Exhibition Review: About Time: Fashion and Duration

This past weekend I had the true treat of a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and saw the Costume Institute’s 2020 special exhibition About Time: Fashion and Duration.

The exhibition, originally supposed to debut at the beginning of the summer, picked the concept of time in honor of the Met’s 150 year anniversary. The exhibition plays with the concept of time by creating a timeline of fashion with pieces from the Costume Institute collection starting from 1870 to present day.

A 1901 riding jacket is paired with this Loui Vuitton piece from 2018.

A timeline moves through two rooms and each garment is on display with a counter-piece. The oldest garments in the collection were paired with a newer “interpretation” of the same silhouette, detail, or concept.

A pink Coco Chanel suit from 1963 is compared to a black version designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 1994.

It was also fun to see how designers were represented on the timeline, like Elsa Shiaparellia who appeared first as a “newer” garment paired with an 1870 garment, and then later appeared as the older garment paired with 1978 Yves Saint Laurent jacket. Picture above, an original Coco Chanel suit from 1963 is paired with a 1994 Chanel suit designed under Karl Lagerfeld.

A 3-d printed ballgown from Iris Van Herpen, 2012, is paired with a Charles James ball gown from 1951.

As we reached the end of the timeline, newer couture pieces were paired with a historic piece. New technologies were paired with classic silhouettes demonstrating that the exaggerated pieces we see on the runaway are often rooted in very old ideas.

The Costume Institute exhibit runs through February 7th. One note: due to COVID-19 restrictions, both the museum and the exhibition require an advanced ticket (as does the Met’s Making the Met: 1870-2020 exhibition). Be sure to reserve both tickets in advance for in order to gain admission.

Seeking Blog Contributors for 2021!

The ARLIS FTC blog is seeking additional contributors for 2021!

The ARLIS Fashion Textile and Costume Special Interest Group is currently seeking members who are willing to commit to blogging. FTC bloggers should commit to writing one post a quarter for a minimum of one year. If you are interested in being a regular blogger for FTC, please fill out the form here by January 30th, 2021.

ARLIS FTC members already have access to contribute content to this blog and are encouraged to post announcements and individual posts in this space.

Please note that you do need to be an FTC SIG member in order to sign up, but you do need to be current member of ARLIS/NA!