The void created by the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow bigger in the world of fashion, as fashion weeks have been rendered almost obsolete (perhaps just temporarily so). Fast fashion has had to reconsider its "fast" descriptor, high-end/luxury brands are facing closure, there is no single LVMH Prize winner, and the biggest event on the fashion calendar - the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute's Met Gala - was postponed indefinitely until the official announcement of its cancellation was made on Tuesday.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has been closed since mid March, attributed the cancellation to the global health crisis. The museum will reopen for the About Time: Fashion and Duration exhibition in August. Vogue reports that "the museum updated its status on its planned reopening, saying it would now take place in mid August 'or perhaps a few weeks later'".
Additionally, "the days and hours that the Met will be open to the public will likely be reduced at first," reports Vogue. "And to maintain social distancing requirements, the museum will not have tours, talks, concerts, or events through calendar year 2020."
The Met also reportedly expects to resume activities in 2021, “including a belated celebration of its 150th anniversary.”
Tracee Ellis Ross and Lupita Nyong'o at last year's Camp-themed Met Gala. All images by Getty Images.
In the same way the postponement shocked and dismayed many, the cancellation of the 'fashion Oscars' is still big (and disappointing) news for designers, fashion media, and the A-listers who would've been the awe-inspiring vessels through which the former two parties (media and designers) fulfill their Met Gala red carpet roles.
Pregnant Katy Perry is the only celebrity so far that has given a peek into what could’ve been seen on the red carpet, as she revealed on Instagram on the first Monday of May that she was planning on paying homage to Madonna's iconic cone bra with her look for the 2020 Met Gala. Her look would've entailed a blush pink ribbed cone bra with a matching bump.
The outfit was a reference to the gold cone bra Jean Paul Gaultier created for Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour in 1990.
As the New York institution celebrates its 150th anniversary, the theme About Time: Fashion and Duration, is about “reimagining of fashion history that’s fragmented, discontinuous, and heterogeneous.” According to Vogue, the philosopher Henri Bergson, whose concept of la durée — time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible — also provided some of the show’s framework. The co-chairs of 2020's would-be gala are Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, and Anna Wintour. No black co-chair - again, fit to the historically-charged theme.
Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, who found inspiration in Orlando, the 1992 film based on the Virginia Woolf novel, says, "There’s no beginning, middle, or end. It’s one big fat middle. I always felt the same about fashion. Fashion is the present.”
This theme is therefore perhaps most apt for a year where time has essentially stopped. With all our time spent indoors, days of the week bleed into weekends, making us somewhat challenge the validity and the necessity of the Gregorian calendar in this hi-tech, black mirror-esque era of the 2020s, where the word "indefinite" defines our new understanding of time.
A W24 article titled "Fashion will have to redesign itself in order to survive beyond the Covid-19 pandemic", interrogated fashion's relationship with time, while also highlighting its role in major historical events. In it, it's mentioned that "by its very definition, fashion establishes a relationship with time, and being behind the clock would compromise its purpose (the inception of trends)," further posing the question; "As a time-dependent industry, how do you dictate relevance when the arms of your delicate timepiece suddenly stop?"
You don't. You adapt and admire the archive of shows, installations, exhibitions and Met galas past, we suppose.
Previous Met Gala themes have given us an array of couture moments that will go down in fashion history as some of the best interpretations of art, religion, culture, sub-cultures, traditions, designer retrospectives as well as futurism.
This is why E! Entertainment - the channel that once gave us Fashion Police with Joan Rivers' controversial musings on red carpet fashion - aired a Met Gala special on the week it would've taken place... for viewers to reminisce.
Also ensuring that our annual feelings of excitement around the Met Gala remained high, was the High Fashion Twitter account (Hf Twitter community) that hosted their own Met Gala on the social media app in the spirit of creating “an online space where fantasy reigns supreme and impracticality does not exist.” This online community called upon all “fashion enthusiasts from around the world to share and express their unique creative visions without real-world inhibitions.”
Fundraising begins now! Please submit your donations to https://t.co/cQ08p5bBAN and email a screenshot of the confirmation to email@example.com. You will promptly be added to the list of recipients for the e-book and you will receive it starting on May 11th.— HF Twit Met Gala (@HFMetGala) April 21, 2020
So now that we know for sure that there is no 2020 Met Gala, we too, give you a look back at some of (there are plenty, but we had to pick only a few) the incredible style moments from years past:
2015: This Guo Pei gown was perhaps one of the most epic and memorable gowns that has ever cascaded down those stairs.
2017: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between'
2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”, showing up as the Pope in an ensemble designed by Margiela, and the crowd said Amen!
The 'Almeda' singer loves a 3D creation for the Met Gala.
2018: In Iris van Herpen and a durag with the words "My God wears a durag" for the 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination' theme.
2016: In David Laport for the Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology theme.
2015: In a structural Giles dress for 'China: Through the Looking Glass.'
As Joan of Arc in Versace for the 2028 Met Gala.
Kim Kardashian West
Art in motion 'drenched' in Thierry Mugler for 2019's Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion theme.
Also for the Camp theme, giving us a complete Brandon Maxwell experience in four pictures.
Diana Ross attends the Costume Institute Benefit Gala sponsored by Gucci April 28, 2003 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. (Photo by Gucci via Getty Images)
In Azzedine Alaia, 2007.
Ashley Olsen in vintage Gianfranco Ferré and Mary-Kate Olsen in vintage Chanel, 2014.
Ashley Olsen in Dior for "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" exhibition, 2013.
With Andre Leon Talley for the 'Anglomania' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art May 1, 2006.
Sarah Jessica Parker
In Phillip Treacy and Giles Deacon for the 2013 "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" exhibition.
2013: "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci.
2011: Madonna attends the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala in Stella McCartney.
All images: Getty
Additional information provided by Total Exposure on behalf of E!