Inside the Met Gala 2024 Exhibition: ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’

Like true love’s kiss to a fairy-tale princess, fashion is waking things up.

Resurrecting centuries-old finery via artificial intelligence and sensory simulation, the 2024 Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — entitled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” — isn’t just a sight to behold. 

It’s also to be felt, heard and sniffed. 

Bolton teased that the showcase will grant museum visitors “sensorial ‘access’ to rare historical garments and rarefied contemporary fashions.” AP

“‘Sleeping Beauties’ will heighten our engagement with these masterpieces of fashion by evoking how they feel, move, sound, smell and interact when being worn,” Max Hollein, the Met’s Marina Kellen French Director, said in a statement

Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge, added, “This exhibition endeavors to reanimate these artworks by reawakening their sensory capacities through a diverse range of technologies.”

Over 250 creations from luxe labels like Schiaparelli, Givenchy and Balenciaga will star in the fashion extravaganza alongside couture that’s up to 400 years old and too fragile to showcase on mannequins. 

Select aged attire — like an 1877 Charles Frederick Worth ball gown — will be revived through AI, augmented reality, computer-generated imagery, video animation, light projection and soundscapes. 

“The walls of one space will be embossed with the foliate, vegetal and insectoid embroidery of an Elizabethan bodice,” the Met teased in the release. “The floors of another will be animated with snakes that frame the neckline of an early 20th-century sequined dress.”

“The ceiling of another will be projection-mapped with a Hitchcockian swarm of blackbirds that encircle a black tulle evening dress designed by Madeleine Vionnet just before the outbreak of World War II.”

Photographer Nick Knight and his SHOWstudio, a UK fashion film house, will helm the high-tech activations. 

Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, computer-generated imagery, video animation, light projection and soundscapes will help give new life to some of the more vintage numbers in the showcase. AFP via Getty Images

Upon entering the exhibit, visitors will be awestruck by a sequence of three self-contained galleries individually dedicated to the elements of nature: earth, air and water. 

One gallery will be styled to resemble a lush garden. The botanical space will include a greenhouse with flower-embellished hats in bloom.

Smellscapes composed by Norwegian fragrance researcher Sissel Tolaas will subtly stimulate guests’ olfactory senses. She’s previously used “smell trapping devices” to collect scent molecules in the air to create four scents for Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2020 show in Paris. 

Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson’s coat made with oat, rye and wheatgrass will serve as the Met gallery’s pièce de résistance. The outwear will start out “alive” and gradually “die” during the exhibition.

The exhibition will feature living fashion pieces that will slowly die on display. AP

Bolton says the entire production will grant museum visitors “sensorial ‘access’ to rare historical garments and rarefied contemporary fashions.”

The more delicate designs, or the “sleeping beauties,” such as an embroidered British waistcoat from the 1600s, will be displayed under glass cases. Bolton cheekily refers to the containers as “coffins.”

“It’s a different way to appreciate the ephemerality of fashion; many are pieces we normally would never show,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “But even that state of demise should be seen and appreciated.”

Charles James’ 1955 “Butterfly” ball gown will be one of the only pieces displayed alongside its restored duplication.

The original fancywork, featuring a “chrysalis” sheath of pleated silk chiffon over a silk satin ground and an exuberant “winged” bustle skirt of nylon tulle, will remain behind glass with its timeworn damages bare. A replica of the gown in pristine condition will be stationed by its side.

Zendaya, along with Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth and Vogue’s Anna Wintour, will serve as masters of ceremonies during Monday evening’s grand event. FilmMagic

Fiercely frocked Met Gala attendees, such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, will enjoy the first sights, sounds and whiffs of the museum’s digitally influenced display on Monday. 

Zendaya, with fellow fashionistas Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Wintour, will be A-list guests at the annual fund-raiser. Monies accrued during the fete are allocated toward museum exhibitions, publications, acquisitions and more.

“The Garden of Time” will be the official dress code for the celebrity-spangled soirée. It’s the flowery title of J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story inspired by nature’s endless cycle of divine recreation. 

Wintour reportedly hopes Met Gala attendees will adhere to the event’s nature-inspired theme. AFP via Getty Images

Wintour, Vogue’s bob-cut bigwig, has already forewarned the famous that she expects their evening wear to reflect elements of “fleeting beauty.”

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” will make its public debut May 10 through September 2.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button