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The best Met Gala memes of all time

Image: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty
Image: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty

The Met Gala is known for producing the most talked-about designer moments and celebrity selfies of the year; now, fashion’s most important red carpet is also the most fertile ground for the ultimate irreverent Instagram compliment: memefication.

For the past few first Mondays in May, just as stylists have created looks for their famous clientele, the creative geniuses of Twitter and Instagram have taken to Photoshop during red carpet arrivals to hilariously and affectionately roast the night’s best garments. There are dozens of memes to choose from, but only a few are as on-point and clever as they were celebratory—the perfect balance of love and snark. As it turns out, combing through the absolute best Met Gala memes ever is also a tour through the most memorable looks of the past few years. Check out the winners below, leading up to our single favorite Met Gala meme ever:

Who can forget Lady Gaga’s “Notes on Camp” entrance?

2019 was a pretty all-around stupendous year for Met Gala memes, but Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (a.k.a. Lady Gaga) took it to a whole new level in a hot-pink Brandon Maxwell number that was just one of four looks layered underneath. We all learned a powerful lesson that night: Never underestimate Gaga when it comes to camp.

Billy Porter being carried in on a litter was everything.

The Pose star doesn’t do anything halfway, and that extended to his 2019 Met Gala entrance, for which he wore a custom “Sun God” ensemble by The Blonds that included a bejeweled catsuit outfitted with 10-foot wings and a 24-karat gold headpiece and was carried in on a litter by six shirtless men. And just like that, a million memes were born:

In fourth place, Beyoncé’s latex Lemonade moment.

When Beyoncé and Jay-Z arrived at the Met steps in 2016, Queen Bey was fresh off her showstopping Lemonade release, and the Internet read absolutely everything they could into her latex Givenchy getup, a flesh-toned puffy-sleeved gown with intricate beadwork. Immediately, sleuths detected that the look was, in fact, a threat to the notorious “Becky with the good hair,” with some going so far as to surmise that Riccardo Tisci’s creation was a cannibalistic ode to how one should never mess with the queen.

Receiving our bronze medal, Priyanka Chopra’s Ralph Lauren trench dress.

The best memes are the ones where even the subjects gets in on the joke, which is exactly what Priyanka Chopra did after seeing the Internet’s take on her custom Ralph Lauren trench in 2017.

While Chopra and designer Lauren were inspired by Katharine Hepburn–era elegance, the meme-makers saw the train of her oversize trench as fertile grounds for all kinds of khaki-toned joke images, including the pyramids, which Chopra thought was funny enough to eventually ’gram herself.

Runner up: Diddy on the Met steps.

Navigating the Met with its phalanxes of paparazzi and legion of celebrity guests can be as arduous as the New York City Marathon, so we don’t blame Diddy for taking a brief pause on the iconic Met steps in 2017. Of course, he did so as elegantly as is humanly possible, which is why snaps of Diddy lounging regally were ripe for meme-ing. People swapped the steps for luxury (and flying) carpets, but we loved seeing Diddy compared to a swooning woman from an old painting— because who else could expertly rock a fainting chaise lounge look?

And the winner is . . . Rihanna’s gold Guo Pei gown.

It’s fitting that our gold meme medal goes to Rihanna’s 2015 gold Guo Pei gown and its yellow, fur-lined cape with a 16-foot train. The extra-long dress turned out to be the most fruitful look ever in meme-terms, inspiring some of the funniest Internet reactions ever. It’s also, by now, a historic meme moment, given that 2015, in Internet life, is the equivalent of biblical times.

We’ll never forget Guo Pei’s incredible work, and we’ll never forget Rihanna looking like a gorgeous omelet either, the measure of a perfect meme.

This article was originally published on Vogue US.

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