Met Gala Nail Mania: Unforgettable Celebrity Nail Art Extravaganza

The Met Gala is one of the biggest fashion events of the year, held annually at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This star-studded soiree features elaborate costumes matching the theme, attracting A-list celebrities and fashion icons. Each year has a unique theme that inspires opulent outfits and over-the-top nail art. From gilded and glamorous to avant-garde designs, Met Gala nails have become an integral part of the extravagant ensembles. Celebrities often showcase some of their most creative and bold manicures at this event, setting trends for the year’s hottest nail art styles.

2022: Gilded Glamour

The theme for the 2022 Met Gala was “Gilded Glamour,” celebrating the golden age of American fashion in the late 1800s. As always, celebrities brought their A-game with standout nail art reflecting the extravagant theme.

Pop star Billie Eilish sported long pointy black claws covered in ornate gold foil design, perfectly capturing the essence of gilded age fashion (Source 1). Singer Lizzo‘s nails told a story, with each nail featuring a unique golden symbol like a flower or lips. Her ring fingernail stole the show, sculpted into a regal golden statue inspired by the Statue of Liberty (Source 2).

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine went for gilded black claws wrapped in delicate gold chains. The chains draped over her nails in true Art Nouveau style. These celebs proved short or long, nail art can shine at the Met Gala when it captures the daring spirit of the theme.

2021: American Fashion

The theme for the 2021 Met Gala was “American Independence,” celebrating American design and fashion. This inspired many celebrities to showcase patriotic and Americana-themed nail art for the event.

celebrities showcased patriotic and americana-themed nail art for the 2021 met gala event.

Amanda Gorman, who rose to fame with her performance at President Biden’s inauguration, wore metallic blue nails designed by Celia Burton featuring red and white stripes to represent the American flag (source). Megan Thee Stallion also wore flag-inspired nails, with an intricate french tip design in red, white and blue by celebrity nail artist Coca Michelle.

Yara Shahidi paid homage to her American roots with golden nail tips decorated with outlines of every U.S. state. Lourdes Leon showed her patriotism with neon red nails featuring blue stars. Simone Biles and her fellow gymnasts wore coordinated red and blue striped nails. These memorable manicures creatively represented American culture and values through nail art.

2020: Canceled Due to COVID-19

The Met Gala was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the New York Times reported, “According to a spokesperson for the museum, no new date or further plans for the party, originally scheduled for May 4 and meant to unveil the Costume Institute’s ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ exhibition, have been set.”

Vogue also confirmed the cancellation, stating “It’s now official: There will be no Met gala in 2020. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has been closed since mid March, announced today that the event will not take place this year.”

The gala was scheduled to have the theme “About Time: Fashion and Duration” to complement the Costume Institute’s exhibition on the same topic. However, due to the global pandemic shutting down large gatherings, the event could not take place as planned in 2020.

2019: Camp Fashion

The 2019 Met Gala theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion” inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.” It celebrated exaggerated and outrageous “camp” style. The celebrity nail art perfectly embodied the campy extravagance of the theme.

Katy Perry made headlines with her Moschino burger handbag and beefy nail art featuring tiny hamburgers complete with sesame seed buns and tiny french fries on her nails. Her manicure captured the essence of wacky, campy fun (Popsugar).

Other notable camp nail art included Maisie Williams’ individual mismatched fingernails featuring colorful squiggles, eyeballs, and lips. Lily Aldridge wore glittering chrome claws. Janelle Monae sported exotic fish on each nail. Ezra Miller’s red latex gloves with matching square red nails oozed high-fashion camp. The over-the-top nail art complemented the outrageous campy fashion perfectly.

2018: Heavenly Bodies

The theme for the 2018 Met Gala was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Celebrities embraced the religious aspect of the theme with their nail art, featuring crosses, halos, and other Catholic imagery.

Katy Perry wore dramatic black and gold nail art featuring eye-catching 3D crosses on each nail. Her manicure perfectly complemented her larger-than-life angel wings on the red carpet ( Solange Knowles also sported 3D crosses on her nails, but in a metallic red colorway. Her manicure referenced the Crusades and medieval Catholic art (

Halos were another popular nail art motif for the Heavenly Bodies theme. Zendaya wore golden halos over a pearlized pink base. Lily Collins had French tip nails with gold halo details on each ring finger. The halos added an angelic vibe to their manicures.

