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May 4, 2021
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The Costume Institute’s new exhibition to focus on American fashion

Published
May 4, 2021

The Costume Institute in New York City is looking towards to future with its next major exhibition dedicated to American fashion, set to be on view from September 18, 2021 through September 5, 2022.

The Costume Institute’s new exhibition to focus on American fashion - The Costume Institute


The exhibit will consist of two parts. Part one, 'In America: A Lexicon of Fashion', will open in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on September 18, 2021 and will celebrate The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion. Examples of 20th- and 21st-century fashion will populate the rooms, reflecting the customs and behaviors of the imagined occupants.

Meanwhile, part two, 'In America: An Anthology of Fashion', will open in the American Wing period rooms on May 5, 2022 and will explore the development of American fashion by presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces. The exhibition will feature women’s and men’s historical and contemporary dress dating from the 18th century to the present in vignettes installed in select period rooms.

“Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs, and events that shape our lives,” said Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of The Met. 

“This two-part exhibition will consider how fashion reflects evolving notions of identity in America and will explore a multitude of perspectives through presentations that speak to some of the complexities of history with powerful immediacy. In looking at the past through this lens, we can consider the aesthetic and cultural impact of fashion on historical aspects of American life.”

Historically, the first Monday in May would invite a red carport event at the Met Museum, known as the MET Gala, which provides The Costume Institute with its primary source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, operations, and capital improvements. Due to the on-going Covid-19 crisis, the event was canceled for a second year in the row. 

Still, the opening of part one of the exhibit will welcome a more intimate Costume Institute Benefit come Monday, September 13, 2021, pending government guidelines. Likewise, The Met Gala for Part Two will take place on May 2, 2022.

Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka will serve as co-chairs for the September gala. Honorary chairs for the evening will be Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour.

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