A dialogue between the past and present of fashion in “The Metropolitan” in New York


Fashion has a complex relationship with time, it is not known if it is based on repetition, liberation, or reinvention. It forms the focus of a new exhibition at the “Metropolitan Museum” in New York, modified at the last moment in consideration of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
The exhibition was postponed for 6 months due to the virus, but the party that usually preceded it, which is the most important party on the East Coast of the United States, organized every year in the spring, the godfather of fashion and “Vogue” Anna Wintour, has been canceled.To celebrate the museum’s 150th anniversary, the curator of the “Costum Institute” Andrew Bolton wanted to showcase his collection, which is rich in more than 33,000 pieces of clothing and accessories, by highlighting “fashion and time,” according to what the latter said in the presentation of the exhibition, which opens Thursday, and continues to 7 Next February.

The director of the Metropolitan Museum, Max Hollein, said, “Fashion embodies like other forms of artistic expression, of some time and spirit, to reflect them.”

However, Bolton did not want to limit the exhibits to a chronological approach. In the exhibition called “About Time”, he chose to present pairs, consisting of two pieces of two different stages, 124 in total with a single dress as the last piece, combined with aesthetic similarities in every-time.

Andrew Bolton said that in the exhibition, “bringing together the past and the present” takes his visitor “out of the temporal context” and makes him “look at time in a different way.”

The exhibition is based on a dialogue between ancient pieces dating back to the 1870s, at the time of the museum’s creation, and newer ones, from the 1960s to the present day.

Contemporary designers such as Alexander McQueen, Yuji Yamamoto and John Galliano have never hesitated to reuse and modernize pieces from 19th-century clothing.

Designs, buttons, sparkly fabrics, and embroideries that were once symbols of prosperity add an aesthetic touch to the pieces.

With shorter skirts and dresses and looser cuts, designers create vintage pieces, like the iconic “Chanel” suit that Karl Lagerfeld revived by touching it up front with a short skirt.

Today designers are enjoying much broader materials than their predecessors’ access to thanks to advances in technology and improved uses.

For a traditional black dress with a narrow chest, Rav Simmons chose in 2013 to present the 1957 roses Aubere de Givenchy, made of satin with a leather suit, knowing that leather did not become popular for women’s clothing until recently.

However, from time to time, an “old” dress has emerged through the ages and remains more popular than the models that followed, such as several pieces by Yves Saint-Lawren, such as a women’s suit from 1976 or a short dress with a belt designed in 1966.

Bolton acknowledged that he had made “some modifications” to the original version of the exhibition, which “included designers of color, but not in large numbers.”

Bolton is collaborating with Anna Wintour, whom some of his collaborators since last June accuse, in a long article recently published in The New York Times, of focusing on too white a fashion and impeding the progress of people of color within the Condé Nast group.

And Wintour said a while ago in statements reported by the “New York Times”: “There is no doubt that I made mistakes and if there are mistakes in Vogue under my management, then I should fix them and I am determined to do so.”

Among the modifications, a piece by the pioneering black American designer Stephen Barrowes, along with another by the French designer of Malian origin, Lamine Kouyate.


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