The Costume Institute’s 2020 exhibition will trace a century and a half of fashion—from 1870 to the present—along a disruptive timeline, on the occasion of The Met’s 150th anniversary. Employing Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée (duration), it will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present, and future. Virginia Woolf will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition.
The timeline will unfold in two adjacent galleries fabricated as enormous clock faces and organized around the principle of 60 minutes of fashion. Each “minute” will feature a pair of garments, with the primary work representing the linear nature of fashion and the secondary work its cyclical character. To illustrate Bergson’s concept of duration—of the past co-existing with the present—the works in each pair will be connected through shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration. For example, a black silk faille princess-line dress from the late 1870s will be paired with an Alexander McQueen “Bumster” skirt from 1995. A black silk satin dress with enormous leg-o’-mutton sleeves from the mid-1890s will be juxtaposed with a Comme des Garçons deconstructed ensemble from 2004.
All of the garments will be black to emphasize changes in silhouette, except at the conclusion of the show, where a white dress from Viktor & Rolf’s spring/summer 2020 haute couture collection, made from up-cycled swatches in a patchwork design, will serve as a symbol for the future of fashion with its emphasis on community, collaboration, and sustainability.
Watch a longer preview featuring additional looks from the exhibition on The Met’s YouTube channel.
Accompanied by About Time: Fashion & Duration.
Virtual Group Tours available by request.
Exhibit made possible by Louis Vuitton. Corporate sponsorship is also provided by Condé Nast. Additional support is provided by Michael Braun, John and Amy Griffin, Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers, the Natasha and Adar Poonawalla Foundation, and the Laura and Raymond Johnson Fund.
”About Time: Fashion and Duration”.
from 29 October 2020 to 7 February 2021
1000 Fifth Avenue – New York
Reprinted from this original article: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2020/about-time