The Met Gala is usually fashion's biggest night of the year, but 2020 is increasingly proving itself to be anything but a normal year. On Monday, Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that they would be postponing this year's highly-anticipated event and the exhibit it would celebrate indefinitely.
Set to be hosted by Meryl Streep and Nicolas Ghesquière, the theme for the exhibit and coordinating Met Gala was: "About Time: Fashion and Duration." The event was being underwritten by Louis Vuitton. There's no news yet on what the economic fallout will be for all involved — from sponsors to stylists to media professionals who cover the red carpet — but they could be quite significant considering the scale of the event.
The news follows the museum's announcement that it will be closing temporarily, starting on March 13, for an indefinite period of time. Though President and CEO of the Museum Daniel H. Weiss noted in a release that "we don't have any confirmed cases [of COVID-19] connected to the Museum," the New York Times reported that two museum employees were showing symptoms at the time of the announcement.
The news also follows the Center for Disease Control's recommendation that all gatherings of more than 50 people be cancelled. A rep for the Met told Vogue.com that "in deference to this guidance, all programs and events through May 15 will be canceled or postponed."
Prior to this, the Museum has closed on only two other occasions: post-9/11 and post-superstorm Sandy.
The cancellation of the Gala is one of a chain of events set in motion by the virus, from Armani canceling its Fall 2020 show after outbreaks in Italy to luxury brands shuttering their stores in China and donating money to vaccine research. It's not hard to imagine that, if the event hadn't been canceled, it might not have been as well-attended this year as it's been in the past. As Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson reminded us by confirming that they had both tested positive for the virus in early March, celebrity status doesn't grant immunity from the illness.
UPDATE, May 19, 2020: The 2020 Met Gala has officially been canceled.
Though, like the Costume Institute's "About Time" exhibit, it was originally to be postponed until the fall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on Tuesday that its annual Met Gala will not be happening at all this year, "due to the global health crisis," Vogue reports.
The "About Time" exhibit will go on, though: It's slated to open on Oct. 29 and run through Feb. 7, 2021, according to Vogue.