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Please, no more naked dresses at the Met Gala

Another year, another sea of naked dresses at the Met Gala.

Jennifer Lopez and Emily Ratajkowski were among those who wore naked dresses at the 2024 Met Gala. Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
  • Naked dresses once again dominated the Met Gala red carpet on Monday night. 
  • It's a trend we've seen nonstop since Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonc all did it in 2015.
  • But all the crystal-covered nude frocks are starting to look the same in the overdone trend.

It's a trend that has shown no signs of slowing down since 2015, when Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonc all walked up the Met steps in barely-there gowns.

And in the near-decade since, you'd be hard-pressed to find a celebrity who hasn't embraced their birthday suit on the first Monday in May. One only needs to do a quick Google search to find dozens of listicles showcasing the sheer fabrics and strategically placed crystals we've seen repeatedly over the past few years.

It's just starting to feel tired.

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This isn't to say some of those naked dresses haven't been standout looks — quite a few ended up on our list of the best Met Gala outfits of all time. But as I watched the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, J.Lo, and FKA Twigs arrive on Monday night, I just couldn't shake the feeling I had seen their outfits before.

The naked dress felt revolutionary as it transcended from big-screen costume to red-carpet gown, making its first appearance at the Met Gala courtesy of Cher in 1974. The sheer, sparkling Bob Mackie creation — complete with white feather sleeves — even landed on the cover of Time Magazine.

"It created a lot of hubbub," Mackie told Vogue in 2017. "In those days, Time reserved its covers for world leaders or someone who invented something important, like a vaccine. Then there was Cher on the cover in that incredible piece of clothing, and newsstands sold out of it almost immediately. Some cities even banned it from being sold."

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There have been a handful of genuinely iconic "naked dress" moments since then, from Kate Moss wearing that metallic Liza Bruce slip in 1993 to Jennifer Lopez inspiring the creation of Google Images with a sheer Versace design.

Rihanna inspired the current era of naked dresses when she made headlines after wearing a Swarovski crystal gown to the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards. It wasn't long before sheer gowns became inescapable on every red carpet.

Nowadays, wearing a naked dress doesn't make you one in a million — it makes you a dime a dozen.

"Nothing is very interesting anymore," Mackie told Vogue during that 2017 interview, already feeling the effects of naked-dress fatigue. "You just keep seeing the same thing over and over again, and there are no surprises."

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And in December 2022, designer Christian Siriano told us he was tired of the trend.

"There was the sheer, sexy thing for so long, but I'm like, 'We've seen it,'" he said.

Of course, there were some exceptions on Monday night. Elle Fanning deservedly topped many best-dressed lists with her glass-like Balmain gown, which appeared to be inspired by the frozen flowers — "transparent fronds frosted by the fossilized veins" — from "The Garden of Time," the 1962 short story by J.G. Ballard that served as the dress code for this year's Met Gala.

Fanning's icy off-the-shoulder dress was both a stunning sight and a symbolic representation of Ballard's themes regarding the fragility of wealth and beauty. The best fashion has a story, and the one Fanning's dress told was crystal clear.

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Phoebe Dynevor's ethereal Victoria Beckham gown, the first design by Posh Spice to be worn on the Met Gala steps, also brought a refreshing twist to the naked dress. With 300 hand-sewn lace appliqu flowers — which Beckham told Vogue had been dyed to match Dynevor's skin — it was a subtle and romantic interpretation of the trend that felt unexpected.

And unexpected might be the perfect word to describe what's been missing from so much of fashion lately, especially at the Met Gala.

The sheer power of being different is something Rihanna was teaching us in 2015. While everyone else was trying to capture the magic of her naked dress from the year before, Rihanna wore a 55-pound Guo Pei cape and stole the show.

So, let's give the naked dresses a rest and bring some surprise back to the Met Gala.

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