Series 1- Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion
The Costume Institute’s Fall 2016 exhibition at The Met Museum, Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion features significant acquisitions of the past 10 years. The show is curated by Assistant Curator Jessica Regan with support from Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton.
Mr. Bolton remarks that over the seven decades since The Costume Institute became part of The Met in 1946 their collecting strategy has shifted from creating a collection of Western high fashion that is encyclopedic in breadth to one focused on acquiring a body of masterworks.
The exhibition explores how the department has honed its collecting strategy to amass masterworks of the highest aesthetic and technical quality, including iconic works by designers who have changed the course of fashion history and advanced fashion as an art form. It highlights approximately 60 of the masterworks from the early 18th century to the present, which The Costume Institute has acquired since its last acquisitions show, blog.mode: addressing fashion, in 2007.
Ms. Regan explains, “The masterworks we’ve chosen to highlight are among many we have collected in the past decade that draw on forms, motifs, and themes of the past, reinterpreting fashion history in ways that resonate in the present.” The masterwork is a vivid reflection of social, cultural, and political circumstances, and of shifting ideals of beauty.
Designers in the exhibition includes Gilbert Adrian, Azzedine Alaïa, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, Thom Browne, Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Antonio del Castillo (Lanvin-Castillo), Hussein Chalayan, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Christian Dior, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (Dolce & Gabbana), Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano (John Galliano and Maison Margiela), Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga), Charles James, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Karl Lagerfeld (House of Chanel), Jeanne Lanvin, Christian Louboutin, Maison Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Paul Poiret, Zandra Rhodes, Yves Saint Laurent (House of Dior and Rive Gauche), Elsa Schiaparelli, Raf Simons (House of Dior), Hedi Slimane (Saint Laurent), Noritaka Tatehana, Philip Treacy, Iris van Herpen, Viktor Horsting and Ralph Snoeren (Viktor & Rolf), Gianni Versace, Madeleine Vionnet, Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm McLaren (Let it Rock), Jean-Charles and Jean-Philippe Worth (House of Worth), and Yohji Yamamoto.