Zendaya shock on the Met Gala red carpet: the two looks that impressed fans and the press

Zendaya once again proves she has a good eye. Here are the looks that the actress chose to capture attention on the red carpet of the prestigious Met Gala!

Image Credit: Zandaya

After what we're sure were days and days of careful selection, Zendaya ultimately opted for a custom haute couture look from Maison Margiela Artisanal by John Galliano for the 2024 Met Gala, as well as a surprise look from the private archive of Galliano. In the hours before the Challengers star arrived on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, rumors about which big name in fashion she would wear for the occasion were making the rounds on the web. Several dresses were mentioned as contenders, a sign of the power Zendaya wields in the fashion industry.

But her first choice actually reflected the blend of 19th-century romance and modernity that Galliano creates like perhaps no other designer, with elements that subtly evoke the theme chosen for this year's gala, The Garden of Time. The emerald green and electric blue dress is a custom design made of sage organza and lamé, with a duchess satin bodice, hand-painted metallic details, an aluminum and iridescent organza drape and bow, and finished with a hand.

The look is accessorized with a hat created by legendary milliner Stephen Jones for Maison Margiela, composed of a hand-painted veil, while Zendaya's custom Tabi pumps are by Christian Louboutin for Maison Margiela. Shortly after, Zendaya made a second surprise appearance on the red carpet wearing one of those other favorite Met Gala gowns. The next look comes from John Galliano's first haute couture collection for Givenchy in January 1996 and was purchased from Lily et Cie, the famous Beverly Hills boutique beloved by style enthusiasts as a resource for vintage fashion.

Lily et Cie founder Rita Watnick revealed to THR that Zendaya's top stylist, Law Roach, arrived at her shop in March, right before the Academy Awards. “I thought he was looking for another option for the Oscars, and when he left he didn't say a word about what he was thinking,” recalls Watnick, who has curated every piece found inside Lily et Cie since he opened its doors in 1979. “But we had a great time and had a great conversation about art and other stories. And then he sent me the most beautiful floral arrangement and it filled almost an entire window, it was a very kind gesture that really touched me."

Three weeks before the Met Gala, Roach contacted Watnick again, asking if he could bring his superstar client along to try on a dress he had looked at during his first visit. “Zendaya tried on one dress and only that dress,” Watnick recalls. “She put it on and it was clear that she felt really good, and she even liked the way she walked.” The Galliano silk dress has remained largely invisible since it debuted on that 1996 runway. “It's the only one in the world, it's in virtually perfect condition, made by John Galliano and worn on the runway by Veronica Webb, and worn only later by Nadja Auermann in an editorial,” explains Watnick.

The dress was Look no. 8 of Galliano's debut for the house founded by Hubert de Givenchy and, at the time, its clear nod to 19th-century romanticism raised eyebrows among those devoted to the brand's modernity. A week after the in-store try-on, Zendaya purchased the dress. This last fact is another important detail: not lent, not given, but purchased. “We have never lent a dress, we have never rented a dress: the museum doesn't lend clothes, and neither do we.”