The new display celebrates timeless fashion.
The 2020 Met Gala may have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the exhibition that inspired it is still a go. “About Time: Fashion and Duration” opens this Thursday, October 29, at the Costume Institute of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year’s take on the annual display reflects on 150 years of fashion, dating back to 1870, to celebrate 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,” an official description reads.
Sticking to the theme of chronology, there will be two adjacent galleries fashioned as giant clock faces. At each “minute” on the clock, there will be a pair of looks to demonstrate how certain trends and silhouettes have returned. “For example, a black silk faille princess-line dress from the late 1870s will be paired with an Alexander McQueen ‘Bumster’ skirt from 1995,” according to The Met. Every look is in black to show the evolution of silhouettes, except at the end, when a white Viktor & Rolf dress represents the future of fashion.
The exhibit was made possible by Louis Vuitton, and features pieces by artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière, such as a dress and ensemble from the Spring/Summer 2018 collection. A 2011 look from his predecessor, Marc Jacobs, also appears.
To comply with health and safety guidelines during the pandemic, visitors will need to reserve timed tickets to view the exhibition. There won’t be an extra charge if you already bought general admission tickets, but you still need to select a time slot. Only 25 percent of capacity will be allowed in at a time. Tickets go on sale two weeks in advance, so if they’re currently sold out online, try checking again at a later date.
“About Time” opens to the public at noon on Thursday, and closes Sunday, February 7, 2021. Whether you plan to go in person or wish to admire from afar, take a sneak peek of the exhibition ahead.