Tyla Wears a Balmain Gown Made of Sculpted Sand for Her First Met Gala

“Water” singer Tyla arrived in sand for her first-ever Met Gala red carpet.

Working with stylist Katie Qian, the South African singer wore a custom sculpted Balmain gown that represented “the sands of time,” she told La La Anthony on the red carpet. “We really wanted something out of the box for this year, it’s my first time at the Met.”

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The Grammy-winning artist paired her Dune-esque dress with water-inspired jewelry by John Hardy, including yellow gold earrings with aquamarine, yellow diamond and blue topaz; and two yellow gold pave rings. She accessorized a simple gold necklace and an oversized hourglass clutch, while her beauty look featured a cat eyeliner and a dusting of sand on her left shoulder. Her nails featured 3D chain embellishments that mimicked dripping sand.

“It feels amazing, I’m so excited to go inside and see all of the pictures, then go home. I just love the outfit and how everything turned out,” Tyla added.

To create the dipped-in-sand effect, Balmain creative director Olivia Rousteing explained, “We molded [Tyla’s] body a couple months ago. The idea was she could dress once in the dress and it would be part of the museum.” The bodice was made using a plaster mold, while the organza train contains three shades of sand with micro-crystal studs for a sparkling finish.

He continued, “What is sleeping beauty? ‘Sleeping Beauty’ for me [means] you can dress once in a lifetime.” Rousteing also wore a matching sand top created from a mold of his face.

Singer Tyla at the 2024 Met Gala in a sand-inspired Balmin gown
Tyla attends the 2024 Met Gala.

Before dropping her self-titled debut album in March, Tyla became the youngest South African artist to have a song on the Billboard Hot 100 for her R&B-meets-Afrobeats song “Water.” She joined fans in singing her chart-topping tune as she departed the Mark Hotel for the fashionable fundraiser.

This year’s dress code, “The Garden of Time,” takes its cue from the 1962 short story of the same name by J.G. Ballard, which dovetails nicely with the latest Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion, which opens to the public Friday, May 10. The Andrew Bolton-curated show spotlights fragile pieces from the institute’s archives, all viewed through a lens of nature. The exhibit’s coffee table book will be released on June 18.

Read more of The Hollywood Reporter’s Met Gala coverage here.

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