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This Is What The Met Gala Looked Like In 1998

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Let's just say that a lot can change in 20 years...

1998: A simpler time, when the true hallmark of eveningwear elegance was to subtly drape your elbows in fabric that matched - or clashed, if you were a real iconoclast - with your spaghetti-strapped dress. Or, at least, that’s what we can assume from photographic documentation of the 1998 Met Gala when, around two decades ago, the great and the good of the fashion, art, music and film worlds (and, ahem, Donald Trump and Sarah Ferguson) gathered to celebrate the opening of the Costume Institute’s Cubism in Fashion exhibition.

In the time honoured Met Gala fashion, the ball's theme didn't seem to bear too heavily upon our attendees' outfit choices, meaning that, sadly, there is little evidence that any of Anna Wintour's guests drew faces on the side of their own faces, Picasso-style. (This was, of course, before Rihanna became the event's unofficial patron saint and made it her mission to dress like the apotheosis of the Gala's dress code every year.) Instead, 1998's gala brought us slip dresses galore, surprisingly functional outerwear and a shiny, shiny suit that has not been rivalled before or since. Oh, and shawls. So many shawls...