Everything you need to know about the Met Museum's Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion

The perfect excuse to visit New York, as if we needed one

Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion
Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion

The perfect excuse to visit New York, as if we needed one

A gown from the Viktor & Rolf spring/summer 2010 collection will feature in the exhibition

The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has announced the theme of it’s Fall 2016 exhibition is: Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion. The exhibit will show off 60 pieces that the museum has acquired since its last acquisitions show almost a decade ago, blog.mode: addressing fashion, in 2007.

‘Our mission is to present fashion as a living art that interprets history, becomes part of the historical process, and inspires subsequent art,’ explained Curator in Charge, Andrew Bolton. ‘Over the seven decades since The Costume Institute became part of The Met in 1946, our collecting strategy has shifted from creating a collection of Western high fashion that is encyclopedic in breadth to one focused on acquiring a body of masterworks.’

In keeping with the theme, these ‘masterworks’ - which date from the early 18th century to current day - will be displayed in packing crates and on palettes, as though they have just arrived at the museum.

Each piece will also be accompanied by an in-depth explanation of its significance within the tapestry of fashion history. Some will be juxtaposed against newer pieces to highlight the enduring influence of certain couturiers and iconic time-honoured silhouettes. For example, one of John Galliano’s 2015 Maison Margiela dresses will be posed with a Cristobal Balenciaga gown from 1964.

‘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,’ said Assistant Curator Jessica Regan.

Opening on November 8, and showing until February 5 2017 in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the exhibition will include other iconic works by designers who have changed the course of fashion history and established fashion’s recognition as an art form, including Azzedine Alaïa, Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Hussein Chalayan, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano (for his eponymous line and Maison Margiela), Nicolas Ghesquière’s Balenciaga era, Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel creations and Christian Louboutin - to name but a few.

This announcement has made us all the more excited for the Met's major 2017 exhibition which will serve as the theme for next year's splashy Met Ball.

Until then, we look forward to pouring over all the #FashionMasterworks pics on Instagram come November.

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