‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ Exhibition At The Met Is Finally Here

After being announced last year, and being postponed earlier this year, one can say about the opening the of the 2020 Met exhibition: “About time!“. The Met’s Costume Institute opens About Time: Fashion and Duration at the museum’s Fifth Avenue location on 29 October.

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Gallery view of “Clock Two,” the exhibition’s mirrored space.

Featured fashion dates back 150 years to 1870 to coincide with The Met’s 150th anniversary. Rather than presenting designs chronologically, the exhibition mixes up the timeline in order to compare the cyclical nature of fashion across the years.

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The all-bacl Clock One gallery space.
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White markings or light divide galleries into 60 “minutes”

It is located in two galleries in the museum’s Iris and B Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall that are in a circular formation like a clock. Called Clock One and Clock Two, they have different material finishes. The former is nearly all black, and the latter is covered in mirrors. White markings on the floor or thin white lights punctuate both spaces, resembling the marks on a clock face. These marks split the galleries into 60 segments or “minutes”. Each minute showcases two garments – one that follows time chronologically and another from a different time period to showcase similarities or differences in form.

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One of the spaces is covered in mirrors
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A fall/winter 2012–13 haute couture Iris Van Herpen dress (left) and a 1951 Charles James ball gown (right).

Examples include an 1870s black silk faille princess-line dress paired with a 1990s Alexander McQueen skirt and a mid-1890s silk satin dress with puffed sleeves contrasted by 2004 Comme des Garçons ensemble.

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It is located in two galleries in the museum’s Iris and B Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall

See Also: Discover The Luxury Fashion Garments Behind The Postponed Gala

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There are 125 fashions in the exhibition with a number sourced from The Costume Insitute’s collection. It includes work from well-known contemporary and historic designers and brands like Virgil Abloh, Azzedine Alaïa, Jonathan Anderson, Iris van Herpen, Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood.

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Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo’s Delphos dress from circa 1930.
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Issey Miyake’s Flying Saucer dress from spring/summer 1994.
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Elsa Schiaparelli evening jacket from winter 1938–39.
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Yves Saint Laurent’s Broken Mirrors ensemble from the fall/winter 1978–79 haute couture collection.

First announced last year, The Met’s About Time exhibition is based on French 20th-century philosopher Henri Bergson’s idea of time as la durée, or duration – something which can be measured through images but never perceived as a whole.

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Garments include this spring/summer 2020 haute couture by Viktor + Rolf

The Met’s Costume Institute organises a spring exhibition every year. Last year’s exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion celebrated the “resurgence of camp”, while the 2018 showcase Heavenly Bodies was themed on religion.

About Time will run from 29 October 2020 to 7 February 2021.

Stay with us to discover more about The Met

See Also: Discover The Luxury Fashion Garments Behind The Postponed Gala

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