The history of fashion has seen a long, storied development culminating into the styles we have today. The works from the past inevitably help to shape and mold the popular items in modernity, whether it be fashion or just about anything else. This idea is one of the base concepts surrounding The Met’s Costume Institute Fall Show, celebrating fashion styles of the past as the art they represent in our popular culture.
The Costume Institute has been part of The Met since 1946. In that time, they have had the luxury of being able to collect pieces over the course of history that exemplify Western high fashion while giving us a preserved window into the fashion perspectives of the past.
For their upcoming Fall Show, they’ve decided to incorporate a unique method of displaying the featured dresses involved in their upcoming exhibit “Masterwork: Unpacking Fashion.” This comes on the heels of a very successful showing called Manus x Machina, in which The Met looked to bridge the gap between fashion and technology. The show has even been extended for another month by popular demand. In contrast, the fall show will display dresses from as far back as the eighteenth century alongside recent pieces. This is meant to spotlight the connections and similarities between eras of fashion. Adding to the unique profile, the items will be shown out of packing crates, hence the overall name of the exhibit.
The show will primarily consist of women’s fashion, though there is said to be select men’s fashion as well with sixty pieces on display in total, even teasing a Robe Volante gown from 1730. One example of the expected pairings shown is a Chistóbel Balenciaga gown from 1964 along with a Maison Margiela dress from last year, another being a Halston dress from the 1980’s paired with Vionnet piece from the 1930’s. Though just two comparisons, they both paint an exceptional picture of what the overall gallery will be able to bring to interested audiences come November.
The future can only benefit from the idea of reexamining the path taken to get to where fashion is today. Though the comparisons give insight to the affect previous fashion creations have had on that of today, the show’s ability to do so should inspire styles and trends in the same way. That is, the ability to present styles that, at their core, carry ageless appeal. Through this, the future can learn and be influenced in creating the next major style for years to come.