The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just unveiled the much-anticipated theme for the Costume Institute’s 2024 exhibition and gala. Titled ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,’ the event is set to be the pinnacle of the fashion world’s calendar, offering a breathtaking fusion of history, artistry, and nature.
For those unfamiliar with the Met Gala, it’s a prestigious charity event that serves as a fundraiser for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Traditionally, this gala marks the grand opening of the annual fashion exhibition, and it never fails to draw a star-studded guest list curated meticulously by Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.
Now, you might be wondering about the theme, and it’s important to clarify that ‘sleeping beauties’ isn’t an ode to Disney princesses. Instead, it references cherished garments in the museum’s collection so delicate that they require special glass ‘coffins’ for preservation rather than traditional mannequins. These exquisite pieces will be showcased in a series of galleries themed around the natural world.
The exhibition’s concept revolves around the natural world as a symbolic representation of the transience of fashion, exploring themes of rebirth and renewal. Through immersive activations, visitors will experience the scents, sounds, textures, and motions of garments that can no longer be worn.
Curator Andrew Bolton, the mastermind behind all Met Gala exhibits, explains that the show will feature both rare historical garments and their contemporary counterparts.
“When an item of clothing enters our collection, its status is changed irrevocably,” Bolton said in the statement. “What was once a vital part of a person’s lived experience is now a motionless ‘artwork’ that can no longer be worn or heard, touched, or smelled. The exhibition endeavors to reanimate these artworks by re-awakening their sensory capacities.”
But when can you experience this spectacle?
The Met Gala 2024 is scheduled for May 6 in Manhattan, marking the grand opening of the exhibition. For the public, the exhibition will be accessible from May 10 through September 2.
Within this stunning showcase, you’ll find approximately 250 garments and accessories spanning four centuries. Each room will transport you to a different facet of the natural world, juxtaposing historical fashion with contemporary interpretations, and creating an immersive environment that engages your senses of sight, smell, touch, and hearing.
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Imagine a room adorned with the intricate ‘insectoid embroidery’ of an Elizabethan bodice, or a ceiling projecting a mesmerising ‘Hitchcockian swarm of blackbirds’ surrounding a black tulle evening dress from the pre-World War II era.
As for the dress code for the 2024 Met Gala, it remains a mystery for now. In the past, guests were encouraged to dress in a manner that paid homage to the gala’s overarching theme. For the previous celebration of Karl Lagerfeld’s life and work, attendees were urged to dress “in honour of Karl.” Expectations are high for what the sartorial choices of the fashion elite will bring to this exceptional evening.
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First published on: 09-11-2023 at 11:22 IST
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