In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” is on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center until September 5, 2022: an exploration of a modern vocabulary of American fashion, as multifaceted and heterogeneous as the United States. Present among the exhibition are mannequins from Bonaveri’s Schläppi 2200 collection, Tribe mannequins, and Bespoke mannequins.
New York | Emotions and creativity are woven into clothes that leave an impression in history. This year’s Costume Institute exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York celebrates American fashion, as multifaceted and diverse as the United States and the many cultures that are part of it.
The Costume Institute’s In America is a two-part exhibition on view from September 18, 2021, through September 5, 2022. Part One, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, celebrates The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and establishes a modern vocabulary of fashion. Part Two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion—opening in the American Wing period rooms on May 7, 2022—will present sartorial narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those rooms. Parts One and Two will close on September 5, 2022.
Accompanying the narration and enhancing the experience to guided visitors are the quality mannequins of Bonaveri. Mannequins from the Schläppi 2200 collection were chosen to be exhibited in the prestigious museum: the figures, mostly female, are characterized by artistic forms, of minimal details of sheer eloquence and elegant poses. The male mannequins selected for the exhibition are from the Tribe collection.
The inspiration for the exhibition is a patchwork quilt—a simple yet profound symbol that embodies the complexities of the nation. It is a quilt from The Met’s American Wing that opens the exhibition, serving as a metaphor for the United States and the cultural identities that are part of it. The work, begun in 1856 by Adeline Harris Sears, consists of diamond-shaped squares bearing 360 signatures, including those of eight American presidents.
Like three-dimensional patches, the scrimmed cases house about 100 men’s and women’s garments designed from the 1940s to the present. The 12 sections into which the exhibition is divided— explore “Nostalgia”, “Belonging”, “Delight”, “Joy”, “Wonder”, “Affinity”, “Confidence”, “Strength”, “Desire”, “Assurance”, “Comfort”, and “Consciousness”—explore the emotional qualities that define American fashion.
Designers featured include Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Patrick Kelly, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Virgil Abloh (Off-White), Tara Subkoff (Imitation of Christ), Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim (Oscar de la Renta), etc.
Throughout the year, the exhibition will transform with rotations and additions, representing the vitality of American fashion.
“American fashion has traditionally been described through the language of sportswear and ready-to-wear, emphasizing the principles of simplicity, practicality, functionality, and egalitarianism. Generally denied the emotional rhetoric applied to European fashion, American fashion has developed a vernacular that tends to stand in direct opposition to that of haute couture. The first part of “In America” addresses this linguistic imbalance by presenting a revised vocabulary of American fashion based on its expressive qualities.” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.
Photo and Video Source: THE MET
Written by Nemo Monti