The must-see vintage (and vintage-inspired) looks at the 2023 Met Gala

By Kerry McDermott

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With the theme to dress "in honour of Karl", several stars reached deep into the archives for their Met Gala looks

The dress code for the 2023 Met Gala was “in honour of Karl”, a celebration of the late designer whose lifetime in fashion incorporated stints at the helm of Chanel, Fendi, Chloé and Patou. In other words, an open invitation to reach deep into the archives for gowns that simultaneously looked incredible on the red carpet, and represented a specific moment in the history of Karl Lagerfeld’s career. (In addition, of course, to being the most commendably sustainable choice.)


Co-host Dua Lipa opted for archive, floating onto the red carpet in a couture Chanel gown that was previously worn on the runway in 1992 by supermodel Claudia Schiffer. In a stroke of styling genius, Nicole Kidman rewore the pale pink feathered gown from her 2004 Chanel No.5 commercial almost 20 years on. “I have the most indelible memories of fittings with Karl in the atelier, and I loved witnessing his dedication to his craft,” Kidman told Vogue. “He designed a number of dresses for me, but I think this is the most spectacular.”

Claudia Schiffer on the Chanel runway in 1992. Photo: Getty

Dua Lipa at the Met Gala in 2023. Photo: Getty

Other stars drew inspiration from vintage collections for their custom looks. Blackpink’s Jennie Kim, who made her Met Gala debut for 2023, chose a recreation of a Chanel minidress from the autumn/winter 1990 collection. It wasn’t all Chanel, Chloé creative director Gabriela Hearst dressed guests including Maude Apatow and Olivia Wilde in dresses based on early ’80s looks from Karl’s era at the house she took over in 2020.


Naomi Campbell

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Wearing Chanel Haute Couture spring/summer 2010.


Maude Apatow

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Wearing Chloé based on a 1983 Karl Lagerfeld design.


Nicole Kidman

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Wearing Haute Couture Chanel from 2004.


Jennie Kim

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Jennie Kim's Met dress is a recreation of a look from the autumn/winter 1990 Chanel collection.


Olivia Wilde

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Wearing Chloé based on a 1983 Karl Lagerfeld design.


Dua Lipa

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Wearing Chanel Haute Couture autumn/winter 1992.


Allison Williams

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Patou’s Guillaume Henry recreated an archive gown designed by Lagerfeld when he was creative director of the French house between 1958 and 1961.


Vanessa Kirby

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Wearing Chloé, based on a 1983 Karl Lagerfeld design.


Penélope Cruz

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Co-host Penélope Cruz's custom Chanel Haute Couture wedding gown was based on the spring/summer 1988 collection.



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Lizzo’s Chanel dress referenced a look worn by Linda Evangelista on the autumn/winter 1991-1992 runway.


Yara Shahidi

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The corset element of Yara Shadidi's Jean Paul Gaultier Met look is from the spring 2008 Mermaid Haute Couture collection.


Margot Robbie

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Chanel remade a dress worn by Cindy Crawford on the runway in 1993 for Margot Robbie.


Gisele Bündchen

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The super wore this Chanel Haute Couture 2007 gown 16 years ago for a photo shoot at Karl’s home.