The day was July 8, 2016. The outfit was an oversize Vetements sweatshirt featuring the blown-up faces of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet alongside James Cameron’s version of the sinking Titanic, styled with blue jeans and gold sandals. The wearer: the inimitable Celine Dion.

This was the exact moment I realized that there was a fashion icon living among us who I had, for so long, only recognized as an icon of stage and sound. (I know, I know, the shame burns scalding hot.) Here she was, wearing the buzziest brand known to Instagram (at the time), and also giving a sartorial nod to one of her own greatest hits: Everyone’s favorite penny whistle jam, “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic’s 1995 soundtrack. It was … *chef’s kiss.*

In the many months since that fateful day, Dion, 51, has only continued to spark joy via fashions too good for the overused adjectives “bold” or “daring.” All I can seem to muster is, j’adore, Celine!

Though I have only just awoken to her domination of the fashion field, she did not actually spring out of nowhere, an overnight sensation that us millennials “discovered.” Combing through the bland pages of the ‘90s fashion archives, I found buried among stacks of slip dresses and barely-there eyebrows, Celine — the picture of Fashion Fierceness in a Galliano tuxedo she styled backwards with a fedora and skinny sunglasses. Kim Kardashian could never. (Though she may actually hold a worthy candle to Celine, taking a cue from Dion’s see-through sandals from way back in 1999 and adding her modern-day spin.)

All this is to say, can you believe that Celine Dion has been to the Met Gala — the Oscars of fashion, as it has come to be known — only once? And it was as recent as 2017? She’s attended the actual Oscars more frequently.

Imagine denying reigning Met Gala fashion queens Sarah Jessica Parker and Rihanna a single walk up the Met steps. The universe would be a darker place without Rihanna’s omelet yellow Guo Pei dress; without that massive, teetering headpiece that SJP wore that one time. How much richer could our lives have been were they garnished with more images of Celine slaying at the gala and hobnobbing with Anna Wintour? 

After all, her standing in the fashion world is, at least now, known and respected. “She has no fear,” her stylist Law Roach told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “There’s nothing that she won’t try.” Sounds like the perfect recipe for the Met to me! 

And at fashion shows, where she is (rightfully) seated front row, she gives designer the highest compliments of all: This face.

Besides her obvious fashion prowess, here’s another reason Celine should have attended more galas: She’s a goddamn delight. For example, here she is at 2017 Met Gala serenading a museum guard in the Medieval wing and staging an impromptu concert in the bathroom, startling a random woman who walked in midsong.

Celebs have long loved to lament about the drab goings on (or lack thereof) at the Met Gala. So many have called it boring that we’ve compiled a list. But Celine Dion — whose energy burns as bright as this neon yellow parka dress she wore in Paris this year — is the antidote for any party blues.

Who could be bummed after seeing Celine eating a hot dog post Met Gala in her Versace gown (which, it should be noted, was very appropriate for the Met Gala’s Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons theme). 

“Anna Wintour must be like ‘So, why has she never attended my party before?’” wrote one commenter on YouTube, speaking the ultimate truth, “Because it seems to me, Celine is really one of the few people who can really contribute to spontaneous effervescence at the Met Gala.”

Spontaneous. Effervescence. Truer words have never been spoken, YouTube user Dandylion.

We’ll never know what we missed out on for all those years she didn’t attend. But the good news is, she is expected at the gala this year. Better late than never. 

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