Celebrities Who Embodied The MET Gala 2024 “Garden of Time"

The MET Gala 2024’s “The Garden Of Time” had celebrities wearing their most ethereal looks—here are some who really embodied this year’s theme.

The theme of the MET Gala 2024 is “The Garden of Time.” It’s a reference to the 1962 short story of the same name by sci-fi writer J.G. Ballard. The tale centers on a count and countess, who try stalling the arrival of an angry mob in their estate by plucking crystal flowers from a “time garden.” With every pluck, the flowers turn back a certain amount of time, but it’s not infinite. Eventually, all the blooms die and the couple transform into stone statues as their property falls into ruin, awaiting the inevitable arrival of the mob. 

“Le Jardin de Monet à Argenteuil” (1873) by Claude Monet/Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Beyond its imagery of a magical garden, the story explores the ephemeral nature of things, and how death is something no one can stop. People’s life spans are finite the way flowers are, and decay is a natural part of life. A number of celebrities in this year’s MET Gala truly understood the theme. They came dressed in opulent and darkly captivating floral ensembles that stayed true to the core of Ballard’s story. Here are a few pieces that truly stood out: 


It’s expected that Zendaya would attend the MET Gala 2024 not only in theme, but also as one of the best dressed. It’s something she’s been doing for years, so this comes as no surprise. The actress and model had two different floral gowns throughout the event.

However, her second piece for the evening, a vintage Givenchy gown in black with a bouquet headpiece, truly exemplified the theme of The Garden of Time. She looked like how one would imagine Ballard’s countess: regal and elegant, with just that hint of mourning. The gown’s black color references the story’s darker theme of death, with colorful flowers contrasting it the way the crystal blooms did. 

Bad Bunny 

Zendaya’s fellow co-chair Bad Bunny was the count to her countess, as the rapper and singer opted for a Maison Margiela piece that screamed aristocracy. It even featured a kind of bonnet or flat cap similar to those that noblemen wore in 16th century Europe.

 The top is also a great reference to the count’s style, which Ballard described as “a high-collared jacket.” Adding to that, the rapper was holding a bouquet of black flowers that felt incredibly appropriate.

Emma Chamberlain 

Popular American vlogger and entrepreneur Emma Chamberlain enthralled the crowd with smoky makeup and a dark brown Jean Paul Gaultier gown featuring lacy flower motifs. She completed this with a vine accessory wrapped around her arm, which gave the entire look a wilting flower feel. 

The star certainly read Ballard’s short story. She wanted to showcase nature’s darker underbelly with a look that exuded “fragility” and “decomposition,” as she shared with Laird Borrelli-Persson of Vogue. There’s no doubt that Chamberlain truly represented the outcome of The Garden of Time with a stunning yet grim dress that seamstresses took 600 hours to create—now that’s dedication to the theme. 

Sydney Sweeney 

Not many recognized actress Sydney Sweeney, who switched out her usual golden locks with a black bob. The hairstyle suited her dark fairytale-esque Miu Miu gown. 

Sydney Sweeney/Photo via Instagram @miumiu

The actress was on theme with a custom light-blue tulle gown. It featured all-over floral crystal embroidery, a perfect reference to the garden’s crystal flowers. The blooms look as though they’re wilting down the skirt as well, and a pair of black leather gloves complimented the entire look. 


Usher came dressed to impress with a custom-made Alexander McQueen piece that exuded “glamorous count” in a dark fairytale. A studded black suit, matching cape with a flower embellishment, dark hat, pointed black shoes, and blood-red accessories really stayed true to the themes of The Garden of Time.

Let’s not forget the eye-catching melting red rose piece that he held, which paid homage to the story’s ephemeral garden of flowers.  

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried also surprised many with platinum sculpted locks akin to Josephine Baker’s Kiss curls from the 1920s. Her shiny metallic dress was made from repurposed Prada material. This was intentional, as Seyfried wanted to incorporate sustainability into her dress. After having read and interpreted Ballard’s story, she viewed the mob as the impending doom brought by climate change, according to Jessica Testa of The New York Times

Not only did the actress re-contextualize The Garden of Time, she also stayed true to its themes and motifs with crystal-like flowers adorned across her dress’ body-hugging form. Silver leaves topped everything off and felt natural on her platinum hair as well, giving her an ethereal appearance.

Gigi Hadid

Though Gigi Hadid’s dress doesn’t seem to be as “dark” as the other ensembles in this list, its enchanting appearance is still very much on theme.

Her white Thom Browne dress is a floral vision whose skirt spreads out like a garden of blooms. It took the brand’s seamstresses 5,000 hours to make it with two million beads, too. Yet a touch of underlying darkness is present with black details on the skirt that contrast the piece’s bright and verdant look. 

Banner photo via Instagram @miumiu.

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