Discover The Luxury Fashion Garments Behind The Postponed Met Gala

It’s become a time-honoured tradition, that on the first Monday of May, the luxurious Met Gala takes place, however, due to the world’s recent state, this exclusive event had to be postponed until October. Just days after realising a video preview of the spring exhibition, the Met’s costume institute now reveals About time: fashion and duration” in more intimate detail.

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Left: Suit, Gabrielle Chanel, Spring/Summer 1963; Brooklyn museum costume collection at the MET, a gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Jane Holzer, 1977 | Right: Suit, Karl Lagerfeld for the house of Chanel, Spring/Summer 1994; courtesy CHANEL Patrimoine collection, Paris; all garment images © Nicholas Alan Cope, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Left: Dress, Iris Van Herpen, Fall/Winter 2012–13 Haute Couture; gift of Iris Van Herpen, in honour of Harold Koda, 2016 | Right: Ballgown, Charles James, 1951; Brooklyn museum costume collection at the MET, a gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; gift of Mr and Mrs Robert Coulson, 1964

While the Met is still closed, the organization decided to share its curated collection of contemporary and historic garments which traces a century and a half of fashion. Scheduled to open to the public on October 29, 2020, the presented work dates as far back as 1870, in honour of the museum’s 150th anniversary.

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Left: Dinner dress, Mrs Arnold; Brooklyn museum costume collection at the MET, a gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; gift of Sally Ingalls, 1932 | Right: Ensemble, Comme des Garçons, Fall/Winter 2004–5; courtesy Comme des Garçons
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left: riding jacket, Morin Blossier; gift of Miss Irene Lewisohn, 1937 | Right: ensemble, Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton, Spring/Summer 2018; courtesy collection Louis Vuitton
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left: evening dress, Weeks; Brooklyn museum costume collection at the MET, a gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; gift of the estate of Mrs Arthur F. Schermerhorn, 1957 | right: dress, Comme des Garçons, Fall/Winter 2012–13; courtesy Comme des Garçons

Presented entirely with black garments, the Met Gala‘s “About time: fashion and duration” emphasizes the evolving silhouettes and use of secondary detailing. With the collection of pieces ranging from 1870 to the present, curators aim to connect the concept of “duration” with debates about diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, and other ethical issues that will surely express a continuing impact throughout the next decade of luxury fashion. Employing Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée (duration), it will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present, and future. Virginia Woolf will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition.

 

See Also: 7 Haute Couture Fashion Names Turned High-End Interior Designers

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left: dress, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Fall/Winter 1984– 85; purchase, friends of the costume institute gifts, 2010 | right: ‘tulip’ evening dress, Charles James; gift of Elizabeth de Cuevas, 2015
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left: ensemble, Viktor & Rolf, Spring/Summer 2005; on loan from the central museum, Utrecht | right: evening dress, Madeleine Vionnet, 1939; gift of Mrs Harrison Williams, 1952
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left: afternoon dress, American, ca. 1877; gift of Theodore Fischer Ells, 1975 | right: ‘bumster’ skirt, Alexander McQueen, Fall/Winter 1995–96, edition 2010; courtesy Alexander McQueen

A timeline of 120 garments will unfold in two adjacent galleries fabricated as enormous clock faces and organized around the principle of sixty minutes of fashion. Each “minute” will feature a pair of garments—the primary work representing the linear nature of fashion and the secondary work its cyclical character. Each pair will be connected through shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration. For example, a black silk faille princess-line dress from the late 1870s will be paired with an Alexander McQueen “bumster” skirt from 1995.

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left: evening dress, probably American, ca. 1928; gift of Richard Martin and Harold Koda, 1992 | right: dress, John Galliano, Spring/Summer 1997, edition 2008; gift of John Galliano, 2012
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left: evening jacket, Elsa Schiaparelli, winter 1938–39; gift of Mrs Pauline potter, 1950 | right: ‘broken mirrors’ ensemble, Yves Saint Laurent, Fall/Winter 1978–79; courtesy Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris © Yves Saint Laurent

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All of the primary garments will be black, to emphasize their evolving silhouettes, and the secondary will be either black or white, to underscore their mutually reinforcing associations. The exhibition will conclude with a small selection of garments from 2020 that links the concept of duration to debates about diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, traceability, transparency, longevity, collaboration, and other ethical issues germane to the next decade of fashion. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.

Still yet to be seen is the theatrical design of the gallery space, which is scheduled to be unveiled this fall.

“Fashion is indelibly connected to time. 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 analyze the temporal twists and turns of fashion history.” – Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu curator in charge of the Met‘s costume institute

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See Also: 7 Haute Couture Fashion Names Turned High-End Interior Designers

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