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July 26 2014

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5 posts tagged "Metropolitan Museum of Art"

The Met to Focus on China for Next Major Fashion Exhibition

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Jay Z and Beyonce at the Met

Considering the fashion industry’s increasing investment in the East (see Dior Homme’s, Burberry’s, and Michael Kors’ recent shows in Shanghai, and Balenciaga’s presentation in Beijing), it’s no surprise that the Met is allegedly looking to China for its major Costume Institute exhibition next spring. According to WWD, details about the show are scarce, and a sponsor and participating designers have yet to be confirmed. The museum is also reportedly planning an additional show for the fall. We’ll bring you more info about both expos as we receive it, but in the meantime, we highly suggest you go check out Charles James: Beyond Fashion, which opened a whole twelve days ago.

Photo: Neilson Barnard/ Getty ImagesĀ 

Inside Punk: Chaos to Couture

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By now, you’ve no doubt already heard about—or even seen—the facsimile of CBGB’s bathroom that Andrew Bolton included in the opening gallery of the Met’s Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, following tonight’s red-carpet festivities. “CBGB was the heart of punk in New York,” said Bolton at a preview this morning. “Punk was all about shock and provocation, and so to start off an exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a toilet—well, I thought was the ultimate punk statement,” the curator told Style.com.

The exhibition juxtaposes original (and contemporary) punk wares by Vivienne Westwood against luxury and haute couture looks from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana (who are featured in the Graffiti room, above), Maison Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano, and Gianni Versace (yes, the 1994 safety-pin dress is on display). One might be hard-pressed to differentiate between Vivienne Westwood’s destroyed seventies sweaters and Rodarte’s Fall 2008 knit dress, which are on display side by side. The same gallery boasts Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s lewd T-shirts (for instance, her famed “Tits” top hangs against a black PVC curtain). “I love that we start off with T-shirts with very obscene political and sexual slogans,” said Bolton. “They’re still shocking thirty-seven years later—in a way, more shocking, because of our political correctness.” Beyond the T-shirts lies a reproduction of McLaren and Westwood’s infamous—and iconic—shop, Seditionaries, which stood at 430 King’s Road. The remainder of the show was divided into DIY categories, like Hardware, Graffiti and Agitprop, Bricolage, and Destroy—and each room was punctuated by a film by Nick Knight.

“No other subcultural movement has a greater or more enduring influence on how we dress today,” Bolton noted in his opening remarks. Consider, as evidence, the fact that there is a slew of Fall 2013 looks in the show, from such houses as Viktor & Rolf, Saint Laurent, and Gareth Pugh—whose Fall 2013 trash-bag dresses are arranged into a veritable mob in the center of the Bricolage installation.

Bolton made sure to steer away from clichés—for instance, he noted that hairstylist Guido Paulo, who created the spiky Technicolor mops that topped each mannequin’s head, avoided Mohawks, and instead pulled inspiration from Richard Hell’s signature ’do.

“I wanted to present punk in a respectful, and even reverential, manner,” said Bolton. That’s already earning the show some mixed reviews. And of course, there are those who protest discussing punk in a high-fashion context—or, for that matter, paying couture prices for a punk-tinged look. “I think that’s completely punk,” said Bolton in response. “People seem to forget that punk really was a commercial movement. Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, in a way, created what we know as the punk look. And they commodified it,” he explained.

As for why consumers and designers, from Karl Lagerfeld to Met Ball host Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, are still drawn to the seventies subculture, Bolton offers, “Punk endures today because it reflects our longing for a time when originality and creativity were celebrated, a time when fashion was provocative and confrontational. And, above all, a time when fashion championed the individual and self-expression.”

Punk: Chaos to Couture opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Thursday, May 9.

Catherine Martin Talks Gatsby

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“We needed to find a way of translating the twenties into something that felt as new and modern and titillating as it was back in 1922,” said Catherine Martin—the designer behind the costumes for husband Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming The Great Gatsby film—during an intimate Q&A with Harold Koda at the Met yesterday evening. If there’s anything that can reignite the Jazz Age’s mystique, it’s Martin’s wares, which are at once painstakingly historically accurate (aside from a zipper here and there) and completely enchanting. The film, which opens on May 10 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, boasts such fantasies as feathered frocks worn by the Fitzgerald-penned tale’s “girls in twin yellow dresses” (the looks were inspired by an actual twenties-era vaudevillian act), hordes of boater hats by Rosie Boylan, wigs made in England, and beach pajamas (for the elusive Jordan Baker).

Luhrmann and Martin’s fondness for Schiaparelli (the pair worked on the film for the Met’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition), lent a surreal edge to the story’s infamous party scene. “Baz kept saying, ‘We need a lobster!’” recalled Martin. And he got one—the costumer crafted metallic crustacean headpieces for the showgirls at Gatsby’s raucous soiree (below). Continue Reading “Catherine Martin Talks Gatsby” »

Prada and “Schiap”: The Conversations Begin

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Today in Milan, the fashion set got a glimpse of some of the Schiaparelli and Prada pieces that will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition, opening May 10. How does one make an impossible conversation between two great designers from different eras possible? Curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton dug through Prada’s archive, as well as the Costume Institute’s collection and private collections, and culled 90 designs and 30 accessories by the two Italian female designers to demonstrate the arresting affinities between their work (Elsa Schiaparelli from the late twenties to early fifties, Miuccia Prada from the late eighties to the present). Take note, these are the first female designers to be the centerpiece of the annual exhibition since Coco Chanel in 2005.

The “conversation” plays out in seven themes, starting with “Waist/Waist Down” (which includes a 1937 black and white Schiaparelli number worn by Madonna’s latest film subject, Wallis Simpson, sitting next to a very similar recent look from Prada). It continues with “Ugly Chic,” “Naif Chic,” “The Classical Body,” “The Exotic Body,” and finally, “The Surreal Body.” The galleries featuring iconic ensembles by the designers are paired with videos, directed by Baz Luhrmann, with made-up conversations between the two women (the idea for these “impossible conversations” was inspired by a Vanity Fair series of unimaginable exchanges in the thirties). Here, a few images from the exhibition.

Photos: Courtesy of Teh Metropolitan Museum of Art

Blasblog: Fashion From Coast to Coast

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The Friends of the Costume Institute hosted a lively discussion Tuesday night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The subject—”Fashion Fault Lines: West Coast / East Coast”—was a familiar one to any New Yorker who has lost friends to L.A.’s warmer climes. The Met’s Andrew Bolton led the debate between vintage fashion experts Cameron Silver and Tiffany Dubin; the twosome went head-to-head over the Costume Institute Ball versus the Academy Awards, an argument Silver effectively ended by choosing neither. “Michelle Obama,” he declared, “is the current center of the fashion universe.” On the hot topic of designer collabs with brands like Target and H&M, Lynn Yaeger came down firmly in support of Comme des Garçons‘ line for H&M, while Silver argued that the CFDA/Vogue white T-shirt series at the Gap was the best high-low around. The next face-off was between owners and loaners—those that buy vs. those that borrow, which Dubin said was hardly a debate. “I like to own fashion,” she said matter-of-factly. But toward the end of the talk, Bolton led the discussion back to coastal warfare. To decide which side was better, however, he didn’t look to red carpets but to homegrown designers. While he acknowledged many rising stars working in New York, he suggested that Rodarte and Rick Owens were inching California just ahead.

Photos: Marcio Madeira