Longtime Met Gala Guest Laments This Year's 'Boring' Style: 'In Years Past, It Was More Outlandish' (Exclusive)

This veteran gala-goer really felt Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry's absences this year

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> 2024 Met Gala carpet

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

2024 Met Gala carpet

The 2024 Met Gala brought the stars to New York City, and while it was the usual glam affair, one longtime attendee left feeling underwhelmed by fashion's biggest night.

"It was a fairly tame carpet," the guest tells PEOPLE. "It was the most boring and least exciting gala than in years past. The theme could have been exciting but other than Tyla, who killed it in the sand dress, the dresses were not as mesmerizing or crazy or outlandish, and it was a little slow — and less star power. There was no Rihanna or Taylor [Swift]."

Though the insider calls the event "boring" — other than Tyla's sand dress — there were a few moments of drama on the famous carpet. Cardi B wore a massive black Windowsen dress on the carpet that took nine attendants to help carry. Zendaya, who was co-chairing the event, walked the steps twice. She first strutted in a vintage peacock-inspired dress by John Galliano before changing into another vintage John Galliano look as old as she is (27!).

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty </p> Zendaya at 2024 Met Gala

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Zendaya at 2024 Met Gala

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The veteran Met Gala attendee hailed Zendaya's outfit change as the best "gimmick" of the night but says there wasn't an "unexpected moment" like there has been in years past, when Met Gala favorites put on a bigger show with their entrances.

"Kim Kardashian’s sweater didn’t do the trick," the guest adds of the star's accessory.

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<p>Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Neilson Barnard/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p> Lady Gaga at 2019 Met Gala

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Neilson Barnard/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Lady Gaga at 2019 Met Gala

Related: 21 Best Dressed Stars at the Met Gala 2024

"When you compare it to the years [Vogue editor-in-chief] Anna [Wintour] would stay at the top of the staircase to watch Lady Gaga‘s entrance in an outfit that covered her head to toe and she was surrounded by men in black suits with black umbrellas as she changed and ended up in a thong bathing suit — that was exciting," the insider tells PEOPLE of the singer's 2019 appearance. "Or when Katy Perry came to the 'camp'-themed gala with a chandelier on her head. In years past, it was more outlandish and more exciting."

It wasn't a total wash, though, for this longtime attendee. The insider raved about the gala itself (including the show) and the new Costume Institute exhibit, which was helmed by curator Andrew Bolton.

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<p>Kevin Mazur/MG24/Getty</p> Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez at 2024 Met Gala

Kevin Mazur/MG24/Getty

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez at 2024 Met Gala

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This year's event, with the theme “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” may have been more "low key," according to the insider, but a few people stood out for their vibes.

Lauren Sánchez and Jeff Bezos "still look very in love," the insider says of their appearance during their Met Gala debut.

Pamela Anderson, who made her Met Gala debut this year "is having a whole new reawakening," the insider notes, and the vibes shone through during her evening.

And Jennifer Lopez, who also co-chaired the evening in a custom Schiaparelli design, looked "luminous," the guest says. "She’s even prettier in person. She looked great and that was her showgirl dress."

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