Jul 29, 2016
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The Costume Institute’s ‘Masterworks’ exhibit to open this fall

Jul 29, 2016

The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on Thursday its fall 2016 exhibition, Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion. The exhibit will be on view at the Anna Wintour Costume Center from November 8, 2016, through February 5, 2017.

Image: Ball Gown, Viktor & Rolf (Dutch, founded 1993), spring/summer 2010; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2011 (2011.8) - © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Anna-Marie Kellen

Masterworks, which is curated by Assistant Curator Jessica Regan with support from Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton, will highlight 60 masterworks from the early 18th century to the present that explore how the department has honed its collecting strategy. The exhibition will feature iconic works from designers organized chronologically with an in-depth explanation of its significance in fashion history.
Some newly acquired women’s wear and menswear ensembles and accessories will be on view paired with pieces already in the collection like a John Galliano for Maison Margiela dress from 2015 with a Cristobal Balenciaga gown from 1964, and a Halston evening gown from the 1980s with a Vionnet gown from the 1930s. In addition, ensembles donated by designers in honor of Harold Koda’s retirement as Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute in January will be on view in the Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery.

"While fashion is often derided for its ephemerality, its quick responsiveness to change ensures that it is an immediate expression of the spirit of its time—a vivid reflection of social, cultural, and political circumstances, and of shifting ideals of beauty," said Regan. "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."
Prior to this announcement, The Met announced that the Manus x Machina summer exhibition is extended to September 5 after attracting over 350,000 visitors in its first nine weeks. The exhibit was initially slated to close on August 14.
Other designers to be featured in the Masterworks exhibit include Azzedine Alaïa, Thom Browne, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicolas Ghesquière, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Issey Miyake, Raf Simons for Dior, Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent and Iris van Herpen among others.

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