The Met‘s Costume Institute has made a short Youtube video of the museum’s annual major spring exhibition to coincide with its original opening date this week. The rescheduled opening date is still uncertain.
Called About Time: Fashion and Duration, the exhibition is based on French 20th-century philosopher Henri Bergson’s idea of time as la durée, or duration, something which can be measured through images but never perceived as a whole.
Lasting nearly 12 minutes, the virtual tour follows the intended format for the exhibition by showing historical and contemporary creations designs side by side to reveal similarities – such as a 1895 Mrs Arnold and a 2004 creation by Comme Des Garçons.
Images of the dresses – which are taken in The Costume Institute’s collection – are shown with the year they were created and details of the designer or era to gradually explore fashion from 1870 to present day.
Other likenesses are drawn between a 1902 Morin Blossier dress and 2018 design by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton.
Throughout the black-and-white movie illustrations of pared-back clock faces allude to the exhibit’s time-travelling theme.
The moving images are also interspersed with quotations from novels by English writer Virginia Woolf such as Mrs Dalloway and Orlando. Woolf, who died in 1941, will serve as the exhibition’s “ghost narrator”.
About Time: Fashion and Duration was due to open on 7 May 202o, forming part of the museum’s 150th-anniversary celebrations. The timeline used for the outfits begins with 1870 – the year The Met was founded.
The real-like showcase will include 160 items and a set designed Es Devlin.
The annual Costume Institute Benefit, also known as the Met Gala, was due to take place last night to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. It was also canceled due to the pandemic.
At the same time, US schools including Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University and Yale University suspended in-person lessons and switching to digital learning materials and lectures.
A number of other events in North America like Toronto technology conference Collision, the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin have also decided to replace their physical events with virtual versions.
The Met’s annual spring exhibit opening and Met Gala take place each year in early May.
Last year the exhibition and Met Gala theme was based around the American writer Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp.
Following the gala, trend forecaster Li Edelkoort said that the celebrities attending not only misunderstood the concept of camp, but showed levels of waste that will lead to a backlash against displays of decadence in an Opinion piece for Dezeen.