In Depth

Method in the madness: The Met Ball's key looks

All the trends from fashion's biggest night of the year

New York's famous Met Ball is basically fashion's safe space. Wear whatever you want, the glitterati say, however strange, and there will be someone, somewhere, sporting something even stranger.

This year the theme was Comme des Garcons and its founder Rei Kawakubo. It was "one of the wildest Met Gala red carpets ever", says Vogue (whose editor Anna Wintour chairs the event) – "but that didn't mean that there weren't breakaway trends". Stay tuned to your loopy side: here's what you (might) see making its way to a high street near you.

Backless / "naked" outfits
Bella Hadid

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2017 Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:Kendall Jenner attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.(

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2017 Getty Images

Proving that the most fashionable young things around are trying to get away with wearing no clothes at all, both Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner went for a double whammy of on-trend looks: backlessness and nakedness. The daring combo "made traditional cleavage look basic and so last year", the Daily Mail said approvingly.

Hair – and head – decoration
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:Katy Perry attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.(Phot

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2017 Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:Cara Delevingne attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.

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2017 Getty Images

So many possibilities here. Do you spray-paint your recently-shaven head silver a la Cara Delevingne? Or do you throw caution completely to the winds with a Miss Havisham-meets-Carrie red veil, like Katy Perry?

Fringe
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:Kylie Jenner attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.(Ph

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2017 Getty Images

Five years ago Met Ball doyenne Anna Wintour refused to invite Kim Kardashian to the event. Perhaps Wintour saw what was coming: a Kardashian coup. The family now "rule" the gala, according to Page Six. There'll be no stopping them now, not when Kylie is rocking the fringe trend so effortlessly.

Volume
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:Rihanna attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.(Photo b

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2017 Getty Images

It's unusual for Rihanna to follow the rules, but this year the pop star stuck "religiously" to the theme in this multi-layered Comme des Garcons creation, the Daily Telegraph says. Rihanna also nailed a key trend from this season: volume, volume, volume. See Solange Knowles and Claire Danes for further examples.

Ball gown

Rihanna tweeted a picture of Zendaya's dress and the actor's hysterical response went viral – with good reason. When pop's reigning queen gives you a tip of the achingly fashionable hat, you'll know you've made it. It's also solid proof that in Vogue's words "the old-school ball gown is back".

Casual/denim
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1,

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2017 Getty Images

When you're in a couple you can handily tick off two trends for the price of one. Enter Pharrell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh. A noted red carpet player, perhaps only Pharrell could get away with something this casual at the Met Ball. It helps that last year Kanye West broke the taboo by wearing jeans, Vogue points out. Now, it looks like the casual look is spreading. His wife holds up the other end with both the volume and the cherry red colour – Comme des Garcons' unofficial shade.

Boot pants
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:Lily Aldridge attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.(P

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2017 Getty Images

Fashion loves a (semi-) new item of clothing. This year, it's boot pants. "Yeah, you heard that right – boots that are basically pants", Cosmopolitan writes. Among the trailblazers this year were Lily Aldridge (above), Salma Hayek and Bella Hadid.

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