Now is the time to see the Costume Institute’s new exhibit design


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Yesterday, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art held its press preview for “About time: mode and duration. “As was noted repeatedly throughout the proceedings, the show’s management had no way of predicting how puny that puny title would turn out to be in 2020. Initially, the show, which is focusing on the concept of time in fashion and specifically uses Henri Bergson’s concept of duration as a framework, had a fairly dual meaning thanks to the fact that it coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Met. But now, with its closely postponed spring opening seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic and the United States in a suspended state of anxiety, it is truly time for museum visitors to have the opportunity to let themselves be carried away by the beautifully constructed and intellectually stimulating pieces of clothing.

Of course, thanks to all the museums in New York reduced capacity and clearly low number of participants, not as many people will see this show compared to its successful predecessors. The exhibition was curated as usual by Wendy Yu curator Andrew Bolton. It is made possible by Condé Nast and Louis Vuitton, whose artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière contributed curatorial ideas and pieces he had designed to Bolton’s efforts. The show features a narrated soundtrack from the lines of Virginia Woolf that almost seems to merge the aural elements of the 2012 “Schiaparelli and Prada: impossible conversations“with last year’s literary foundation”Camp: Fashion Notes. “Bolton’s emphasis on a non-linear timeline is just as cerebral as the latter shows, while the fact that (virtually) all of the clothing included is black will undoubtedly be reminiscent of some of the works included in 2017.”Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons Art of the In-Between”And the lesser-known fall 2014 show on mourning outfits,“Death becomes her. ”

The first clock made by Devlin. While the press preview of the exhibition took place on Monday, the show opens to the public on Thursday, October 29.

Photo: Anna-Marie Kellen

The black color scheme sets a somewhat subdued tone that also seems appropriate in light of current events. That, and the fact that the vast majority of the pieces included are from the Costume Institute’s own collection, may not attract the interest of potential visitors in the way that stars like a gold dress by Guo Pei have in the past, but this allows the scenography of the exhibition to shine all the more.

Led by artist Es Devlin, it does indeed make good use of lights. But the main attraction is its structure, which mirrors that of two giant clocks. Divided into 60 “minutes”, each increment contains a pair of clothes that clearly communicate with each other. Speaking at the press premiere, Devlin said she seeks to help viewers “understand these expansions and contractions” of the female form, as well as how this architecture moves and transmutes. through the different stages of life. Clearly, a laudable goal for any visitor, but especially for those who work in the design industry themselves.

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