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Doja Cat Was the Met Gala’s Ultimate Chaos Agent. We Expected Nothing Less

“Meow, meow, meow … meow, meow,” Doja Cat told Emma Chamberlain before heading into her first-ever Met Gala on Monday evening, delving into detail about her intense creative process to completely transform into a glamorized version of Karl Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette. She has such a way with words and even more of a way with fashion.

In a custom, floor-length Oscar de la Renta dress complete with ears built into the top of the gown’s head covering, the singer and rapper leaned fully into the kind of pop spectacle that catapulted her career through sheer, confused intrigue. Her facial prosthetics from Maline Stearns — who recently alien-ified Melanie Martinez — were set off with a striking eye engulfed by an even sharper winged liner, the thinnest line of an eyebrow, and the smoothest rhinarium allowing her real nostrils just enough access to breathe.

Doja Cat, still stunning while also resembling a resident of Whoville with a white feather train trailing behind her and claws on her hands, arrived as an effortless middle ground between the other cats of the night. Jared Leto’s giant bottom-tier cat mascot and Lil Nas X’s head-to-toe, jewel-encrusted take on Choupette, complete with 25-year-old couture laced and Austrian crystals courtesy of Pat McGrath, rested on two ends of the extreme — but you can’t outdo the doer.

Though she was styled in Oscar de la Renta by Brett Alan Nelson, the Met Gala look was the logical next step from her own collaboration with McGrath earlier this year. In January, Doja Cat arrived to the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2023 show in Paris covered in 30,000 ruby red Swarovski crystals — all applied to her body by hand in a five-hour process for a fashion show she was just sitting in the audience for.

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno inspired that show — and Doja Cat won’t miss the chance to lean fully into a theme. Her commitment to the bit is unmatched in the current pop arena. It’s reminiscent of an early-career Lady Gaga, a pop star who understood the value of being over-the-top and unpredictable. Though increased access to artists through social media has led to an oversaturated championing of upfront relatability, we are continuing to witness the rise of an artist who will always keep her audience asking the same question: What the hell is she doing?

Pop spectacle without the accompanying notes app apology is Doja Cat’s secret weapon. Even when she’s on Twitter threatening to quit music one day and teasing a project that spans five different genres the next — just so no one will ever really know what to expect — the attention she holds never waivers. Everyone is too enthralled in the chaos and what they think is the right or wrong road for her to take.


When she shaved her head, the same people who constantly resurfaced photos from before she had ever encountered wig glue begged her to grow it back out or cover it with better wigs. But what they saw as an artistic crisis to rival Britney Spears — comparisons Doja Cat found to be disrespectful — she saw as a blank canvas.

Fashion is more than just full-glam and beautiful gowns. Sometimes it’s also cat prosthetics and meowing through an entire Vogue interview. The girls that get it, get it.

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