These 2024 Met Gala First-Timers Aced the Assignment

Some of the evening's standout newcomers included Taylor Russell, Greta Lee, and Tyla.

Tyla arrives at the 2024 met gala in a dress representing the sands of time
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's hard to stand out at an event like the Met Gala, where hundreds of celebrities descend in their finest custom fashion to fundraise for the Costume Institute. Stars like Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, and Gigi Hadid have attended for several years and bring a precedent for jaw-dropping fashion with them. But this year, a cohort of rising fashion stars ascending the museum's famed steps for their Met Gala debuts proved the power of a first impression—and staying true to personal style, all while embracing the "Garden of Time" dress code.

First came stylist Danielle Goldberg's cadre of It-girls. She has a knack for bringing out clients' personalities without ever veering into costume territory, proven by her roster of first-time Met Gala guests. Ayo Edebiri elevated ombré florals in a Loewe halter gown with 3D appliqués and an open back; Greta Lee walked right behind her in a Loewe naked dress that was more subversive than straightforwardly sexy thanks to a curved neckline that jutted out from the bodice. While the pair both had greenhouse florals on their mood boards, the textures and color palettes didn't feel like conventional flower motifs.

Ayo Edebiri attends the 2024 met gala in a loewe dress

Ayo Edebiri took the "Garden of Time" theme in a sun-soaked, spring direction with an intricate knitted Loewe gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Greta Lee attending the 2024 met gala in a custom dress by loewe

Greta Lee also wore Loewe—but in the form of a naked dress with a high, sculptural neckline.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bones and All star Taylor Russell is yet another example of Jonathan Anderson's innovation when it comes to the Met Gala's new arrivals. She eschewed more obvious floral "garden" references for a gown whose corset was made from—wait for it—wood. The contrasting materials and elegant draping resulted in one of the best looks of the evening—a giving tree of an outfit.

Taylor russell at the 2024 met gala in a wooden loewe dress

The bodice of Taylor Russell's Loewe gown was 3D modeled to fit her figure—and made from wood.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Grammy-winner Tyla is another star who saw the "Garden of Time" memo and decided against dressing like a freshly cut rose or tulip. Instead, she partnered with Balmain's Olivier Rousteing on a gown that could have come from the world of Dune. The form-fitting, paper-maché-like dress was made from a sand and crystal stud mixture, representing the figurative "sands of time." She took the reference a step further with a custom clutch in the form of a tiny hourglass.

Later on the carpet, Rousteing had to cut Tyla's gown into a mini dress so she could walk. (The sand isn't as pliable in gown form as it is on the beach, and Tyla had to be carried up a few of the Met steps.) Speaking with Marie Claire months ago, the singer said that anything she wears needs to allow her to move, but she broke up with her own style motto for the night. “We were looking to do something creative, something completely different for my first Met Gala,” Tyla told Vogue. She succeeded tremendously.

Tyla at the 2024 met gala in a balmain sand dress

Tyla, in Balmain, dressed as "the sands of time" in a form-fitting, sand dune tone gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Coming off a major awards season run, Da'Vine Joy Randolph extended her fashion-winning streak with her first Met Gala appearance—dressed in an unexpected designer. She partnered with Zac Posen, newly named the creative director of Gap, to create a sultry corset gown entirely cut from Gap denim. In a sea of pieces designed by European luxury houses, Randolph's ode to classic Americana subverted the status quo—and did so with expert tailoring and striking design elements, like fluttering bell sleeves.

Maybe the most celebratory look on the carpet came from Angel Reese. The WNBA rookie turned 22 on the carpet and brought the party vibes with her in a shimmering 16Arlington dress. Sequins! Feathers! Sheer fabrics! Reese has a noted affinity for all things glamorous and sparkly—her WNBA draft dress is also proof of that—and she made sure to bring it to her official fashion coronation.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph at the 2024 met gala

Da'Vine Joy Randolph proved denim can be couture, with a custom Gap by Zac Posen gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Angel reese at the 2024 met gala in a plunge sequin dress

Angel Reese toasted her 22nd birthday with a plunging 16Arlington dress, featuring turquoise sequins and a sheer slip skirt.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pamela Anderson's first walk up the Met steps was also poignant. Yesterday, at 56 years old, she attended her first Met Gala, following a pop culture wave that reconsidered Anderson's career and impact. She looked resplendent in a woodland princess-esque Oscar de la Renta gown—the sort of look that perfectly encapsulates the magic of fashion's biggest night out.

"I wasn't in fashion, ever. I wasn’t cool. And I know those things may seem really superficial to some people, but it means a lot to me," Anderson told The New York Times. Finally, receiving an invitation to the Met Gala felt like a form of acceptance.

Pamela Anderson wearing oscar de la renta at the 2024 met gala

Pamela Anderson glowed in Oscar de la Renta for her first-ever Met Gala.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

More Met Gala debuts that were worth a second look included Rachel Sennott in Gilded Age-esque Balenciaga, Karol G in shimmering Marc Jacobs, and Shakira in red-hot Carolina Herrera. Whatever next year's theme is, look out for the first-timers. Chances are, they'll be the ones to really watch, and when these guests have racked up enough Met Galas to merit an entire gallery, they'll be glad the retrospective starts with their 2024 dresses.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.