Hollywood will have a strong presence at this year’s Met Gala and not only on the red carpet. A group of top film directors including Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Regina King and last year’s Oscar winner Chloé Zhao will be a key part of the launching the gala in May. The other four are Janicza Bravo, Julie Dash, Autumn de Wilde and Tom Ford, the celebrated fashion designer who is also a film director.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Star curator Andrew Bolton on Tuesday announced the list of eight directors who will “cinematic vignettes” in the period rooms of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The latest exhibit, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, is actually the second part of a major two-part show exploring the roots of American fashion. This exhibit, to open along with what the museum hopes will be a full-sized gala on May 2, a return to the traditional first Monday in May, will feature about 100 examples of men’s and women’s fashion from the 19th to the mid-late 20th century.
The first part opened in September which will remain on display at the Anna Wintour Costume Center, explores “a new language of American fashion,” whereas Part Two looks at “unfamiliar sartorial narratives filtered through the imaginations of some of America’s most visionary film directors,” Bolton said in remarks Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Bolton and museum director Max Hollein told the press that each of the eight directors would create their own “fictional cinematic vignettes, or ‘freeze frames,’” within specific American Wing period rooms. The exhibit would focus, on key individuals shaping American fashion through history, most of them women, and many of them overlooked by history, not just designers but tailors and dressmakers, for example.
Bolton said Scorsese would show his work in a 20th-century living room designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and King in a 19th-century parlor from Richmond, Virginia. De Wilde will show hers in the Baltimore and Benkard Rooms; Zhao in a Shaker Retiring Room from the 1830s; Bravo in the Rococo Revival Parlor and Gothic Revival Library; Coppola in the McKim, Mead and White Stair Hall and Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room; Dash in the Greek Revival Parlor and Renaissance Revival Room; and Ford in the gallery showcasing John Vanderlyn’s panoramic 1819 mural of Versailles.
Bolton also explained that six “case studies” will appear in the galleries, offering an in-depth look — “almost forensic analyses.” The celebrity co-chairs of the May gala have yet to be announced. In September, they were actor TimothéeChalamet, musician Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman and tennis star Naomi Osaka.
MET Gala is a huge money-maker for the museum, and provides the Costume Institute with its main source of funding. In America: An Anthology of Fashion opens to the public May 7, five days after the May 2 gala, and runs until September 5.
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