>THE MET COSTUME INSTITUTE: The model as Muse – Marc Jacobs’s Magic and Anna’s clout at Work

23 May

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Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of the Exhibit, Richard Spiegel and from the MET’s official press kit

There’s always two sides to any story, and not everyone in fashion-land is on board with Anna’s work with the MET and Costume Institute.
Most notably, industry insider, Michael Gross, has penned “Rogues Gallery” an unauthorized history of the MET and some of the key players there. Gross has a rep for delivering a juicy read with a lot of inside dirt, whether it’s one of his magazine articles in New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, or in a book. Part of the criticism is leveled at the flashy MET ball that’s the same evening as the press preview. This season, the Gala Benefit took place on May 4, with Honorary Chair Marc Jacobs and Co-Chairs Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake, and Anna Wintour in charge. Unlike many charitable events, we’ve all heard of at least one member on this committee.
Under Anna’s watch, it’s turned into New York’s hottest annual event and definitely the one that scores the most press clippings. Maybe it’s not very “old money”, but flash has a way of attracting cash, and that’s what the MET and all artistic institutions need to survive.

LIKE IT OR NOT, THE MET COSTUME INSTITUTE HAS “BELONGED” TO VOGUE FOR YEARS. THIS STARTED WHEN DIANA VREELAND [FORMER VOGUE EDITREX] CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT TO WORK ON THIS THEN DUSTY, IGNORED SECTION OF THE MET. SHE WAS ASSISTED BY NONE OTHER THAN THE YOUNG ANDRE LEON TALLEY, WHO WOULD LATER BECOME ONE OF VOGUE’S KEY PLAYER’S UNDER ANNA WINTOUR’S LONG-RUNNING REGIME.

ABOUT THE CURRENT EXHIBIT
TAKE YOUR TIME going through. This is NOT a drive-by, like last year’s “Superheroes”.
Said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute “The exhibition examines a timeline of fashion from 1947 to 1997 through the idealized aesthetic of the fashion model.” “We look at the power of clothing, fashion photography, and the model to project the look of an era. With a mere gesture, a truly stellar model can sum up the attitude of her time – becoming not only a muse to designers or photographers, but a muse to a generation.”

We arrived 20 minutes prior to the end of the Monday AM press preview but got to stay an hour, thanks to the gracious MET PR team.

HIGHLIGHTS
1. Listening to Anna talk to her guest while standing in front of the original Madame Gres Gown Sunny Harnett wore in a glamorous casino shot.

2. Seeing [and very tempted to touch] YSL’s Mondrian color block dress

3. All of the Twiggy and Veruschka black and whites

OUR FAVORITE IMAGES
1. In the SEVENTIES SECTION – model Lisa Taylor driving her car
2. The image of a young LAUREN HUTTON with nasty remarks written about this beauty’s “imperfections” – goes to prove, NO ONE’S perfect!!

MOST OPULENT EXHIBIT
John Galliano’s couture dresses shown at the House of Dior 40th Anniversary Extravaganza

THE VERDICT
If you’re a fashion history buff, you’ll love it.
If you love fashion, period, you’ll at least like it.
EXHIBIT INFORMATION
Exhibition dates: May 6–August 9, 2009
Exhibition location: The Tisch Galleries, second floor
To read more about the exhibit, visit www.metmuseum.org

A FEW LAST REMARKS
Notably missing: Bruce Webber, Azzedine Alaia, some gritty pictures of the heroin chic grunge period

ON OUR SUMMER READING LIST:

•Rogues’ Gallery, by Michael Gross

•740 Park also by Michael Gross

•A.L.T. – to get more info about the history of the MET Costume Institute, from Andre’s perspective,
PICK UP A COPY at www.amazon.com

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS
Image of Anna Wintour & Bee Schaeffer, from www.myfashionlife.com
Image of Marc Jacobs and Kate Moss, from www.catwalkqueen.tv

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