Sunday, September 14, 2014

To China with Love: Costume Institute Announces Chinese Inspired Spring 2015 Exhibit

John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), fall/winter 1997–98. Photograph by Nick Knight, Nick Knight / Trunk Archive

It was announced on September 12th that this Spring's Costume Institute exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum will focus on Chinese Imagery in all realms from art, and film, to especially fashion. Called Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film, and Fashion,  the exhibit will be open to the public on May 7th, 2015, a few days after it is viewed by the guests and press at the Met Ball on May 4th. It will continue to be open until August 16th of that same year. The presentation will be on display in both the Museum's Chinese Galleries as well as the Anna Wintour Costume Center. 

As for the reasoning behind this year's theme, well it's simple. Being that China has been the mind behind some of the biggest creative accomplishments in many mediums, it felt only right for the board to honor them in this special way. Now, thanks to Yahoo and Conde Nast for their support, this exhibit is sure to be a stunning spectacle of beauty, intellect, and cultural understanding. 

"I am excited about this partnership between these two forward-thinking departments that will undoubtedly reveal provocative new insights into the West’s fascination with Chinese aesthetics,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met.  “The artistic direction of acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai will take visitors on a cinematic journey through our galleries, where high fashion will be shown alongside masterworks of Chinese art.”

This will be the first exhibit since AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion in 2006, to participate in a collaboration between two curatorial departments. This one however, will feature everything from 100 examples of haute couture, and avant-garde ready-to-wear, to some Chinese art pieces as well. For instance, it is planned that the second floor (Chinese Galleries) will display  fashion from the 1700s to the present, with pops of decorative arts from Imperial China, including jade, lacquer, cloisonné, and blue-and-white porcelain. There will even be an area of Astor Court dedicated to Chinese Opera. This makes much sense since performer Mei Lanfang, inspired  John Galliano's spring 2003 Christian Dior Haute Couture Line. 

Museum's Costume Institute Benefit 
For the Met Ball (May 4th) celebrating the opening of this exhibit, Silas Chou will serve as Honorary Chair.  The evening’s co-chairs will be Jennifer Lawrence, Gong Li, Marissa Mayer, Wendi Murdoch, and Anna Wintour. 

Some Designers  Being Featured in the Exhibit:
Giorgio Armani
Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen
Roberto Cavalli
Peter Dundas of Emilio Pucci
Tom Ford of Yves Saint Laurent
John Galliano of Dior
Jean Paul Gaultier
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo of Valentino
Craig Green
Guo Pei
Marc Jacobs of Louis Vuitton
Mary Katrantzou
Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel
Ralph Lauren
Ma Ke
Marton Margiela
Alexander McQueen of Givenchy
Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte
Anna Sui
Vivienne tam
Isabel Toledo
Dries van Noten
Vivienne Westwood
Jason Wu
Laurence Xu

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