The first of a two-part, year-long extravaganza, ‘In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion’ is organised into 12 sections that seek to define the emotional qualities in Am…
Images: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
While the past themes covered by The
Met museum’s Costume Institute shows have ranged from the fantastical to the esoteric
, this year’s deep dive into fashion in America not only felt timely, but necessary as well. American fashion has long been seen as more commercial and practically minded than its European counterparts, but the exhibition ‘In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion’ proves that fantasy and emotion are well-established qualities in fashion on this side of the pond too.
The first of a two-part, year-long extravaganza, ‘In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion’ opens with a display of 100 garments dating from 1940 to the present day, set in an installation design inspired by a patchwork quilt. Referencing an 1856 quilt in the museum’s American Wing created by Adeline Harris Sears featuring white silk diamond-shaped squares signed by some of the most famous Americans of the period, the exhibition is composed of white scrimmed cases – a three-dimensional patchwork quilt – each containing a specimen of American fashion history.
Organised into 12 sections that seek to define the emotional qualities in American fashion, such as Nostalgia, Belonging, Joy and Strength, each exhibit is accompanied by a headpiece designed by Stephen Jones featuring a word summing up a corresponding sentiment, thus forming a comprehensive visual dictionary. Most notably, the showcase features a wide range of designers, both past and present, of different ages, backgrounds, cultures and genders that captures just how colourful American culture is.
‘In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion’: defining the style of the USA
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