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Photograph: Shaye Weaver

This year’s Costume Institute exhibition at The Met has been announced

The show will explore the development of American fashion.

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

After last year’s ironically delayed Costume Institute exhibition, which focused on the passing of time, it was an open question as to just how timely and meta this year’s exhibition might be. Turns out, it’s a bit less on the nose but still quite relevant to many pressing conversations of the moment.

The Institute’s next major exhibition will be a two-part survey of American fashion. Notice we didn’t say “summer exhibition,” because—unlike in past years—the exhibition will be opening at the end rather than the beginning of summer. Part one, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” is scheduled to open to the public on September 18 (complete with an early September version of the iconic Met Gala.)

The exhibition will dive into ideas around American identity by featuring a fictional American home constructed with transparent walls that blur the boundaries between rooms. Examples of twentieth and twenty-first-century fashion will be found throughout the interiors, designed by pioneers of American sportswear. (Turns out this isn’t the year fashion gets to leave the house yet.)

The really interesting thing about this year’s exhibition, however, is that it will be split into two parts. Part two, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” will open in the American Wing period rooms on the more traditional date of May 5, 2022. That half of the exhibition will present narratives that explore the development of American fashion as they relate to those spaces.

Parts one and two of the exhibition will close on September 5, 2022.

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