The Metropolitan Museum is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and in light of all of those years passing by, the Costume Institute is mounting this exhibition about fashion’s relationship with time. The show explores how fashion’s history is both linear and cyclical: On the one hand, there’s no more reliable marker for a particular period than the clothes being worn at the time; yet on the other hand, fashion itself often looks to the past for inspiration. The Met reaches into its vast collection to explore how fashion often moves forwards by moving back.
The Met called on actresses Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore (all who starred in The Hours) to recite passages from Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography, about a young noble who time travels by living for more than 300 years but changes gender, finishing life as a modern woman writer. The excerpts are played on a loop through the exhibit.
Each "minute" in the clock room represents a pair of garments—one from our present and one from that past that served as inspiration for the piece.
As visitors pass through time and space, they'll see time-inspired designs by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Gabrielle Chanel, Christian Dior, Tom Ford, Hubert de Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Norma Kamali, Donna Karan, Helmut Lang, Karl Lagerfeld (for Chanel), Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Viktor & Rolf, Gianni Versace, Vivienne Westwood, and many more.