University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Reawakening Fashion"

SLEEPING BEAUTIES: REAWAKENING FASHION – THE 2024 COSTUME INSTITUTE EXHIBITION

Dress by Undercover, spring 2024. (Photo Credit: The Met)

Did you know that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the fourth largest art museum in the world, and that its Costume Institute boasts the largest collection of fashion? This season the Costume Institute’s semi-annual exhibition is entitled Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion and opens to the public on May 10th. It promises to cast a spell of awe and wonder upon all who enter its realm and delves into the realm of dreams, where fashion becomes a vehicle for exploration, transformation, and reawakening.

Left and Right: Dresses by Loewe, fall 2023. Center: Evening Look by Nina Ricci, circa 1958. (Photo Credit: The Met)

The exhibition, runs from  May 10 through September 2, 2024, and features approximately 250 garments and accessories that are connected visually through nature, which also serves as a metaphor for the transience of fashion. According to the Met’s press release, “The show will bring to life the sensory capacities of these masterworks through a wide range of encounters: visitors will be invited to smell the aromatic histories of hats bearing floral motifs; to touch the walls of galleries that will be embossed with the embroidery of select garments; and to experience—via the illusion technique known as Pepper’s ghost—how the “hobble skirt” restricted women’s stride in the early 20th century. Punctuating the galleries will be a series of “sleeping beauties”—garments that can no longer be dressed on mannequins due to their extreme fragility.”

Ballgown by Charles Frederick Worth, circa 1887. (Photo Credit: The Met)

The glamorous Met Gala®, known as one of Fashion’s biggest nights, kicks off the exhibition on Monday May 6th.  This year’s gala is co-chaired by Anna Wintour, Zendaya, Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, and Jennifer Lopez. The event is the Costume Institute’s prime source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, operations, and capital improvements.

An Evening Cloak by Charles Frederick Worth. (Photo Credit: Nick Knight for the Met)

While gala attendees dress to impress, the official dress code for the night will be “The Garden of Time.” Shou Chew, Chief Executive Officer of TikTok and Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director of LOEWE, both serve as honorary chairs. The exhibit showcases approximately 250 rare items drawn from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection, spanning 400 years of fashion history. The masterpieces include looks by Schiaparelli, Dior, Givenchy and pieces that are too fragile to ever be worn again—such as a Charles Frederick Worth ball gown from 1877,  and therefore are displayed via video animation, light projection, AI, CGI, and other forms of sensory stimulation.

Venus ball gown and Junon ball gown, both by Christian Dior, fall 1949. (Photo Credit: The Met)

Upon entering the exhibit, guests will discover an arrangement of self-contained galleries organized into three sections. Each gallery will explore a different element inspired by nature – earth, air, and water – with historical fashions juxtaposed with contemporary counterparts in an immersive experience that will engage a visitor’s sense of sight, smell, touch, and sound. According to Andrew Bolton and Wendy Yu, Curators in Charge of the Costume Institute, “It is very much an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion.”

A Dress by Alexander McQueen, spring 2011. (Photo Credit: The Met)

Watch The Met Gala® red carpet arrival live-streamed on Vogue.com or you follow the event on social media to join in the conversation. Use #ReawakeningFashion, #CostumeInstitute, @MetCostumeInstitute and #MetGala.

So, as your social media feed will be bombarded with Met Gala® coverage, tell us, which stars are you hoping to see on the Red Carpet?