It is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated museum exhibitions of the year. And, it's taking place not far from the Upper East Side residences at The Kent. Here's what you need to know about The Metropolitan Museum of Art's “About Time: Fashion and Duration.” (There’s also a bit about where to purchase a fresh outfit to wear when you go to see it.)
They say good things come to those who wait, and that’s certainly the case for this show. “About Time: Fashion and Duration” was postponed for six months, owing to the pandemic. What better cultural (and festive) gift to give yourself, though, than a deep dive into 150 years of fashion history? Virginia Woolf plays the role of “ghost narrator,” as visitors explore two adjacent “clock face” galleries, where pairs of garments from two different time periods are linked through similarities in shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration. Style is thoroughly woven into the fabric of the show: While one “clock face” almost exclusively incorporates black, the other is a dazzling, Instagram-worthy backdrop of mirrors.
Cultural Window Shopping
The result is an unpredictable — linear, yet cyclical — display, where you find yourself comparing the likes of a dress with leg-of-mutton sleeves from the late 19th century with a Comme des Garçons catwalk number from 2004. The show has already won plaudits, including one from The Wall Street Journal, which hails it "an ingenious exploration of time as told through women’s clothing." In all, the show features 125 pieces, spanning 1870 to the present, and stars pioneering designers from Vivienne Westwood to Iris van Herpen — one of Lady Gaga’s favorites. It's a feast for the fashionable senses. (It's also the perfect excuse to do some window shopping, while still being cultural, of course.)
Dressing for the Occasion
Speaking of shopping: If this show inspires you to embellish your own wardrobe — or even to wear something special for your trip to the exhibition — there are plenty of boutiques and stores between The Kent and The Met where you can pick up showstopping garments. Book a stylist appointment at Madewell on Madison Avenue, and give yourself a makeover with a puffed sleeve midi dress or a denim snap-front shirt dress. Invest in a wintry green and beige wool Louis Vuitton coat from Michael's Luxury Consignment — Louis Vuitton, after all, is sponsoring the “About Time…” exhibition. Or, if you're a gent looking to up your style game, call in at Brooks Brothers, and pick up a Milano-Fit striped wool twill suit jacket, and accessorize with a cashmere scarf. Now you look the part.