Tyla Met Gala: Meet the Star Who Won This Year’s Red Carpet

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

At her very first Met Gala, Tyla was easily the best dressed of the evening. Now, it’s time to get familiar with the star.

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Attending the Met Gala for the first time is decidedly no small feat. There are Kim Kardashian antics to contend with, flocks of photographers shouting from all angles, and, of course, the daunting task of ascending steep steps as the internet eagerly judges on. But at the 2024 Met Gala, one newbie arguably stole the show: Tyla.

What did Tyla wear to the Met Gala?

Known best as the singer of “Water,” a bop that has taken over TikTok, the 22-year-old star came to the Met with a look that added new depth to her artistry. Wearing a body-hugging Balmain dress made of actual sand, her hourglass figure mimicked a glass timer, making for a perfectly on-theme ensemble.

ICYMI, this year’s “Garden of Time” dress code is based on a 1962 dystopian short story of the same name. Themes of the tale are nature’s dwindling resources, the passage of time and, according to Vogue, the overarching concept of “fleeting beauty.” While many stars went a more literal route by incorporating branches, rosettes and floral motifs, Tyla steered clear of the garden and wandered straight into the dessert.

Moulded to fit her body and flowing into a mermaid silhouette, her “sands of time” gown was accessorized with a literal hourglass bag among other show-stopping details. Shimmery sand stuck to her forearms and shoulders, while her glowy glam — done by legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath — evoked a sun-kissed sculpture. To top it all off, the star’s wet-looking bob added to the beachy beauty and nodded to her “Water” hit.

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Photography by Getty Images, courtesy of Pat McGrath Labs

So, who exactly is Tyla?

Née Tyla Laura Seethal, the South African singer has been rising to mainstream heights for some time. Along with having an algorithm-dominating hit, she won her first Grammy award in 2024 — at just 22 years old. In March, she released a debut self-titled album, which has already been met with critical acclaim. So it’s perhaps no surprise, then, that her Met Gala look would be another main character moment.

Though the Met marked new territory for the singer, it isn’t her first time being deemed best dressed. At the Grammys, her pistachio cut-out gown was an instant internet favourite. And towards the end of last year, she made waves at an industry event in a wet look by cult-favourite brand Di Petsa. Her high-concept Met Gala look has only further solidified her as a fashion girlie to watch.

How long did the Tyla Met Gala look take?

The process to create the dress began two months before the Met Gala, Tyla said on the red carpet. “We wanted it to be special and take our time,” she told Emma Chamberlain before entering the event. Its organic texture adds windswept depth, outlining intricate details like her belly button and creating a statuesque ripple on the train.

Tyla Met Gala
Photography by Getty Images

What made Tyla’s look so special?

Perhaps the most standout aspect of the dress is its inherent ephemeral quality. Because it was designed to hug her proportions, it had to be somewhat destroyed in order for her to get out of it. Inside the ball, Balmain creative director Oliver Rousting posted a clip of him haphazardly chopping off the train with scissors, so Tyla could better move around.

As tough as it is to see the dress taken apart just minutes after debuting on the red carpet, this image hones in on the existential ethos of the 2024 event. The Tyla Met Gala look could only be worn once — intentionally crafted to exist as a brief but memorable moment in time.

It may have been Tyla’s first Met Gala, but judging from her expert execution, it won’t be her last. In the meantime, we’ll be watching to see what she wears next.

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