Rihanna Was Forced to Pull Out of the Met Gala Because She Had the Flu

She and A$AP Rocky are typically mainstays at fashion's biggest night.

Rihanna Met Gala 2023
(Image credit: James Devaney/GC Images)

Rihanna typically makes a fashionably late entrance to the Met Gala, but not this year: Per People, the singer and partner A$AP Rocky had to pull out of the event after Rihanna came down with the flu.

RiRi had hinted at her Met Gala fashion plans in an interview with Extra, mentioning that her outfit would be "very simple-ish" when "compared to everything I have done."

The pop star last attended the Met Gala last year, when the event honored late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. That night, Rihanna managed to pull off four striking looks.

While leaving the Carlyle Hotel on her way to the event, she cloaked herself in an opulent fur coat from Fendi's Fall 1997 collection, designed by Lagerfeld himself. Upon arriving at the Met, Rihanna transitioned into a breathtaking white Maison Valentino gown that featured a floor-sweeping train and a gargantuan cape plastered in camellia blossoms. The floral appliqués paid homage to Chanel's signature flower (which Lagerfeld used in many of his designs while he served as the French fashion house's creative director).

To accessorize her symbolic outfit, Rihanna chose white gloves and whimsical sunglasses adorned with faux eyelashes.

Rihanna wearing Maison Valentino at the 2023 Met Gala

At last year's Met Gala, Rihanna wowed onlookers in an eye-catching Maison Valentino gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And in true Rihanna fashion, she didn’t end the spectacle there. While ascending the Met Gala stairs, she unfastened her cape and revealed the top half of her Valentino gown. Pregnant with her second child at the time, her dress fit snugly around her baby bump.

Rihanna wearing Maison Valentino at the 2023 Met Gala

As she made her way up the Met Gala steps, Rihanna removed her cape to showcase the top of her gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For her final look that night, Rihanna slipped into a festive set for the Met Gala after-party, wearing a cropped white blazer and a coordinating skirt. Masterful looks like these are why Met Gala watchers eagerly anticipate her arrival each year—but there's always 2025!

Lauren Tappan
Fashion Editor

Lauren K. Tappan is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes engaging stories ranging from shopping pieces to trend reports. Prior to Marie Claire, Lauren covered fashion and beauty for Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE as a freelance editor, with a specific focus on e-commerce. She also held editorial roles at Town & CountryInto The Gloss, and Philadelphia Style Magazine. Lauren earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, with a minor in Journalism, from the University of Pennsylvania. Follow her along at @laurenktappan.