A Saturday on the Upper East Side

📍Destination: ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Warm(er) weather and excited New Yorkers equal one thing: overcrowded subways — But no complaints. It’s officially (finally) spring and we have the cherry blossoms on Central Park to prove it. What does this mean after weeks of some exaggerated minus-something degrees? We are getting those steps in, let’s go!

@ Central Park

After inhaling the first signs of spring, we are headed towards the Met Museum to explore the Costume Institute’s exhibit on American Fashion, displaying a diverse group of clothes from a diverse group of designers. This is my third time visiting this exhibit, but the new ensembles, such as the show-stopping Off-White gown above, made it worthwhile.

@ The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Each costume is paired with a headpiece that serves as a visual dictionary describing the designer’s vision and the design’s emotional and cultural relevance. The display of garments dating back to the 1940s to the present day is what makes the exhibit exciting: You don’t know what to expect as you take a step, but you don’t feel disappointed when you do.

The exhibit is composed of vitrines that are isolated enough from each other to allow viewers to appreciate each piece on its own, but connected enough to present a harmonious theme through a carefully curated representation American fashion. The pieces range from deconstructed sweatshirts and streetwear looks to floral gowns in the matter of two steps, yet there is a cohesive flow. Regardless of the differences in context, designers’ backgrounds, visual aesthetics, and style preferences, the individual visions co-create a unique vision that reflects the different elements and layers of American Fashion.

While whether fashion belongs in a museum or a boutique is a controversial subject, I think generalizing fashion as either art or commodity is an implausible approach. Some fashion pieces — like the Off-White gown — are simply too special to be displayed at a store. Others — like any fast-fashion item — are simply too unqualified to be displayed at a museum. But that’s just my opinion and we can always agree to disagree.

The second part of this exhibit, ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ will open to the public on May 5, and guess who already made plans? So, stay tuned for more!

Until next time,

xx

Yaprak

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