Rihanna misses 2024 Met Gala after reportedly coming down with the flu

The 2024 Met Gala red carpet live broadcast ended with no sight of Rihanna

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 07 May 2024 02:33 BST
Related: Watch what the Kardashians wore to the Met Gala

The 2024 Met Gala red carpet has officially ended with no Rihanna in sight.

According to People, the Fenty Beauty founder was set to attend the annual fashion event on Monday 6 May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. However, a source told the outlet she has come down with the flu.

Her lack of attendance at this year’s Met Gala was instantly met with disappointment from both fans and fashion lovers alike. On X, formerly Twitter, one user wrote after Vogue’s red carpet livestream ended promptly at 8.30pm ET: “Met gala is over ??? No Rihanna? No Blake Lively?”

“I’m really sad Rihanna isn’t going anymore,” another fan said, in response to the news that the “Diamonds” singer was under the weather.

Many fans were eagerly awaiting Rihanna’s arrival, considering she’s known for single-handedly pulling some of the most memorable fashion looks at the Met Gala. In fact, the Savage x Fenty designer recently dropped hints about her outfit for this year’s theme, titled “The Garden of Time”.

Speaking to Vogue in April, Rihanna teased what fans could expect from her at the Met Gala. “I’m gonna wear Fenty something! Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin, Fenty Savage,” she said at the time.

Focusing on the Met Gala dress code, which emphasises themes of fleeting beauty, Rihanna said she will be taking a step back from her wild side and channelling a more modest persona. “I’ve done so much s*** in my life. I’ve had my nipples out, my panties out,” she noted. “But now, those are the things which, I guess as a mom and an evolved young lady – emphasis on young – there are things I feel like I would never do. Like: ‘Oh my God, I really did that? Nips out?’”

Last year, Rihanna attended the Met Gala with her boyfriend A$AP Rocky – despite their delayed arrival, which came long after Vogue abruptly ended its livestream coverage of the event. She donned a white Valentino gown for the 2023 Met Gala, which was themed in honour of the late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, as she gave updates about her then-second pregnancy. Rihanna and A$AP Rocky – who are also parents to son RZA – went on to welcome their second son, Riot Rose, in August 2023.

As for years past, the “Umbrella” singer has worn everything from a papal-inspired headdress designed by John Galliano, to a yellow couture gown by Guo Pei that took two years to make.

While Rihanna was absent from this year’s Met Gala, actor Zendaya made her return to the Met Gala for the first time in five years. The Challengers star, who also served as co-chair for the event, was dressed in a custom peacock-coloured gown designed by John Galliano for Maison Margiela Artisanal. Her dramatic blue and green gown was a nod to Dior’s spring 1999 couture collection, which was also designed by Galliano. Her shoes were custom Tabi pumps by Christian Louboutin for Maison Margiela, while her jewellery was Bulgari.

“Already the best look of the night,” one fan said on X, while another person wrote: “Oh she understood the assignment.”

The theme for the 2024 Met Gala was “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” – coinciding with the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit. The exhibit is centred around 50 historically significant pieces of fashion, some of which are too fragile ever to be worn again.

Along with the theme, guests were encouraged to follow the Met Gala’s dress code, loosely labelled “The Garden of Time”. The dress code takes inspiration from a short story of the same title, written by JG Ballard in 1962, which focuses on the theme of fleeting beauty.

Some Met Gala guests perfectly encapsulated the theme of this year’s fashion extravaganza, while others simply embraced the obvious by wearing florals to represent an actual garden.

Follow for live updates from the 2024 Met Gala here.

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