November 27 - 29, 2015 @ Horticulture Building (Lansdowne Park)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art "China: Through the Looking Glass"
If anyone is going to be in NY between now and August I would suggest you run, not walk to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Met Costume Institute's latest exhibition, "China: Through the Looking Glass," This is an ambitious undertaking , as it is the first time in over ten years that the Costume Institute has partnered with another department at the Met – this time with the Department of Asian Art. The exhibition combines ancient Chinese artifacts, textiles and pottery with Haute Couture. The fashions are simply stunning and their pairing with Chinese art and artifacts inspired. Of special interest to pottery makers are the gowns made from ceramics, either entirely or in part. Many of the mannequins wore fanciful headdresses. Especially in the blue and white room, pottery headdresses abound. Film is also incorporated into the exhibition adding another dimension to the cross-cultural dialogue. This is a large exhibition, that starts in the Asian Galleries and continues down into the Costume Institute. The design of the exhibition is as spectacular as the fashions – simply a treat for the senses.
*** From The Met website***
This exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.
From the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.
The exhibition features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are framed by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which to understand the richness of Chinese history.