The Met Gala is arguably my favorite of all the major Hollywood x Fashion events. It’s always something of a tossup between the Met Gala and the Oscars but if I’m being totally honest, there’s really nothing quite like the Met Gala. It’s just such a celebration of creativity, individuality, and diversity: a true exploration of how the arts intertwine with history, politics, society and life. The 2018 Met Gala theme was ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’. The result? A breathtaking explosion of style statements ranging from bold religious elements to more avant-garde symbolism.
This year, I decided to divide my favorites into two niches: the ‘best hairstyles’ list, comprising the more conventionally beautiful celebrity hairstyles as well as the most popular; and the ‘hot hair trends’ list, acknowledging the night’s standout stars and most talked-about statements.
Let’s get started with the best hairstyles of the 2018 Met Gala.
As one of the chairs of the 2018 Met Gala, everyone expected Amal Clooney to show up in style and she did not disappoint. I’m always on the lookout for glamorous ponytails because let’s be honest: as spectacular as updos and intricate braids are, they’re not the easiest trends to put together on yourself, without any help. A really big part of fashion is how it translates across demographics, which is why fun, wearable hairstyles top my list of celebrity style trends to follow. Amal’s upswept, flippy ponytail is just the kind of ‘real woman style’ that she’s so loved for. The soft long bangs, voluminous crown and cascading curls at the back take an otherwise simple hairstyle to the next level. Amal Clooney’s 2018 Met Gala hairstyle is also an excellent example of how a well-done hair color job can transform any look.
It’s been a while since I’ve been inspired by a mermaid waves hairstyle but Amanda Seyfried’s Met Gala 2018 look was absolute perfection. We saw so much of the wavy hair trend for a while –mermaid waves, boho waves, beachy waves and whatnot–that the idea had lost some of its magic. But if you can tear your eyes away from the marigold-hued Prada gown for just a minute, Amanda’s look is a reminder about just how glorious big, brushed-out waves can be. Tons of volume, a soft satiny sheen and well-defined structure are all you need to sport this girliest of hair trends. While so many celebrities went with massive crowns and statement headpieces, Amanda wore a delicate tiara nestled prettily in all that volume.
Of the numerous crowns and crown-adjacent headpieces we saw last night, Anne Hathaway’s spiky starburst of a topper is one of my favorites. There’s something intrinsically halo-like about the shape and the dull gold finish, but the form and mood created by the gold quills add such an edge to the ensemble. It’s also interesting to note how a classic French twist or a bouffant, or for that matter any twisted updo, can be transformed into an infinitely more complex and graphic hairstyle with the right accessories. Anne Hathaway’s 2018 Met Gala hairstyle has drawn comparisons with the Crown of Thorns. My dear friend Adir Abergel styled Anne for the event and as usual, his genius is unmatched. To create a hairpiece that was unlike any other –especially for an evening that’s known for turning out one-of-a-kind style statements– Adir actually spray-painted porcupine quills (from his own collection, no less) a burnished gold to add a (literal) sharp contrast to Anne’s flowing red Valentino gown.
In a sea of stunning crowns, veils and headpieces, each more dramatic and magnificent than the next, Blake Lively’s delicate halo-like headpiece stood out and how. Blake’s now a veteran of the Red Carpet and is one of those young celebrities who’s managed to create a niche for themselves in terms of marrying daring fashion with classic sensibilities. The tousled updo is the perfect foil to the ethereal headpiece, the bejeweled Versace gown and the mighty Lorraine Schwartz jewels. So often, the strongest hairstyle choices are the subtle ones that allow an entire look to shine.
Jasmine Sanders’ spectacular flower-festooned Rapunzel braid is the standout star of the 2018 Met Gala. With metallic threads and cranberry ribbons winding their way in and out of the braid and big, beautiful roses woven in, this braid is not only the best 2018 Met Gala hairstyle, but one of the best hair trends we’ve seen all year. From the naturally glorious roses to those carefully gilded with some gold dust, from the little green leaves peeking out at places to the ribbons and threads sashaying at the ends of the braid- everything about this hairdo is to die for. It evokes all kinds of images of rose bushes and flower-topped vines in the countryside, a faint Dolce & Gabbana-esque flair for grandeur and the magic of princesses and fairytales. It’s a lot of look, but there’s a lot to love!
