The untold stories, struggles and achievements behind American fashion will be the focus of the Costume Institute’s next major exhibit, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”
The Met Museum in New York has announced plans to host the two-part survey of American fashion to mark the Institute’s 75th anniversary.
Beginning September 18, 2021, the first part of the Anna Wintour Costume Center will explore a “modern vocabulary of American style emphasizing the expressive qualities of dress and deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity and ‘inclusion,’ the museum said. The galleries will feature a fictional American home built with transparent walls and feature examples of 20th and 21st century fashion that reflect the “customs and behaviors” of the imaginary occupants.
“Designs by the pioneers of American sportswear will be displayed alongside works by a diverse group of contemporary designers to illustrate a shift in emphasis in American fashion defined by feelings of fear, pleasure, comfort, anxiety, wellness, solitude, happiness, belonging and responsibility, among other qualities,” the Met said.
Part two, titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will open in the period rooms of the museum’s American Wing on May 5, 2022. It will feature stories that explore the development of American fashion in this regarding “complex and layered stories”. of these spaces.
The first and second parts will end on September 5, 2022.
In a video to announce the theme of the exhibit, Andrew Bolton, Curator Wendy Yu in charge of the Costume Institute, previewed some of the key garments that will be included in the exhibit.
Christopher John Roger’s Fall ’20-21 dress in pink checkered silk taffeta will be on display in the American Wing Ballroom, reminiscent of the dramatic dresses designed by Charles James in the 1950s.
A debutante-inspired dress made from recycled materials by Conner Ives, a recent Central Saint Martins graduate, will represent the new fashion mindset. A dress from Prabal Gurung’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection reflects the designer’s activism on behalf of American immigrants.
The “Veil Flag,” a $650 faded black denim wrap made by Los Angeles-based designer Sterling Ruby, will be the democratic garment that will bind the two sides together, Bolton said.
The packaging, which was made during the Black Lives Matter movement of summer 2020, explores the concept of the flag “as an evolving signifier and how our relationship with it can change when it is activated like a veil.” Ruby made a site-specific video of the flag being flown in front of the bank facade in the American Wing of the Met for the exhibit.
In an interview with vogue, Bolton said he believes American fashion is “having a renaissance” led by the next generation of talent. Young designers, he said, “are at the forefront of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, far more than their European counterparts, perhaps at the ‘exception of English designers’.
Young rising stars have been selected as co-chairs for the 2021 Met Gala. Scheduled for September 13, Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka will co-chair the scaled-down event along with honorary chair designer Anna Wintour, Tom Ford and Adam Mosseri , the head of Instagram.
The dress code for the event is “American Independence”.
If the mass of pink, tulle and puff sleeves that swept women’s fashion after the Met Gala for 2019’s ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ exhibition is any indicator of the event’s level of market influence , American designers are likely to have new trends and inspiration at their fingertips, which could give the business a much-needed boost.