The Met Gala isn’t the easiest setting to stand out in. The annual event brings together the biggest names in the industry and the biggest designers in fashion to collaborate and grace the carpet in wearable art. Yet somehow, in her debut Met Gala appearance, South African starlet Tyla took the world’s breath away. With a Balmain gown that resembled the sands of time, both creative and stunning, she was almost immediately crowned the best dressed of the night.

So what’s the story behind how this look came to be? Here’s everything you need to know about Tyla’s 2024 Met Gala look.

Tyla’s 2024 Met Gala Look

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

The Met Gala’s 2024 theme was “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” as guests were given dress code “Garden of Time.” Latching onto “time” as the operative word, the Balmain team custom-made Tyla a dress made of “sand”— a fitting nod to the sands of time.

Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing shared how deeply inspired he was to create the look, telling Vogue “The inspiration behind this creation stemmed from a desire to redefine boundaries and transform a transient material into an everlasting masterpiece.” Making fabric resemble sand doesn’t seem like the easiest idea to execute, yet with the use of three shades of sand and micro-crystal studs, it was a successful effort.

Tyla’s Gown Transformed Throughout The Night

(Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

It certainly wasn’t the easiest gown to move around in, as Tyla had to be physically transported most places. However, once she ventured indoors into the event, the dress was cut and transformed. Rousteing himself snipped the bottom half of the gown longways to reveal a shorter maxi dress, equally stunning while lending to easier mobility.

(Photo by Arturo Holmes/MG24/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

A “manifestation of imagination, innovation, and the transformative power of art,” there aren’t many inaugural Met Gala looks that made an impact as much as Tyla’s has. A big moment in her blossoming stardom, she’s surely secured herself an invite to future Gala and a coveted spot on Anna Wintour’s fashion radar.