MET Costume Institute Gala 2015: "China: Through the Looking Glass" - the Fashion Spot
 
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12-09-2014
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MET Costume Institute Gala 2015: "China: Through the Looking Glass"
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Costume Institute to Focus on China
By Marc Karimzadeh
from WWD issue 09/12/2014



John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), fall/winter 1997-98.
Photo by Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Nick Knight, Nick Knight / Trunk Archive



NEW YORK — The global fascination with all things China is extending to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the spring, the museum will stage “Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion,” an exhibition that explores the influence of China on creativity, from fashion and costume to paintings, porcelain, art and movies.

It will be staged by the Costume Institute and the museum’s Department of Asian Art, which celebrates its 100th anniversary, and take place at the Met’s Anna Wintour Costume Center and Chinese Galleries.

“The West’s interest in China seems to be intensifying, and China’s cultural influence on the West also seems to have reached new heights,” explained Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton of the choice to stage this exhibition now. “The basic idea is the influence of Chinese aesthetics on designers, but I also wanted to convey how costumes and decorative arts crystallize centuries of cultural interchanges between the East and the West. They speak to an ongoing fascination of enigmatic objects and motifs. They are infused with fantasy and nostalgia and romance, and what often is created is a virtual China, a mixing of these anachronistic styles, which results in this pastiche. What is interesting is how complicit China has been in forming those fantasies.”

The name for the show came from a parlor game developed during the British Empire — think Telephone, where a message is whispered around a circle until it’s completely distorted. “It’s a nice way to explain that a lot of the motifs and cultural images are often lost in translation,” Bolton noted.

At the museum, the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery will play on these ideas, with films from directors like Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige, and vignettes of women of style such as Soong May-Ling (i.e., Madame Chiang Kai-shek), Empress Dowager Cixi and Madame Wellington Koo.

The Chinese Galleries will focus on fashions from the 1700s through now, with more than 100 couture and ready-to-wear garments, and decorative arts from Imperial China.

Chinese opera is another theme to be explored in the museum’s Astor Court via performer Mei Lanfang, the inspiration behind John Galliano’s spring 2003 Christian Dior couture show. Several looks from that collection will be shown alongside Mei’s original opera costumes.

Wong Kar-wai, the acclaimed Chinese filmmaker behind “In the Mood for Love” — a perennial fashion inspiration — serves as the exhibition’s artistic director, while his longtime collaborator, William Chang, will supervise the styling.

The exhibition will be open to the public May 7 to Aug. 16. It will be launched with the Costume Institute benefit, with Silas Chou as honorary chair. Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence, Chinese actress Gong Li, Yahoo president and chief executive officer Marissa Mayer, Wendi Murdoch and Anna Wintour are cochairs.

Yahoo is sponsoring the exhibition with additional support from Condé Nast.

Yahoo’s Mayer has long been tied to fashion, even when she was still at Google, and the executive has been extending the company’s reach into that world, most notably with the launch of digital magazine Yahoo Style earlier this month.

“It is probably one of, if not the, most important fashion event,” said Joe Zee, Yahoo Style’s editor in chief and executive creative officer. “The exhibition and the way people can interact with fashion on a very global level was very important to us...[that] messaging is very aligned with everything that we are doing. Yahoo is about being global.”

He added that Yahoo’s reach will enable the exhibition to reach a “much bigger, broader-level” audience.

“Chinese Whispers” will feature more than 100 China-inspired designs from a range of designers and labels, among them pieces by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen during his stint at Givenchy, Anna Sui, Dries van Noten and Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. The Costume Institute is culling from haute couture and rtw that demonstrate a specific riff on the theme. As Bolton put it, these looks will “escape the notion that designers inspired by China perpetuate this orientalist appropriation.”
Source: wwd.com, image hosted by postimage.org


Last edited by agee; 12-09-2014 at 02:32 PM.
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12-09-2014
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The red carpet will be a mess in terms of insensitive cultural appropriation. People are probably going to attend with chopsticks in their hair. Heck, I wonder if the exhibit is going to feature any Chinese designers or just Western designers whose collections were Chinese-influenced.

