Insider gives rare first look at Met Gala’s postponed fashion exhibit

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Vogue has released a sneak peek at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion exhibition due to open next week.

The installation at Met’s Costume Institute would have been in public view as of Tuesday, May 5, a day after the celebration of the Met Gala dedicated to its theme. Due to the coronavirus, the exhibit has now been postponed until October, and the fate of this year’s bright and celebrity-filled party remains uncertain. The museum is scheduled to remain closed until July 1.

Called “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” the exhibition explores the wild timeline of fashion history. The gala would be co-chaired by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep and, of course, Vogue’s editor in chief, Anna Wintour.

Grace Coddington, who works as general creative director at the fashion magazine, also posted a series of snapshots from inside the museum on her Instagram feed. Typically, Vogue employees are notoriously tight on both the party and the exhibit, keeping previews until the morning of the first Monday in May, when the press can enter the museum before the dance that night.

A preview of
A preview of “About Time”, which will include a series of completely black garments from different time periods.Annie Leibovitz for Vogue Magazi

The photos that Vogue released and that Coddington shared, some taken by Annie Leibovitz, star of Vogue, show gala-dressed mannequins scattered among the most classic Met statues. Modern garments, such as a biker jacket and a maxi skirt, are placed alongside an old-school outfit with a similar silhouette. In the moody images, the items on mannequins and in display cases appear ready to be revealed, even though they won’t be seen for months.

The curator behind the show, Andrew Bolton, plans to present 160 pieces of women’s clothing, which will be separated into two sections, according to Vogue.

The first is a chronological arrangement of black outfits. “It is a very rational and regulated chronology of fashion from 1870 to 2020, the time scale of modernity,” Bolton said.

The second grouping will be mostly white outfits with bursts of color scattered throughout, to be sorted regardless of usage time. “You can see them as folds in time,” Bolton added.

The two-tone setup is sure to be a stark contrast to last year’s brilliant performance, which focused on the camp’s outlandish idea.