The Met in New York revisits fashion through a 100% feminine exhibition

New York – The Metropolitan Museum in New York dedicates its new fashion exhibition to female designers, and only to them, seeking to go beyond a few clichés and highlight figures who have remained in the shadows.

Symbol of this exhibition (from December 7 to March 3, 2024) entitled “Women dressing women”, a cotton muslin dress decorated with silk and taffeta roses allows us to rediscover Ann Lowe (1898- 1981), a pioneer among African-American designers, but largely ignored in her time, even though she had designed Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress (1953).

Three decades earlier, a now-forgotten French house, Premet, launched a “La Garçonne” dress designed by “Mme Charlotte”, “whose success preceded that of (Gabrielle) Chanel by three years” at the head of the same house. name, underlines the museum. Through 80 outfits created by 70 designers, the fashion branch of the prestigious New York museum, “The Costume Institute”, revisits the art of women’s clothing from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day and the messages of defense of the environment of creators like Gabriela Hearst or Hillary Taymour.


“The most important thing is to show the incredible diversity of women designers throughout history who have made all these major contributions to fashion,” explains Mellissa Huber, associate curator at the Costume Institute.

“We aim to dispel the stereotypes according to which women are more ‘practical’ than men, or that they create with themselves in mind”, to the detriment of creativity, she adds.

For women, the story begins in the anonymity of sewing workshops, where they are often relegated. But several French designers established themselves at the beginning of the 20th century, such as Madeleine Vionnet, Jeanne Lanvin and Gabrielle Chanel. The interwar period in France even saw the number of women designers exceed that of men in fashion, the exhibition highlights.

To present the outfits designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci, or Vivienne Westwood, the “Costume Institute” delved into its collections, 33,000 pieces which represent seven centuries of clothing. The exhibition, initially planned for 2020 to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in the United States, but delayed by the pandemic, ends on a more political note, looking at the “absences” or “omissions” in ” museum collections and the canons of fashion. A question posed by this dress celebrating the large sizes of Frenchwoman Ester Manas.

The impressive collection of the “Costume Institute” will be further highlighted during the museum’s next major fashion exhibition in spring 2024, where it intends to awaken “its sleeping beauties”, that is to say its rarest and fragile pieces . An anticipated event, because like every year it coincides with the Met Gala, the famous philanthropic evening where the stars crowd in extravagant outfits. (AFP)

2023-12-07 09:32:22
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