Some 160 items of clothing will be exhibited as part of ‘About Time’, separated into two sections of the exhibition. The idea behind this delineation, Bolton explained, was to give a clear sense of a timeline in the evolution of dress.
The first section will be comprised of entire black garments running from 1870 to 2020 – “the timescale of modernity,” Bolton said. The second section will be largely made up of white outfits with a few pops of colour. These pieces will not be arranged in chronological format, and will serve as points of debate and conversation to the earlier black pieces.
Sponsored by Louis Vuitton, the exhibition will be an examination of the ways in which history repeats itself. Similarities between designers – Alaïa and Vionnet or Poiret and Galliano – will be explored. Other pairings, like Chanel and Patou, seek to show how in particular eras one designer might rise, while the other falls.
“This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical,” Max Hollein, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said in a press release. The exhibition will run at the gallery from 7 May 2020 until 7 September 2020.