Why Cats Dominated the 2023 Met Gala Red Carpet

2 minute read

This year’s Met Gala theme, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, inspired several gorgeous and outrageous outfits worn in homage to the late designer’s work—as well as a number of feline looks paying tribute to Lagerfeld’s 11-year-old Birman cat, Choupette.

Rapper Doja Cat arrived at her first Met Gala in a head-to-toe Oscar De La Renta jeweled cat gown with cat ears, accessorized with a prosthetic cat nose and cat claw inspired acrylic nails.

Shortly after, someone wearing a fluffy cat suit and head, with blue eyes and gray whiskers that perfectly resembled Choupette, arrived on the carpet. When the cat head was removed, it was revealed to be actor Jared Leto, who is starring as Lagerfeld in an upcoming biopic he’s producing. (It’s not the first time the actor has removed his head on the red carpet.)

Jared Leto
Jared LetoNoam Galai—GA/The Hollywood Reporter/Getty Images
Doja Cat
Doja CatTheo Wargo—Getty Images

The stars’ similar red carpet choices prompted several viral memes showcasing the duo facing off.


And rapper Lil Nas X responded to reporters only with “meows” when asked about his cat look, featuring glistening silver body paint, pearls, and whiskers.

According to her agent Lucas Bérullier, Choupette was invited to the Met Gala. The cat confirmed she would not attend the event on her Instagram account, which has nearly 175,000 followers, writing, “Many people invited me to walk the red carpet of the Met Gala 2023 in tribute to Daddy, but we preferred to stay peacefully and cozy at home.”

Tributes to Choupette were seen all over the carpet Monday night. James Corden donned a blue suit meant to match the cat’s eyes. Janelle Monáe carried a white bag shaped like a cat, and Saturday Night Live‘s Chloe Fineman held a small pink bejeweled cat purse.

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Write to Mariah Espada at mariah.espada@time.com