Celebrity Stylist Talks About Working on Met Gala Outfits

  • Celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger has worked on numerous looks for the Met Gala red carpet.
  • Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Hudson, and Diane Kruger are just a few of her many clients.
  • Speaking with Insider, Erlanger talked about working the event, styling stars, and more.

On the first Monday in May, celebrities flock to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to attend the annual Met Gala.

But for months leading up to the event, stylists are working hard behind the scenes to put together looks that will stand out on the fashion-filled red carpet. One of those stylists is Micaela Erlanger, who has been styling Met Gala looks for A-list clients since 2013.

Speaking with Insider, Erlanger opened up about attending the prestigious gala, working with designer brands, and styling stars like Lupita Nyong’o.

Stylist Micaela Erlanger poses on a red carpet in January 2020.


Micaela Erlanger has been styling Met Gala looks since 2013.

Noam Galai/Stringer/Getty Images

Micaela Erlanger described the Met Gala as an exciting, prestigious, and wild night

Erlanger first worked the Met Gala in 2013 when styling actress Michelle Dockery, and later went on to style Lupita Nyong’o the following year. She’s continued to style the latter actress for numerous Met Galas, as well as other stars like Diane Kruger, Jennifer Hudson, Hayden Panettiere, and more.

“The Met Gala is kind of like the Oscars of fashion,” she said. “It’s an opportunity where stylists can truly collaborate with designers to bring the Met Gala theme to life, and it’s very much a celebration of fashion as an art.”

Still, she noted that “anything goes” the night of the event, and “rules are out the window.”

“It’s just sensory overload,” she said.

She typically begins planning Met Gala looks months in advance

According to Erlanger, initial conversations about what celebrity clients will wear often happen right after the Oscars, which is typically held in February. Later, fashion teams get more specific with a concept, direction, and sketch, which Erlanger says can work “one of two ways.”

“Either a brand comes to us with ideas and sketches, or I will propose a mood board and direction to a brand with our ideas and inspiration. Then they interpret it,” she said.

Jennifer Hudson at the 2016 Met Gala.


She styled Jennifer Hudson in H&M for the 2016 event.

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

From there, Erlanger says she’s “super involved” in the styling process — up to the moment celebrities hit the red carpet.

“The Met Gala is a very exclusive event and notoriously, stylists are not allowed to attend,” she said. “So it’s a privilege and an honor when you are in fact invited to help your client on the carpet. I have had that honor a number of times.”

“It’s kind of crazy because there are photographers on both sides of the steps and you’re getting photographed at all angles and you need to make sure the train of the dress looks perfect,” she continued. “You’re typically sandwiched between one movie star in front of you and another movie star behind you, and it’s a zoo — a very glamorous one.”

The Met Gala can become even more hectic for stylists when working with more than one celebrity on the same night. Luckily, Erlanger has come up with a solution over the years.

“I require that they all stay in the same hotel because it’s just chaos,” she said. “It’s a lot of juggling and coordinating schedules because you want to help your clients out the door, but they’re typically leaving all around the same time.”

Lupita Nyong'o and Micaela Erlanger ahead of the 2017 Met Gala.


Lupita Nyong’o leaves for the 2017 Met Gala, with Micaela Erlanger behind her.

Robert Kamau/Getty Images

After putting so much work into each outfit, Erlanger says it’s “really hard to choose” any favorites. Still, she said she loves Diane Kruger’s Prabal Gurung look in 2018, and a few of Nyong’o’s looks.

Diane Kruger styled by Micaela Erlanger at the 2018 Met Gala.


Micaela Erlanger styled this look for Diane Kruger in 2018.

Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images

“There’s a soft spot in my heart for my first time with Lupita on the Met carpet in Prada, but it’s also hard to follow up that Versace from 2019,” she said.

lupita nyong'o 2019 met gala


Lupita Nyong’o wears Versace at the 2019 Met Gala.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Of course, that could all change this year when the Met Gala returns for the first time since 2019.

“I’ll be working with Lupita again this year,” Erlanger said. “It’s the return to the red carpet. I’m so pumped.”

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