Insider gives rare first look at Met Gala’s postponed fashion exhibit

Vogue has published a sneak peek of the Metropolitan Museum of Art fashion exhibit that would have opened next week.

The installation at the Met’s Costume Institute would have been on view to the public starting Tuesday, May 5, one day after the Met Gala dedicated to its theme was to be held. Due to the coronavirus, the exhibition is now postponed until October and the fate of this year’s glittering, celebrity-packed party remains uncertain. The museum is currently slated to remain closed until July 1.

Called “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” the exhibit explores the wild timeline of fashion history. The gala was to be co-chaired by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep and, of course, longtime Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Grace Coddington, who works as a creative director at large at the fashion mag, also posted a series of snapshots from inside the museum on her Instagram feed. Normally, Vogue staffers are notoriously tight-lipped about both the party and the display, saving previews until the morning of the first Monday in May, when the press is allowed to enter the museum before the ball that night.

A sneak peek of "About Time," which, when it opens in November, will include a series of all-black clothes from different time periods.A sneak peek of “About Time,” which will include a series of all-black clothes from different time periods.Annie Leibovitz for Vogue Magazi

The photos Vogue published and that Coddington shared — some snapped by Vogue mainstay Annie Leibovitz — show gown-wearing mannequins dispersed among the Met’s more classical statues. Modern garments, like a biker jacket and maxiskirt, are positioned next to an old-school outfit with a similar silhouette. In the moody pics, the items on mannequins and in display cases look ready to be unveiled, even though they won’t have eyes on them for months.

The curator behind the show, Andrew Bolton, plans to feature 160 pieces of womenswear, which will be separated into two sections, according to Vogue.

The first is a chronological arrangement of black outfits. “It’s a very rational, regulated chronology of fashion from 1870 to 2023, the timescale of modernity,” Bolton said.

The second grouping will be mostly white ensembles with bursts of color sprinkled throughout, which will be ordered without time of wear in mind. “You can see them as folds in time,” added Bolton.

The two-tone setup is bound to be a stark contrast to last year’s bright showing, which focused on the outlandish idea of camp.


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