Apparently my phone likes to delete posts I attempt, so here it goes again. I made it uptown yesterday for this year’s costume exhibit at the Met, Charles James: Beyond Fashion. James is a self taught, British born designer who is widely known as the first American couturier. Thus, the majority of the pieces are evening gowns, with a few coats sprinkled in. As many have pointed out, this is exhibit is more ‘high tech’ than others. There are cameras that zoom around, showing detailing like seams, closures, collars, etc. each gown in one room (as the exhibit is split in two) has it’s own screen displaying the usual details, but also showing a model of the dress, how it was constructed. There is an accompanying projector that projects a small light on the section of the dress, which corresponds to the screen. With the aid of the cameras, you can see the great quality in these pieces. Most are from the 1930s and 40s but have been preserved beautifully.
As I mentioned, the exhibit is split—which I found incongruous. The exhibition halls are on opposite sides of the museum, and there isn’t a ton on signage directing you from one part to the other. Additionally, both rooms are kept incredibly dark, making it very difficult to view the gowns. However, you are allowed to take photos this year, which has not been allowed in the past. The exhibit definitely does not have the same wow factor as last years punk exhibit did, but definitely still worth a visit.