For this year’s Metropolitan Museum of Art China: Through the Looking Glass curators and designers alike were asked to explore the influence of Chinese art and culture on Western fashion. The result was a memorable take on the meeting of worlds that are miles apart but uncannily alike in many ways.
To get you in the mood for this year’s sweepingly grand exhibit, take a look at our past coverage of The Costume Institute exhibits.
For last year’s Charles James, Beyond Fashion exhibition, vintage couture was on high display courtesy of the late, legendary designer. Known for his breathtaking silhouettes and masterful tailoring, James was a favorite of photographer Cecil Beaton and executed each detail to the highest standards of beauty.
The 2013 exhibition focused on all things punk for From Chaos to Couture. Anarchy reigned supreme as the exhibit looked at how high fashion has been influenced by the punk movement. From mannequins with attitude to a bathroom set from the iconic CBGB club, designs from Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, & Dolce & Gabbana paired perfectly with the bold atmosphere.
In 2012, Impossible Conversations between Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli were the focus. With eccentric designs and a penchant for the peculiar, both influential creators connect their eras and share their similarities and differences.
In 2011, the fashion world paid tribute to the late, great Alexander McQueen. Savage Beauty brought together the innovator’s luxurious designs in a strikingly beautiful way with dramatic staging and interviews from McQueen’s colleagues, teachers and friends. As the Costume Institute’s most popular exhibition to date, it has had the current distinction of traveling home to the Victoria & Albert Museum and is currently on view until August 2nd.
2010’s theme was American Woman and explored the way clothing shaped the American vision of womanhood for the past century. Designs from Chanel, Lanvin and Vionnet were all highlighted to show the history of women in America from Victorian times to suffrage.
2009’s The Model as Muse exhibition looked at fashion history and the importance of models in the center stage. Photographers, designers, and influencers alike shared stories and images of their defining muses, showing the evolving ideals of beauty in fashion and just how crucial models are to the final vision.