2018 Met Gala Jewelry: How to Get the Most Heavenly Looks for Less

JLo at the 2018 Met Gala
Jennifer Lopez at the 2018 Met Gala n a gem-encrusted Balmain gown and Tiffany & Co. jewelry. Photo GettyImages.

If somehow your invitation to Monday night’s Met Gala went missing, welcome to the club. The annual fundraiser for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute is the hottest ticket of the year…an evening likened only to the Oscars for red-carpet dazzle.

This year’s Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” was controversial from the get-go, but it helped that the Vatican cooperated by sending some 40 ecclesiastical vestments and jewels to be part of  the curated collection.

A few of the night’s most spectacular outfits are featured here, along with some tips on how to get the best Met Gala jewelry looks on a budget.


Sunday Best

YSL Clip-On Cross Earrings
Yves Saint Laurent YSL Clip-On Cross Earrings, $325, at 1stdibs.com

Those VIPs lucky enough to snag an invite to the Met Gala were asked to dress in their “Sunday Best,” a thinly veiled attempt to keep some sense of decorum and respect for the theme. The A-list crowd hit the red carpet in couture takes on clergy and nuns, angels and demons, tapestries, stained glass windows, and statues—there was even a pope (hello #badgirlriri)!  Several stars opted to interpret the first half of the theme, rather than the second, showing off their “Heavenly Bodies.”

Rihanna in Maison Margiela
Rihanna in Maison Margiela, with an archival pendant from Cartier. Photo GettyImages.

Crosses, Crowns & Headpieces

Blake Lively in Versace at the 2018 Met Gala
Blake Lively in Versace, with jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz. Photo GettyImages.


Crown Headpiece
Crown Headpiece, $32, at apatico.com

What about the jewelry, you ask? Well, not surprisingly, bejeweled crosses, crowns and headpieces dominated the evening and will no doubt influence the fashion firmament for months to come. Look for these styles to be huge by summer, and at summer weddings (the Hollywood Reporter wrote that there’s not a cross left in all of New York City).

Shop The Met

One of the best ways to find this year’s Met Gala jewelry looks for less is to stop by The Met’s gift shop, or visit online at store.metmuseum.org. The Met is known for its faithful reproductions of museum masterpieces and the “Heavenly Bodies” commemorative collection is no exception.

Mixed Cross Drop Earrings
Mixed Cross Drop Earrings, $75, at The Met Store

There are crown, cross, and skull-with-crown motif earrings in silver and rhinestones, rosary necklaces in black and gold, and beautiful faux gem bangles starting at $50. (We also lust after the exhibit’s official Versace T-shirt; even at $450, it is sure to sell out soon.)

Gemstone Pattern Bangle
Gemstone Pattern Bangle, $165, at The Met Store

Mad for Maltese

Consider treating yourself (or a loved one) to a wide Maltese Cross Cuff studded with faux gemstones. This iconic bracelet (a copy of those Coco Channel wore in the 1930s) is an international symbol of style, and relatively affordable if you know where to look.

Kim Kardashian, Pavé Cuff, Black Resin Maltese Cross Cuff
Left: Kim Kardashian in Versace, with Lorraine Schwartz layered cross necklaces. Photo GettyImages.
Right Top: Pavé Cuff at galegrant.com, $265. Right Bottom: Black Resin Maltese Cross Cuff at kennethjaylane.com, $230.

Check out the Kenneth Jay Lane collection online for a black resin Maltese Cross Cuff, or galegrant.com for more colorful versions. And don’t forget 1stdibs.com and therealreal.com for gently loved pieces at down-to-earth prices.

The “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition at The Met on Fifth Avenue in NYC, and The Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, NYC, runs through October 8, 2018. metmuseum.org.




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