About Time: Fashion and Duration

Not that latex couture slips into it all that often, still one of the fashion world’s yearly highlights is the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s exhibition. And as a premier textile art event, we wanted to report that The Met just announced that this year’s exhibition will be called “About Time: Fashion and Duration.” 

Showcasing masterworks as well as new acquisitions, this year’s museum costume show will pull wardrobe pieces from the old and the new. What seems most important, especially, is the attention that will be paid to viewing haute couture with an eye on alternate chronology. As Max Hollein, director of the Met, spoke about the concept in a press release: “This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical.”

Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, will divide the 160 women’s garments into two distinct sections, which he calls “timescales.” The first presents a linear look at black color pieces from 1870 to the modern-day. The second scale, what he calls “counter-chronologies,” will be mostly of white ensembles. The color pieces that will be shown are what he calls “folds in time.”

Bolton is working with Es Devlin, the visual artist and stage designer, on the exhibition design, with this year’s show, made possible by Louis Vuitton. The infamous gala for the event formally called the Costume Institute Gala or known as the “Met Ball” (which we always report on), will be held on May 4. This night usually sees our brightest and best celebrities showing off the very best couture interpretations of that year’s exhibition theme. I can’t think of any recent years past where any of us have been disappointed in what we have seen on the night many call the Oscars of Fashion.

The costume exhibition, presented in the Met Fifth Avenue’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, runs May 7 through September 7, 2020, and is part of the many exhibitions the Met is running in 2020, the year of their 150th anniversary.

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