Thanks to AI, your dreams of attending the Met Gala could soon become a reality

Following Katy Perry’s viral AI-generated images, how long will it be until we can upload ourselves onto the red carpet with ease?

Yesterday was the first Monday in May, which only meant one thing: It was time for the Met Gala. This year, the biggest names in music, film, and fashion all hit the red carpet, trying their hand at the evening’s “Garden of Time” theme. A-listers arrived in their most glamorous naturalistic looks, Zendaya stunned with two glorious outfits, Kim Kardashian shocked once again with a waist-cinching corset-style dress (leading X users to wonder if she could even breathe), and Katy Perry went viral for a billowing floral gown. 

Wait… you mean, that wasn’t actually Katy Perry? She wasn’t even there? The megastar singer took to her Instagram to confirm that, in fact, those images that were plastered all over social media, leaving fans swooning in their droves, were created by AI. “Couldn’t make it to the Met, had to work,” Perry shared to her 207 million followers on Instagram alongside two fake Met Gala red carpet pics.

Everybody was fooled. One post shared on X included the image of Perry in the gown, alongside the caption: “Katy Perry. That’s it.” The tweet received more than 300,000 likes. Meanwhile, another post received more than 100,000 likes.

But It turns out that those on the internet weren’t the only ones tricked by the computer-generated images – even the star’s own mother was. A third image in the series showed a text message from the singer’s mother, Mary Perry, who wrote, “What a gorgeous gown, you look like the Rose Parade, you are your own float.” Her daughter replied, “lol Mom the AI got you, too, BEWARE.”

At face value, this whole debacle is just yet another display of the dystopian world we’re hurtling towards at breakneck speed. Whether it’s artificially generated music that’s almost impossible to differentiate from the artists it’s imitating or images of the pope donning Moncler puffers, AI is continuing to increasingly imprint itself into our digital culture day by day.

Still, this whole situation got us all thinking: how long will it take for us all to be able to attend the Met Gala ourselves? Not physically rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Zendaya, but spiritually (or should we say, digitally?) through the powers of AI.

Individuals inserting themselves into the Met Gala setting through the use of Photoshop and other digital means have always been a staple on X and Instagram. And as hilarious as placing your most unfashionable friend on the red carpet whilst they’re watched menacingly by Anna Wintour may be, unless you’re a Photoshop master, it’s almost impossible to make it look even remotely real (which is also part of the fun). But now as AI continues to come on leaps and bounds, it seems as though we’re closer than ever to having those Katy Perry-level images of realism for our own likeness.

There are still a few hurdles, though. AI image generators pull from countless pictures across the web to create these ultra-detailed results, and unless you’re a celebrity yourself, you’re not going to have that same level of digital footprint. However, there are still ways in which members of the public can generate these images of themselves (although you practically require a computer science degree to achieve this currently). We won’t bore you by painstakingly attempting to explain how to do each of these methods (one quick Google search will result in endless tutorials), but as seen with how quickly AI has developed already, it won’t be long until these become instantly accessible for even the most computer-illiterate folks.

In fact, Instagram made headlines in 2023 for their AI backdrop filter in which users could input prompts to create different backgrounds for their stories. Obviously, this is an Instagram filter we’re talking about, so it wasn’t the crystal-clear realism you’d hope for. But it certainly acts as a precursor of what could be capable in even the most accessible of applications. 

Just picture it: It’s 2026 and the Met Gala is right around the corner. Your Instagram stories are flooded with everyone you knew from school, your parents, and even your ex sporting various over-the-top ensembles at the world’s most extravagant display of fashion. Although, after putting it like that, let’s be honest – it sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it?

WriterChris Saunders