Last night was the biggest event of the cultural calendar. The first Monday in May, a date marked in the diaries of the great and the good across the world, had promised the annual Met Gala, the fodder of cultural comment and memes across the world for weeks and even months to come.
Yet the outbreak of Covid-19 put an end to the physical event, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art closed for the foreseeable in observation of social distancing measures. Indeed, Anna Wintour, the biggest name in fashion, said that the gala would be “postponed indefinitely” as a result of the global pandemic.
It would be quite unlike the fashion world to give up the chance to go to a party, and as such, the occasion was marked on YouTube, instead of the hallowed halls of the Met. The so called A Moment With the Met was broadcast live yesterday evening, around the same time the gala had been planned to take place.
Wintour addressed viewers, removing her signature sunglasses to indicate the severity of the situation.
“Normally on the first Monday in May, I would find myself on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, greeting the guests for the annual Costume Institute Gala,” she said.
“This is a time of grief and hardship for millions, and the postponement of a party is nothing in comparison.
“If we are to come out of this pandemic stronger and more resilient, we must emerge from it connected as never before.”
Performances from Florence and the Machine also followed, and Virgil Abloh provided a DJ set.
The Met Gala has fundraised for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the only part of the museum who must self-fund, since 1948.
The costume exhibition, About Time: Fashion and Duration, is yet to open, and Wintour has hinted it may be opened in October.