Gala-goers, start thinking green.
After the pop culture bonanza of this summer’s “Barbie,” the hoo-ha surrounding the live action remake of “The Little Mermaid” and the attention paid to anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, observers could be forgiven for hearing the title of the next Costume Institute blockbuster at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and think they were in for a Disney spectacle. After all, it is called “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” And those princess costumes have been very influential.
But while the show was, indeed, partly inspired by a hot button cultural moment, it’s not a fantasy one.
Rather, it’s a sustainability one.
Specifically, the ephemeral nature of … well, nature. And how fashion captures that literally, in the form of garments inspired by and decorated with flora and fauna, and conceptually, in its endless cycle of in and out, its potential to degrade. Think of it as a show devoted to unsustainable fashion, one that could function as a requiem, a warning sign and a reminder of the fundamental importance of regeneration.
“It’s pretty much an ode to nature,” said Andrew Bolton, curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute and the man behind the idea. “Nature as a metaphor for fashion and for its fragility and its ephemerality.”
Given fashion’s own famously negative impact on the natural world, that’s a little ironic. But Mr. Bolton, who is responsible for such shows as “Camp,” “Heavenly Bodies” and “China Through the Looking Glass,” has never shied away from a controversial theme. The show is also a meta-comment about nature as a source of life and the life that is lost when garments enter a museum and become objects of study, rather than tools for navigating the world.
We are having trouble retrieving the article content.
We are confirming your access to this article, this will take just a moment. However, if you are using Reader mode please log in, subscribe, or exit Reader mode since we are unable to verify access in that state.
Confirming article access.
If you are a subscriber, please log in.