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Published
Nov 8, 2019
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Met Gala 2020 theme revealed

Published
Nov 8, 2019

Moving on from whimsical themes such as camp, punk and Catholicism, the theme for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute 2020 fashion event and exhibitition will be “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”


Surreal, David Bailey (British, born 1938), 1980 - Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © David Bailey


Tracing more than a century and a half of fashion, from 1870 to the present, the theme will celebrate the museum’s 150th anniversary alongside new exhibitions and public events.

“This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical,” said Max Hollein, director of The Met, about the highly anticipated fashion exhibition.

“As such, the show will present a nuanced continuum of fashion over the museum’s 150-year history.”

The theme is inspired by philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée - time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible. Meanwhile, the writings of Virginia Woolf will guide visitors through a series of linear and counter-chronologies which aim to reflect the fleeting rhythm of fashion. 

Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu curator in charge of The Costume Institute, explained: “Fashion is indelibly connected to time. It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times, serving as an especially sensitive and accurate timepiece. Through a series of chronologies, the exhibition will use the concept of duration to analyze the temporal twists and turns of fashion history.”

The theme will also inform the 2020 Met Gala, which will take place on Monday, May 4, 2020. Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep have been announced as co-chairs alongside Anna Wintour. 

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