The unsung hero of the Met Gala red carpet is, without question, André Leon Talley
Andre Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala Evan Agostini/AP

The unsung hero of the Met Gala red carpet is, without question, André Leon Talley

There are people who regularly go to the Met Ball — Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid among them — and those who regularly make the Met Ball — Rihanna and legendary former Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley.

While Rihanna’s exceedingly wonderful looks on every Met Gala red carpet she’s stepped on — that yellow Guo Pei! that stunning Comme des Garçons! — are internationally recognized greatness, we don’t think Talley has really gotten the fashion appreciation that he’s due after these galas.

Source: Giphy

Regularly a snazzy dresser himself, he always brings a certain extra something — a little oomph — that makes him one to watch on the Met Gala whenever he feels that it’s worthy of his presence.

Met Gala fashion expertise from him began in 2003, with Talley — all 6’6” of him — arriving draped in a shiny pinstripe coat with hot pink accents, gracefully hung over a neat tuxedo.

André Leon Talley at the 2003 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2003 Met Gala Evan Agostini/Getty Images

The very next year, he pulled out what remains our favorite outfit of his, for the 2004 Met Gala that was all about 18th century fashion. He wore what looked like a traditional trench coat, if it was sent back in time 300 years for a little gussying up.

André Leon Talley and Renée Zellweger at the 2004 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Renée Zellweger at the 2004 Met Gala Evan Agostini/Getty Images

There’s the ruffles at the sleeves and the train and volume and the tiny bit of red satin peeking out of his tuxedo jacket.

Next to Renée Zellweger in Carolina Herrera, he held his own.

André Leon Talley and Renée Zellweger at the 2004 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Renée Zellweger at the 2004 Met Gala Louis Lanzano /AP

Two years later in 2006, with the theme of British fashion and designers, he opted for an even more regal look.

André Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell at the 2006 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell at the 2006 Met Gala Evan Agostini/Getty Images

In addition to his tuxedo, he wore a cream satin tie, a diamond broach, cream gloves and an intricately threaded, short gray coat that hung down to his knees.

André Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell at the 2006 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell at the 2006 Met Gala Peter Kramer/Getty Images

The look complemented his date — Naomi Campbell — quite well.

With 2008 came a truly massive cape or coat of sorts, which Talley played around with on the red carpet with his red carpet companion, Venus Williams.

Venus Williams and André Leon Talley at the 2008 Met Gala
Venus Williams and André Leon Talley at the 2008 Met Gala Evan Agostini/AP

The night was all about superheroes, and so Talley’s outfit made perfect sense. It looked like if Superman had 1) a better stylist and 2) dramatic flair.

André Leon Talley and Venus Williams at the 2008 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Venus Williams at the 2008 Met Gala Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

In 2009, Talley brought politics to the Met Gala, with a picture of Barack Obama linked into his necklace, which featured black hearts.

André Leon Talley at the 2009 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2009 Met Gala Evan Agostini/AP

His whole look was again — as always — a look that only he could pull off, essentially wearing a button-down and tie with an overwhelming cape over it.

André Leon Talley at the 2009 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2009 Met Gala Evan Agostini/AP

And then there are the shoes, with those diamond buckles.

Now with the 2010 Met Gala comes the question: Does André Leon Talley always have the best gala dates?

André Leon Talley and Whoopi Goldberg at the 2010 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Whoopi Goldberg at the 2010 Met Gala Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The answer is yes. Yes he does. In 2010 he attended the gala with Whoopi Goldberg, wearing those diamond buckle shoes again along with a cream coat draped across his shoulders, which matched Goldberg’s outfit.

On his T-shirt was a bedazzled emblem of the NAACP.

André Leon Talley and Whoopi Goldberg at the 2010 Met Gala
André Leon Talley and Whoopi Goldberg at the 2010 Met Gala Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Here’s another exciting coat for you. In 2011, for the gala honoring Alexander McQueen’s designs, Talley showed up in a tuxedo with a giant, flowing, deep blue coat overtop it.

André Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala Evan Agostini/AP
André Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala Larry Busacca/Getty Images

As for the shoes, he went for red patent leather, with matching red socks.

André Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2011 Met Gala Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Again in 2013, he used his socks to show a bit of personality, choosing fuchsia socks for a pop of color.

André Leon Talley at the 2013 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2013 Met Gala Rob Kim/Getty Images

In 2015, for the gala celebrating Chinese culture and fashion, Talley was at it again with his coats, wearing a bright red coat a la his 2008 outfit, except this one had a little bit of a modern twist, including cutouts in the sleeves.

André Leon Talley at the 2015 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2015 Met Gala Andrew Toth/Getty Images
André Leon Talley at the 2015 Met Gala
André Leon Talley at the 2015 Met Gala Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Though there’s no official press pictures of him from the 2017 gala, we know that he kept things relatively simple, wearing mostly black for the Comme des Garçons-centric night, as seen in this video from the night, courtesy of Vogue:

Source: Vogue/YouTube

What we’re hoping for this year is that he goes with something far more fabulous. There’s a bit more buzz around Talley this year after all, largely because of a new documentary about his life, called The Gospel According to André, that’s playing in select theaters.

We’ll be hoping and praying that he shows up to the gala on Monday, but in the meantime feel free to watch the film’s trailer below:

Source: Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing/YouTube