Perplexed why they chose Jennifer Lawrence to co-chair. YES for Gong Li, and surprised Zhang Ziyi isn't co-chairing.

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12-09-2014
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I was going to say the exact same thing, eternitygoddess. I foresee a huge mess.

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14-09-2014
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well i, for one, am already excited to see what KK will wear. hahaha.

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As usual, no one will respect the theme.

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14-09-2014
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will zhangzyi show up at the met gala..
that's a big moment for me!

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14-09-2014
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PLEASE..let show up more of tang dynasty's costume,which is also called "Han Fu".which is a spectacular mark of china's culture in history...without any doubt..

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eternitygoddess View Post
The red carpet will be a mess in terms of insensitive cultural appropriation. People are probably going to attend with chopsticks in their hair. Heck, I wonder if the exhibit is going to feature any Chinese designers or just Western designers whose collections were Chinese-influenced.

Perplexed why they chose Jennifer Lawrence to co-chair. YES for Gong Li, and surprised Zhang Ziyi isn't co-chairing.
I agree with you Eternitygodess, the line between referencing and appropriation is very, very fine! I dont trust designers and celebrities to strike a balance if they couldnt even pay tribute to Punk. And I bet you there will be quite a few turning up in cheongsams! Because didnt you know, Chinese dress starts and ends there.

I hope they showcase some Chinese talent as well. The majority will probably be Western designers's ode to Chinese culture.

Why is everybody shoving Jennifer Lawrence down our throats?? As an actress, yes, she's tremendous. But there is nothing 'fashion' about her! One cannot even gauge her personality from the outfits she wears. Is it because she's paired with Dior, or an Oscar winner? I'm just as perplexed with Gong Li. Again, an acclaimed actress with not much fashion presence. What happened to Zhang Ziyi, or even Fan Bingbing. Girls who've demonstrated a diverse approach to style, and followed by many. This is not the Oscars, its the one event where we can indulge in fashion unabashedly, yet Anna guns for the serious actresses probably believing they will offer the event more substance.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benn98 View Post
I agree with you Eternitygodess, the line between referencing and appropriation is very, very fine! I dont trust designers and celebrities to strike a balance if they couldnt even pay tribute to Punk. And I bet you there will be quite a few turning up in cheongsams! Because didnt you know, Chinese dress starts and ends there.

I hope they showcase some Chinese talent as well. The majority will probably be Western designers's ode to Chinese culture.

Why is everybody shoving Jennifer Lawrence down our throats?? As an actress, yes, she's tremendous. But there is nothing 'fashion' about her! One cannot even gauge her personality from the outfits she wears. Is it because she's paired with Dior, or an Oscar winner? I'm just as perplexed with Gong Li. Again, an acclaimed actress with not much fashion presence. What happened to Zhang Ziyi, or even Fan Bingbing. Girls who've demonstrated a diverse approach to style, and followed by many. This is not the Oscars, its the one event where we can indulge in fashion unabashedly, yet Anna guns for the serious actresses probably believing they will offer the event more substance.


i think the western stuck into a wrong trend ,they deemed cheongsams as chinese's mark..i have to accept that the silhouette of the cheongsams looks very attractive when a well-shaped woman wears it.but i think the costume from tang dynsty is more more more spectacular !i would love to see more and more western designers can regard it as inspiration in collection herself/himself....that will be shockingly nice


Last edited by zhangziyi; 14-09-2014 at 05:21 AM.
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15-09-2014
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What are the chances that some witless star is going to come dressed in something Japanese..? This mess should be fun...

The industry pushing Lawrence into fashion is unbearably painful. She obviously doesn't care for it and I don't care for her. Unless she has some impressive creds on Chinese fashion that I know nothing of, another WTF-choice of shoehorning one of the most hyped but flat and uninteresting actresses onto a fashion event. (and I thought Beyonce and Punk was a laughable match... at least Beyonce enjoys fashion.)

