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Met Gala reveals theme: ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’

It’s time to brush up on your fashion history

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By John Legaspi

Next year’s theme for the Met Gala will be a journey down memory lane with its rich fashion history. On May 2020, the Oscars of fashion will be playing around the theme of “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”

Hailing inspiration from the 1992 Sally Porter film Orlando andthe movie adaptation of the Virginia Woolf classic novel of the same name, the gala will be a reimagined vision of fashion decades.

“There’s a wonderful scene,” Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute tells Vogue. “Tilda Swinton enters the maze in an 18th century woman’s robe à la Francaise, and as she runs through it her clothes change to mid-19th century dress, and she re-emerges in 1850s England. That’s where the original idea came from.”

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Tilda Swinton on Orlando (photo courtesy of IMDB)

Fashion is among the many indicators of time and era. As the great late Karl Lagerfeld once said, “Clothes are the first thing you think of when you imagine an era—you think of pannier dresses when you say the 18th century, before architecture or anything else.”

Keeping in line with the theme, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will be showcasing a century-and-a-half of fashion history pulled from its archive. Pieces from 1870 to 2020 will be on its spring exhibition,curated in a fragmented manner. From a linear timeline display of black looks to counter chronologies and top designers of the era, the exhibition will be a flashback of fashion’s best and a fast-forward to where the industry is going.

The Met Gala “About Time: Fashion and Duration” will take place on May 4, 2020, the first Monday of the month. The gala will be co-chaired by creative director of luxury brand Louis Vuitton Nicolas Ghesquière, music composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, actresses Meryl Streep and Emma Stone, and Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour.

The fashion exhibition will run from May 7 to Sept. 7, 2020.

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