Keough wore a floral sequin crop top and ruffled skirt by Chanel. Cynthia Erivo wore a Thom Browne petal-embellished suit. Gigi Hadid served old Hollywood glamour in a corseted, off-the-shoulder, floral appliqué gown by Thom Browne.

Corsets were the binding ingredient of many a Met Gala look this year. The sculpture’s silhouetted piece fulfilled the dress code and either took centre stage or was a subtle addition. Kim Kardashian wore a custom floral-embellished corset skirt by Margiela and topped it off with a cardigan. Ariana Grande wore a mother-of-pearl corset with pleated skirted gown by Loewe. Kylie Jenner channelled quiet luxury in a pared-back nude tea-length Oscar de la Renta dress. Pamela Anderson, too, wore a nude, corseted de la Renta, and Samantha Barry, the Irish editor-in-chief of Glamour, wore a silver-grey corseted dress with cage detail.

Going beyond blooms, other attendees had a broader interpretation of the theme, and alternative natural elements were embraced. Jessica Biel wore a bright pink feathered gown with a Met Gala stalwart – dramatic train. Uma Thurman wore a butterfly-trimmed blue dress by Tory Burch. Taylor Russell went for a wooden bodice and swooping side-spilt skirt by Loewe.

A cohort of celebrities opted for a darker take on the theme, challenging dark romance. Their looks also nodded to Victorian times, with lace, sheer, and velvet as staples. Ashley Graham wore a corseted Ludovic de Saint Sernin gown encrusted with Swarovski crystal flowers. YouTuber Emma Chamberlain wore a mocha-tinged lace custom dress by Jean Paul Gaultier. Singer Rosalía wore a black tulip-inspired dress by Dior and a black mesh veil.

Archival moments also abound. In the ultimate flex, celebrities often covet vintage styles for their style clout and the sustainability merit they bring. The wave of fashion nostalgia also contributes to the red carpet obsession with throwback designs. With the theme of the Met Gala this year focusing on treasures from the past, highlighting the importance of sustainability and preservation, attendees were bound to lean into vintage.

Zendaya has had many vintage moments, particularly with her Dune press tour ensembles, and opted for a blue one-shoulder Christian Dior spring 1999 couture look. Harris Reed, the creative director of Nina Ricci, dressed Demi Moore in repurposed archival wallpaper and transformed it into a sculptural thorn-inspired gown. Kendall Jenner wore an archival Alexander McQueen for Givenchy gown from 1999. Charli XCX repurposed vintage T-shirts from the 1950s to 1970s and designed them into a dress by Marni. If not wearing archival, then A-listers recreated bygone fashion. Nicole Kidman wore a remade Balenciaga dress from the 1950s. Kidman told the Vogue magazine live stream that she saw a Richard Avedon photo and asked the creative director of Balenciaga, Demna, to recreate it.

With every Met Gala, some prefer not to veer from their fashion safety net. Case in point: Jennifer Lopez in a slinky, sheer, sparkly dress that is undisputedly her. Lily James, Sydney Sweeney, and Lea Michele wore pretty pastel gowns with delicate floral detailing fit for a princess. Meanwhile, the ultimate bohemian IT girl, Sienna Miller, didn’t shy away from her signature laid-back style in Chloe’s high-low white lace frilled dress.

Naked illusion dresses are a Met Gala signature, dating back to Cher in the 1970s in Bob Mackie. Tonight was no different, with Emily Ratajkowski in a sequin, netted dress. Kylie Minogue wore a tromp l’oeil beaded dress by Diesel. Singer Tyla wore a body-cast dress crafted in sand by Balmain and held a glass egg timer as a clutch. Balmain also crafted a sheer sculptural gown with floral shoulder accents for Elle Fanning that looked like she was submerged in water. Dripping wet and transforming a wet T-shirt into a Met Gala-worthy gown was Doja Cat in Vetments, complete with streaming mascara. Meanwhile, singer Camila Cabello clutched a block of ice surrounding a copper rose.

The Met Gala isn’t the place for a traditional tux; if anything, they are in the minority with amped-up suiting at the forefront. One of the event’s co-chairs, Bad Bunny, kicked off the statement suiting parade, arriving in a navy Maison Margiela tux with a fabric floral lapel. Steven Yeun wore a suit with a floral motif by Thom Browne.

Also, in Browne, Ben Simmons opted for a tweed-topped tux and came complete with a clock nailing the time part of the theme. Colman Domingo’s tux came with a cape and exaggerated lapels. Challengers star Josh O’Connor’s tails trailed, and he finished off his quirky tux with floral clogs.