Met gala exhibit examines American fashion, frame by frame

Even for a famous movie director like Martin Scorsese, the…

DF Staff - November 9, 2021 0
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Even for a famous movie director like Martin Scorsese, the task was hard.

Take one of the famous American period rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and make what amounts to a one-frame movie without a camera. This is called a tableau, not a movie, but it should have a film-like feel to it. Your actors are just mannequins, and the clothes have already been picked out for you.

“Make a one-frame movie in a room from another time? “A great chance and an interesting challenge,” the director says in a statement next to his work, a mysterious mix of characters, feelings, and clothes in the museum’s striking Frank Lloyd Wright Room.

Eight other directors, like Regina King and Chloé Zhao, are also putting their mark on the period rooms for the Met’s spring Costume Institute exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” which opens on May 7 after the Met Gala on Monday. Guests at the gala, which has become a major fashion and pop culture event and raises millions of dollars for the institute that pays for itself, will be among the first to see the displays.

Jill Biden was also one of the first. The first lady went to a preview of the exhibit on Monday morning and talked about how, in her current job, she’s learned that language isn’t the only way to communicate; fashion is, too. “Symbols and shapes, colors and cuts, and who makes them, show and hide who we are,” Biden said.

The first lady talked about how the history of American design is full of unsung heroes. She said that some of these heroes, especially women, are being honored by the new exhibit. She also talked about how, at the State of the Union address, she showed support for Ukraine by putting a sunflower on the blue sleeve of her dress. “I knew I was sending a message just by sitting next to the Ukrainian ambassador,” she said.