following the remote celebration and video preview of its spring exhibition, the met’s costume institute reveals ‘about time: fashion and duration’ in more intimate detail. with the metropolitan museum of art still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the costume institute shares its curated collection of contemporary and historic garments which traces a century and a half of fashion. scheduled to open to the public on october 29th, 2020, the presented work dates as far back as 1870, in honor of the museum’s 150th anniversary.
all images courtesy of the metropolitan museum of art | all images © nicholas alan cope
left, dinner dress, mrs. arnold (american), ca. 1895 | right, ensemble, comme des garçons (japanese), fall/winter 2004–5
presented entirely with black garments, the met’s ‘about time: fashion and duration’ emphasizes the evolving silhouettes and use of secondary detailing. with the collection of pieces ranging from 1870 to the present, curators aim to connect the concept of ‘duration’ with debates about diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, and other ethical issues that will surely express a continuing impact throughout the next decade of fashion.
left, riding jacket, morin blossier (french), 1902 | right, ensemble, nicolas ghesquière for louis vuitton (french), spring/summer 2018
the individual garments comprising ‘about time: fashion and duration,’ have been recently revealed in lieu of the exhibition opening and gala at the metropolitan museum of art. still yet to be seen is the theatrical design of the gallery space, which is scheduled to be unveiled this fall. the space will unfold with two adjacent galleries fabricated as enormous clock faces and organized around the principle of sixty 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.
left, evening dress, weeks (french), ca. 1919 | right, dress, comme des garçons (japanese), fall/winter 2012–13
andrew bolton, the wendy yu curator in charge of the costume institute comments: ‘fashion is indelibly connected to time. it not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times, serving as an especially sensitive and accurate timepiece. through a series of chronologies, the exhibition will use the concept of duration to analyze the temporal twists and turns of fashion history.’
left, dress, jean paul gaultier (french), fall/winter 1984–85 | right, ‘tulip’ evening dress, charles james (american, born great britain), 1949
left, ensemble, viktor & rolf (dutch), spring/summer 2005 | right, evening dress, madeleine vionnet (french), 1939
left, ball gown, charles james (american, born great britain), 1951 | right, dress, iris van herpen (dutch), fall/winter 2012–13
left. afternoon dress, american, ca. 1877 | right, ‘bumster’ skirt, alexander mcqueen (british), fall/winter 1995–96
left, evening dress, probably american, ca. 1928 | right, dress, john galliano (british), spring/summer 1997
left, evening jacket, elsa schiaparelli (italian), winter 1938–39 | right, ‘broken mirrors’ ensemble, yves saint laurent (french, born algeria), fall/winter 1978–79
left, suit, gabrielle chanel (french, 1883), spring/summer 1963 | right, suit, karl lagerfeld (french, born germany) for house of chanel (french), spring/summer 1994
name: about time: fashion and duration
location: the metropolitan museum of art, fifth avenue, new york
dates: october 29, 2020 – february 7, 2021