NEW YORK – Famous designers and brands that have marked American fashion are celebrated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in a year-long exhibition. Already in the middle of the exhibition, the Upper East Side institution updated the first part, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”, with an emphasis on the here and now.
In this new round, the designs of around 35 designers came into play, replacing seventy percent of the 100 pieces. Although a second alternation to the exhibition was initially planned, no one could have foreseen Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Bearing in mind the drastic cultural changes the world is facing, current museum curator Andrew Bolton from the UK explained that part of the reasoning behind the change was to create “a living exhibit that could respond to more than just conversations. and current debates within fashion, but culturally broader ”, as reported in WWD.
As an act of empathy for the war in Ukraine, a dress by Ukrainian designer Valentina Sanina Schlee will be added to the Anna Wintour Costume Center later this year. “Fashion is the only art form that can respond so quickly and so directly to the times we are living through due to the ephemeral of fashion. Sometimes it’s done more deliberately in response to what’s going on, and other times it’s more subtle, tapping into the collective consciousness, ”Bolton said.
The showcase reflects a not-so-distant past, as one of the main pieces on sight was inspired by last year’s Met Gala, most notably Eli Russell Linnetz’s reworked bubble coat worn by A $ AP Rocky. A puffy thrift store quilt combined with boxers and a robe was enough to make the piece a red carpet favorite. The reinvention of Linnetz was defined by the sustainability and diversity expressed by the world of social media.
A mastermind of the Italian brand Louis Vuitton, the late Virgil Abloh, made his mark in the fashion industry as the initiator of Off-White. Visitors to the exhibition will witness one of Abloh’s creations at the foot of the main gallery stairs. The wonderfully white cotton knitted off-white silk dress was supposed to be featured in “Part Two: In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” but Abloh’s sudden death in November at age 41 prompted The Met to present it first. The beauty and brutality of cotton production and processing are reflected in this 19-year-old garmentth century to today.
The sprawling skirt of Abloh’s dress features blue graffiti with the inscription “Verg”, which conveys “Fragility”, one of the 12 predominant themes of the exhibition. Each piece of clothing on display also has a headpiece with a written label designed by Stephen Jones, following a definition.
“I’ve always felt that fashion is so central in our lives, but that centrality is becoming so globalized. There is this incredible hunger for fashion because the speed of fashion has become much more accelerated and the production of fashion, in terms of what is expected of designers right now – cruise collections, fall collections … the expectation to deliver consistently is huge. This is also partly fueled by people’s consumption of fashion and their interest in fashion, ”Bolton said.
Art fused with the power of language are the building blocks of this exhibition. With the aim of attracting as many visitors to the museum as possible, the Met’s Costume Institute has chosen to showcase well-known and well-followed designers, as well as our curiosity for those less well-known. This model appears to reflect that of Instagram as mentioned by the museum’s main sponsor.
Bolton said: “I’ve never thought about it, but it’s kind of like that: the immediacy of Instagram. Again, this reflects fashion. Fashion has always been immediate. Its strength, and sometimes its weakness, it is its immediacy and accessibility. It has always been this way and certainly more so with social media. There is a certain democratization that is taking place because of social media. “
The second part of the project, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”, plans to open in May with eight directors: Martin Scorsese, Sophia Coppola, Chloé Zhao, Regina King and Tom Ford among them. In this frame the fundamentals of American fashion will be addressed starting from 19th mid to late 20th century. The halls of the American wing will present conceptualized narratives on stage that reflect the staging of that time.
Both parts of the exhibition will end on September 5th.