The Met Gala Was Cancelled, But You Can Still Virtually Tour the Museum’s New Fashion Exhibit

updated May 6, 2020
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the fountain in front of the metropolitan museum of art in new york city
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New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art was slated to open the Costume Institute’s “About Time: Fashion and Duration” exhibit on May 7, and kick off the exhibition with the annual Met Gala, which was supposed to happen on May 4. However, due to the coronavirus, the Met was forced to postpone the exhibit’s opening until October. To hold patrons over until the fall, the Costume Institute delivered an extended preview video of the show, which shows how fashion history is both linear and cyclical.

“The exhibition will trace a century and a half of fashion—from 1870 to the present—along a disruptive timeline, on the occasion of The Met’s 150th anniversary,” the description of the Met’s video reads. “Employing Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée (duration), it will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present, and future.”

The video is edited in the same way the show is presented, displaying historical fashion pieces next to their modern-day designer equivalent. For example, the quintessential Victorian bustles bustle skirt was the inspiration behind a 1980s dress by Yohji Yamamoto. And the exaggerated puff sleeves of the 1890s came back in a 2004 Comme Des Garçons creation.

Images of the Costume Institute’s collection appear while a ticking clock symbolizes the fashion timeline that is always moving forward while continuously pulling inspiration from the past.

Virginia Woolf serves as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition, and quotes from the famous author were also worked into the extended preview video.

If all goes according to plan, “About Time: Fashion and Duration” will be available to view in person at the Met Museum come October 29.