Rihanna at the Met Gala
Photo: Larry Busacca / Getty

Update 16/03: Despite reassurances last week that the annual Met Gala would still be going ahead, it has now been confirmed that the event has been postponed.

Rumours had been circulating for weeks regarding the star-studded fashion event and Anna Wintour, chair of the annual gala, confirmed today that it will no longer be going ahead on the first Monday of May – which is when it traditionally takes place.

“One day that will not arrive on schedule will be the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, ‘About Time’,” she wrote in a piece on Vogue.com. “Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, ‘About Time,’ and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date,”

She didn’t mention when that later date might be, but with many spring events now being postponed until after summer, the second half of the year is poised to be very busy. It will be hard to find a date that will work with the Met Museum’s schedule, as well as the hectic calendars of all the high-profile celebrity guests and designers.

Lady Gaga at the Met Gala
Photo: Neilson Barnard / Getty

Related article: The 2020 Met Gala Theme Is ‘About Time’

Update 13/03: A spokesperson on behalf of the Met Museum has now said that any events scheduled to take place after 3 April are “under review”. Any events scheduled between now and 3 April have been cancelled.

Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic have already forced three of the Met’s venues to close temporarily; as of today (13 March) all three Met locations (the Met Fifth Avenue, the Met Breuer, and the Met Cloisters) will be shut, in order to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“The Museum will undertake a thorough cleaning and plans to announce next steps early next week,” the Met announced in a statement, referring to the measures as “proactive” and “precautionary”. Met president and CEO Daniel H. Weiss reiterated that there were no confirmed cases connected to the museum, but that they still wanted to “minimise gatherings”.

Blake Lively at the Met Gala
Photo: Taylor Hill / Getty

A new statement then followed from Nancy Chilton, chief external relations officer of the Costume Institute – just two days after her initial remarks reassuring press that the event would still go ahead.

“Right now all museum events are cancelled through April 3. Given the uncertain public health environment, we will review on a rolling basis which museum events beyond April 3 will be cancelled or postponed. We are hoping for the best, but public health and safety are our first priorities.”

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas
Photo: Getty

The star-studded gala takes place on the first Monday in May every year and is typically immovable; trying to find a new date that will fit the packed schedules of the hundreds of invite-only guests (who pay $35,000 a ticket) would likely prove impossible. However, as the event provides the funding for the Costume Institute for the rest of the year, it seems probable that the organisers would need to try and find an alternative solution.

Original story 11/03: The coronavirus outbreak has already resulted in a string of cancellations and delays, including Coachella festival, the new Bond film release and many of the fashion cruise shows.

But the biggest party in fashion’s calendar, the Met Gala, is confirmed to still go ahead as planned, despite the concerns.

“We are proceeding as planned and look forward to a wonderful evening,” Nancy Chilton, the chief external relations officer of the Costume Institute, said in a statement according to The Cut.

Photo: Getty

“We will of course continue to keep a close eye on the situation.”

This year’s theme will see designers and Hollywood stars dress to the theme of ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration‘ at the annual gala, which will take place on 4 May.

The accompanying exhibition – following the same theme – will trace a century and a half of fashion, from 1870 to present day, also marking the timeline of the Met, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

“Fashion is indelibly connected to time,” the exhibition’s curator, Andrew Boltonexplained of the theme. “It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times, serving as an especially sensitive and accurate timepiece. Through a series of chronologies, the exhibition will use the concept of duration to analyse the temporal twists and turns of fashion history.”

Related article: Chiara Ferragni Raises Over €3 Million In The Fight Against The Coronavirus Crisis

Sarah Jessica Parker
Photo: Getty

The spread of coronavirus continues to impact the industry; Milan is on lock down, along with the rest of Italy.

Three of Italy’s biggest fashion houses – Gucci, Prada and Versace – have cancelled or postponed their forthcoming cruise shows over virus concerns, which were meant to take place in the US and Japan in May.

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

Related article: How The Coronavirus Has Impacted The Fashion Schedule