Another look that got everyone talking is Kate Bosworth’s 2018 Met Gala appearance. Comparisons to the Virgin Mary, to bridal styles of days gone by and a distinctly cherubic vibe are all over the Internet: and it’s proof that Bosworth not only got the evening’s theme just right- she also looked absolutely stunning doing so. Hair trends from the Met Gala don't always make for the most wearable hairstyles but I do think there’s major inspiration to be mined here- especially for to-be brides. We’ve seen a revival of bridal veils and traditional bridal hair accessories over the last few months and Kate’s hairstyle here is a really elegant but striking one that works perfectly with all manner of hair accessories and outfits. The carefully sculpted hairline and middle part create a strong focal point while the rest of the hairstyle is kept understated to let the accessories and makeup do the talking. I read somewhere that Kate Bosworth looked doll-like at the 2018 Met Gala and I couldn’t agree more.
The 13 Reasons Why star sported one of the night’s most striking gowns and subtly sophisticated hairstyles. You might think that soft, loose waves might get lost in a sea of dramatic crowns, veils and headdresses but Katherine Langford looked arresting. I love how the center-parted hair and slight volume at the hairline help create a soft cushion for the hair accessories, while the rest of her hair is falling free with the most dramatic, Disney-princess hair vibe of all time. The whole look is dramatic but very soft, very romantic. Brushing the hair up and away at the front and creating a little volume at the crown add that touch of drama that’s needed to spice up a classic hairstyle. This is one of those hairstyles that are simple in their conception but absolutely genius in their execution.
Kerry Washington has worn her hair big, bold and beautiful on several red carpets now and it still continues to delight me as much as ever. Whether it’s an Afro or soft waves, there’s really nothing like embracing and enhancing your natural hair texture. A great way to amp up natural texture is to use a diffuser to dry your wet hair: this adds a ton of volume and really boosts texture. Add your favorite texturizing product then softly brush out the curls to maximize their effect. To really get your natural hair to spread out beautifully for special occasions, I recommend teasing the roots for some extra lift at the base. Follow up with hairspray to keep it all in place and add a gilded accessory for a strong finish like Kerry’s.
Maya Thurman Hawke
I cannot resist a braided updo, much less one that’s pearl-topped. Whoever thought weaving a few black ribbons and adding pearls to milkmaid braids could transform an entire look from costume-y to haute couture? We’ve come across pearl-topped hairpins so many times over the years (ever since Chanel showcased their models wearing pearls in their hair it’s become a major global hair trend) that I’ve come to believe these are a staple hair accessory for any hairstylist or style enthusiast. Crown braids and milkmaid braids do run the risk of looking too thematic or twee, so you can always update the hairstyle with hair accessories. I enjoy how the black ribbons and white pearls are both contrasts to one another and play off the monochromatic color scheme of Maya’s outfit (not to mention, the obvious clergy-inspired theme).
I can’t remember the last time I covered a fashion event and Zendaya didn’t make the cut. Even when she’s sporting a hair trend that’s not quite your cup of tea, you can’t deny that she does it with unmatched spirit and style. Take this wavy auburn bob with the blunt fringe for instance. From the choppy ends and the kinky texture to the glassy finish and short bangs: there are tons of strong elements at play. Least of which is the fiery copper hair color: totally not your usual spring-summer hair color. But Zendaya makes it all work, and how! The young star’s outfit and look are inspired by French heroine Joan of Arc, who famously cut her own hair (and led a revolution, nbd!). Blending themes of girl power, Catholicism and military-inspired fashion, Zendaya’s look is all about fashion that celebrates the individual and the icons of the past.
As is usually the case with the Met Gala, I had a hard time narrowing down my list of favorite hairstyles. There was just so much to choose from. If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to check out the other stellar looks from the evening. For classic updos and bridal hairstyles, I recommend Rosie Huntingon-Whitely’s beautiful looped bun. If you’re in the mood for some color/ missing the candy hair color trends of summers past, Cara Delevingne’s lilac tips in a platinum blonde base is all kinds of bubblegum perfection. If you’re looking for ideas on how to style dreadlocks, cornrows and braided hair, take a look at Sasha Lane’s upswept dreads accessorized with a bejeweled hair chain or Zoe Kravitz’s classic chignon topped with a beautiful, gem-encrusted black bow. And if all the edgy hair trends, bobs and pixies, braids and updos leave you wanting for something classic and timeless, Rita Ora makes a strong argument in favor of really letting your hair grow out.