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Is it possible for one of the mods to update this thread from "Chinese Whispers" to the new title, "China: Though the Looking Glass"

Quote:
Beijing Dispatch: A Preview of the Met’s 2015 Costume Institute Exhibit, “China: Through the Looking Glass”

January 8, 2015 2:39 pm by Alex Frank

Today, four months before “China: Through the Looking Glass” formally opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center and Asian Art galleries, the museum previewed the show in Beijing. The full exhibition, which opens in New York City on May 7 after the annual Met Gala, will explore the influence of Chinese art and film on Western fashion with a collection of traditional artworks and more than 130 haute couture and ready-to-wear looks. A selection of the pieces went on view this morning at the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City in an opening attended by Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour; Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton; U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus; the exhibition’s artistic director, filmmaker Wong Kar Wai; and members of the Chinese press.

“There’s been a continued engagement with China really since the Roman Empire, since the silk routes, when silk was really important to the Roman Empire since the first and second century,” Mr. Bolton told Vogue.com by phone from Beijing. “One of the earliest pieces we have in the exhibition is from the late seventeenth century, which is a moment when Chinese imagery was at its height. The story really starts then and ends in the present day because China continues to enchant designers.”

Among the pieces featured in Beijing are a blue-and-white porcelain–inspired dress that Karl Lagerfeld created for Chanel in 1984 and a hard-to-track-down look that Tom Ford designed for his last collection at YSL in 2004, influenced by the last Chinese Emperor Puyi’s dragon robe. “Only one existed [that we knew of], but we were unable to secure that as a loan,” Bolton explained. “I was talking to Tom Ford and he wasn’t sure if another piece existed. It really was Anna who managed to secure the loan for us. It actually was in the Saint Laurent archive, under our noses.”
Source: Vogue.com

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So I guess the MET gala red carpet will Kendall, Cara and Binx free. There is a God!!

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Chanel reveals scheduling clash with Met Ball

The style set will no doubt be facing a tough choice this May, as Chanel have announced that their Cruise Collection fashion show will be taking place on the same day as the Met Ball. Karl Lagerfeld's new collection will be shown in Seoul, South Korea, meaning that it won't be possible to attend both his show and Anna Wintour's star-studded bash in New York.

"We had committed to bringing our cruise collection to our Korean clients and May 4 was the only possible date," a Chanel representative told WWD. "Chanel is very much dedicated to supporting the Anna Wintour Costume Institute Benefit this year as we always have."

"We greatly respect the incredible contributions Anna Wintour and The Metropolitan Museum of Art have made toward the preservation, education and celebration of the art of fashion, and are proud to be a supporter of this important institution."

This will be the second scheduling clash that Chanel has faced recently. Last December, Karl showed his Metiers d'Art collection in Austria on the same night as the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Models such as Karlie Kloss and Candice Swanepoel, who have walked for Karl on numerous occasions, were unable to make the designer's show as their status as Victoria's Secret angels saw them contractually obliged to walk the lingerie giant's runway extravaganza.

With both the Chanel show and the Met Gala being two of the most highly-anticipated events in the fashion calendar, models such as Kendall Jenner may face a tough choice, as she has walked in the French fashion house's last few shows.

Meanwhile, this year's Met Gala will see Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence co-hosting the ball, alongside Marissa Mayer, Wendi Murdoch and Gong Li.

The Hunger Games star takes the reins from Sarah Jessica Parker and her friend and former co-star Bradley Cooper, who co-hosted the 2014 event.

This year's Costume Institute's Exhibition theme will be Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion. The exhibition will feature representations of China with over a hundred pieces from the world's biggest fashion designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton.

Source: Hellomagazine.com

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01-04-2015
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They should just call the exhibition 'China through Western Eyes.'

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01-04-2015
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Personally, I'd show up wearing chinese designer Guo Pei, but that's just me.

it seems like this is just going to be about western designers using Chinese/vague oriental influences. As usual it will be attended by many people who don't comprehend fashion all that much, and considering the hanfu has a slight resemblance to a Japanese kimono I wouldn't be surprised if someone did indeed come wearing something Japanese, or Korean hanbok even. It's certainly gonna be amusing, though a lot people don't even seem to dress for the theme anyway. And Jennifer Lawrence? Really? Oh dear..

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiedust1603 View Post
They should just call the exhibition 'China through Western Eyes.'
I was just thinking of all the cliches that will walk the RC

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