Breaking Down the Unbelievable Details Behind Kim Kardashian, Iman and More Stars' 2021 Met Gala Looks

From a horse head to a gown literally covered in crystals, these 2021 Met Gala looks were not whipped together at the last second. Warning: These details will stun you.

By Samantha Schnurr Sep 14, 2021 3:53 PMTags
Watch: Saweetie Wears Dress with 10 Million Crystals at 2021 Met Gala

Consider the Met Gala red carpet a walking museum—because these looks are truly pieces of art. 

We can always count on the stars to bring their fashion A-game to the annual event, but with every passing year, they continue to level up with their creativity and sheer craftsmanship. After a two-year break as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Met Gala packed an extra punch of innovation as celebrity guests and their designer pairings paid homage to the evening's theme, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. 

From Kim Kardashian's 75-inch ponytail to Kim Petras' replica horse head, the stars did not shy away from boldness—thanks in part to the many hours designers and their teams devoted to bringing their one-of-a-kind visions to life. 

But, really, how much does it all take to come together? E!'s Zanna Roberts Rassi got exclusive insight from the brilliant minds responsible for styling the stars, and the details are nothing short of shocking. 

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Keep scrolling for some of the most unbelievable details from this year's unforgettable Met Gala looks: 

Pete Davidson

To accessorize with his Thom Browne dress and blazer, which was styled by Britt Theodora, the comedian wore Fred Leighton custom garnets as a tribute to his late dad's birthstone. 

Jennifer Hudson

Athleisure knits were reinvented the ballgown way for the singer's AZ Factory look, styled by Wayman + Micah and designed to hug her curves. 

Emily Blunt

The actress channeled the glamorous Ziegfeld girls in this Miu Miu design, styled by Jessica Paster. "Emily loves a theme," Jessica shared with Zanna. "She goes all in." 

Kristen Stewart

In tribute to the theme, the actress donned this Chanel look, styled by Tara Swennen, that paid homage to Elvis Presley and a 1950s cowgirl. She accessorized with the "Comète Spirale" ring from Chanel's fine jewelry collection. 

Billie Eilish

The singer continued her streak of channeling Marilyn Monroe in this Oscar de la Renta ballgown and accessorized with 53 carats of Cartier diamonds. 

Gemma Chan

The star sported Prabal Gurung's design, embellished with a dragon print and styled by Rebecca Corbin-Murray, in homage to trailblazing actress Anna May Wong

Lupita Nyong'o

The Oscar winner donned De Beers diamonds and a Versace gown with a denim twist styled by Micaela Erlanger, who told Zanna their theme was "denim and diamonds." The inspiration? Versace's iconic ad campaigns from the 90's. 


Maluma channeled classic American western with a Versace twist in head-to-toe red leather styled by Ugo Mozie. Ugo told Zanna that the music superstar was super hands on throughout the creative process, and hoped to make the late Gianni Versace "proud." 

Julia Garner

For the Ozark actress' Stella McCartney for Adidas look, styled by Elizabeth Saltzman, fishnet fabric was embellished with Swarovski crystals and layered over a bodysuit. Simply put, Elizabeth described the look to Zanna as "undies and a crystal dress."

Megan Fox

The actress' lace-up Dundas gown, styled by Maeve Reilly, featured the work of 50 people who hand-embroidered the dress in India. The garment traveled in strips to New York City, where it was assembled together.  

Regina King

The actress' sequin-lined Michael Kors Collection outfit, styled by Wayman + Micah, harkened back to the brand's Fall 1988 collection and took 600 man hours to create. When Regina tried the look on for the first time, Wayman and Micah told Zanna she said, "Like a boss." 


It was impossible for Saweetie not to shine in her Christian Cowan gown. As she told E! News, the dress was embellished with—drumroll please—10 million crystals. 


Designer Harris Reed, who partnered with Dolce & Gabbana, told Vogue it took 400 hours of "hand-tacking, hand-gluing, hand-embellishing, gold-leafing, finessing" to bring the supermodel's look, including the Vivienne Lake-collaborated hat, to life. 

Barbie Ferreira

For her first Met Gala, the Euphoria star shined thanks in part to her Jonathan Simkhai gown, which dripped with thousands of Swarovski crystals and pearls—the result of more than 100 hours of craftsmanship. 

Kim Petras

The singer was the Met Gala's standout Horse Girl in her Collina Strada gown, topped with an actual horse head replica that took four days to sculpt and paint. 

Gabrielle Union

It's clear Gabrielle Union's Iris van Herpen gown, styled by Thomas Kikis, was a work of art—one that she told E! News took "1,400 man-hours" to assemble. As she explained, "We've been working on this since April."

Simone Biles

The gymnast was every bit the Olympic gold medalist as she posed in an AREA x Athleta gown weighing a whopping 88 pounds. In fact, the athlete had six men on duty to help lift that massive train. 

Kim Kardashian

Perhaps the only thing more dramatic than her faceless, all-black Balenciaga ensemble was the 75-inch pony tail hairstylist Chris Appleton gave her to go with it. 

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