Anna Wintour, creative director of Condé Nast, and high priest of the power bob, announced on Monday that the Met Gala would be postponed indefinitely. Typically held in May, the glitzy annual gathering of A-listers had to be shut down in order to accommodate new Centers for Disease Control guidelines prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.
I mean, couldn’t we just have Rihanna alone with a glass of wine at the Metropolitan Museum and call it a day?
Wintour, the chair of the gala, called the decision “unavoidable and responsible,” in an article posted to Vogue’s website (she also endorsed Joe Biden, but that’s neither here nor there).
The Gala is widely regarded as fashion’s biggest night; all guests are vetted by Wintour herself, and aside from the errant bathroom selfie, what happens after the stars and socialites glide off the iconic red-carpeted stairs and into the museum’s galleries is kept away from the public eye.
As the New York Times reports, the Met Gala is a lucrative, themed fundraiser for the Costume Institute, a curatorial department within the museum, with the institute’s annual exhibition serving as the sartorial inspiration. Last year’s exhibition, “Camp: Notes on Fashion” featured Billy Porter as a gilded, winged pharoah being carried down the carpet by six shirtless men in gold metallic jeans (it was a tribute to the 1975 Diana Ross classic, Mahogany). Another show-stopper was Cardi B, who rocked a massive, burgundy feathered Thom Browne gown featuring a custom bodice with $250,000 worth of rubies. The gala brought in 550 guests and raised $15 million for the Institute. This year’s theme is “About Time: Fashion and Duration.” Here’s how an earlier New York Times article broke down the exhibition:
The show is conceived to trace a traditional chronological timeline between 1870 and now, represented by a “spine” of clothes all in black, and to depart from it in all sorts of complicated, colorful, connective ways to show how garments of the past and present influence one another
Wintour promised a preview of the “extraordinary exhibition” in Vogue’s upcoming May issue.
I have a modest counter-proposal: on May 4, Rihanna, Cardi B, and Billy Porter hit that Instagram Live button and put on an impromptu red carpet from their closets. Diddy can even post himself lounging on his own staircase in Balenciaga. Social distancing, but literally make it fashion.