Overall, the abundance of crosses, halos, and other Catholic symbols demonstrated the celebrities’ dedication to perfectly interpreting the Met Gala theme through their nail art.

2017: Rei Kawakubo

In 2017, the theme for the Met Gala was Rei Kawakubo and avant-garde fashion. This led many celebrities to showcase bold, geometric nail art looks on the red carpet. Model Jourdan Dunn’s nails perfectly embodied the theme with jagged, triangular shapes in black and white (source). The fractured, mosaic-like design mirrored the unconventional spirit of Kawakubo’s designs for Comme des Garçons.

Other standout avant-garde nails included Katy Perry’s black and gold chrome claws and Lily Aldridge’s polished white talons with severe angles. The edgy, futuristic nail shapes and patterns were a fitting homage to Kawakubo’s groundbreaking impact on the fashion industry. She has long pushed the boundaries of tradition with her avant-garde, deconstructed creations. The celebrity nail art in 2017 creatively translated her aesthetic in miniature form for the Met Gala.

2016: Manus x Machina

The 2016 Met Gala focused on the dichotomy between handmade fashion and machine-made fashion. Chrome and metallic nail art shined brightly on the red carpet that year.

Selena Gomez complemented her dazzling Louis Vuitton dress with matching chrome stiletto nails designed by celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik (BLOG: Met Gala Nails 2016). Kate Hudson sparkled in a glittering Michael Kors Collection dress and sported matching silver chrome nails by Deborah Lippmann (Nails From the 2016 Met Gala – Nail Bytes). Gigi Hadid went for an edgy look with her Tommy Hilfiger ensemble and sported metallic silver-tipped nails.

The metallic nail art reflected the tech-inspired theme and added high-shine glamour to the red carpet looks.

Most Outrageous Nails

When it comes to the Met Gala, celebrities often go all out with dramatic nail art to complement their avant-garde looks. Over the years, attendees have debuted some truly wild manicures on the red carpet. From Katy Perry’s Joan of Arc-inspired nails studded with rhinestones to Florence Welch’s talon-like green claws, the event has sparked major nail art inspiration.

In 2019, Katy Perry made headlines with her outrageous 3D cheeseburger nails. Crafted by nail artist Juan Alvear, they featured tiny sesame seeds, cheeses, lettuce, and even a toothpick! That same year, Lady Gaga sported a chromed manicure with spike embellishments that perfectly matched her robot-inspired ensemble.

Janelle Monae took graphic black and white nails to the next level in 2018, with sharply pointed stiletto tips covered in abstract line art. In 2017, Solange Knowles made a bold statement with golden chrome talons shaped like claws. And in 2016, Beyonce wore fierce lemon yellow nails so long they curled under at the tips.

No one does haute nails quite like the Met Gala. Attendees continue to embrace embellished press-ons, elaborate 3D art, gleaming metallics, and edge-pushing shapes. When it comes to fashion’s biggest night, anything goes for red carpet manicures. The annual soiree never fails to deliver major nail art inspiration.

Concluding Thoughts

The Met Gala has been a showcase for creative and luxurious nail art designs over the years. Celebrities and their manicurists pull out all the stops, turning fingernails into tiny canvases to complement their avant-garde outfits. From extra-long talons encrusted with crystals and gold foil to glossy black claws with 3D floral appliques, no nail art concept has been too outrageous for this red carpet. Themes like “Camp” and “Heavenly Bodies” have inspired fingernail masterpieces ranging from over-the-top to subtly elegant. While everyday nail art trends come and go, the Met Gala reliably delivers next-level nail inspiration, with A-listers debuting manicures more fantastical than the last. The event celebrates both fashion and artistic excellence, evidenced by the awe-inspiring nail art unveiled on its red carpet year after year. For over-the-top nail inspiration, few places can compete with the creative energy and luxury of the Met Gala.

Similar Posts