Action! The Met Gala exhibition will highlight 8 of the best directors
Hollywood will have a strong presence at this year’s Met Gala – and not just on the red carpet. A cast of top directors, including Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Regina King and last year’s Oscar-winning actress Chloe Zhao, will be a key part of the Costume Institute exhibit that kicks off the gala in May.
Star curator Andrew Bolton announced on Tuesday the list of eight directors who will create what he called “cinematic vignettes” in the period rooms of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing. The other four are Janicza Bravo, Julie Dash, Autumn de Wilde and Tom Ford, the famous fashion designer who is also a director.
The final exhibit – “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” – is actually the second part of a two-part grand show exploring the roots of American fashion. The first part opened in September with a pared-back “mini-gala,” one of two galas planned within a year as the Costume Institute grapples with pandemic restrictions, like all other institutions. artistic.
The exhibit, which opens with what the museum hopes will be a life-size gala on May 2 – a throwback to the traditional first Monday in May – will feature around 100 examples of men’s and women’s fashion from the 19th to mid-late 20th century.
While the first part, which will remain on display in the halls of the Anna Wintour Costume Center, explores “a new language of American fashion”, the second part delves into “unknown sartorial narratives filtered through the imagination of some of the directors America’s most visionary,” Bolton said in remarks Tuesday.
Additionally, some of the garments that were shown in Part 1 will be shot next month, to include other designers who have yet to be featured. This exhibit attempts to focus on themes of social justice, diversity and inclusivity, and acceptance of the body. And youth: The majority of its clothes come from young designers, many of whom have never seen their designs displayed in a museum, Bolton said when it opened in September.
On Tuesday, Bolton and museum director Max Hollein told a press briefing at the museum that each of the eight directors would create their own “fictitious cinematic vignettes, or ‘freeze frames,'” in specific period rooms of the American wing. The exhibit would focus, they said, on key figures who have shaped American fashion throughout history, most of them women and many of them historically overlooked — not just designers, but tailors and couturiers, for example.
Bolton said Scorsese would show his work in a 20th century salon designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and King in a 19th century salon in Richmond, Virginia.
De Wilde will show his in the Baltimore and Benkard halls; Zhao in an 1830s Shaker retreat hall; Bravo in the neo-rococo salon and the neo-Gothic library; Coppola in the McKim, Mead and White Stair Hall and Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room; Dash in the Neo-Greek Drawing Room and the Neo-Renaissance Room; and Ford in the gallery featuring John Vanderlyn’s 1819 panoramic Versailles mural.
Bolton also explained that six “case studies” will appear in the galleries, offering an in-depth look — “almost forensic analyses,” he said — into historical garments significant to fashion history. Examples, he said, would include outfits worn by Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
The celebrity co-chairs for the May gala have yet to be announced. In September, they were actor Timothée Chalamet, musician Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman and tennis star Naomi Osaka.
The Met Gala is a huge source of revenue for the museum and provides the Costume Institute with its main source of funding. “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” opens to the public on May 7, five days after the May 2 gala, and runs through September 5, with the first part.