The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will hope to turn back time with the theme for the 2020 Met Gala. Curator Andrew Bolton announced the theme for next year's event and its accompanying exhibition, "About Time: Fashion and Duration." The exhibit will draw from a variety of influences, from Virginia Woolf's novels to the theories of 20th Century French philosopher Henri Bergson, who theorized that time is a constantly changing stream, not just a set of moments on a timeline.
"I wanted to do an exhibition focused on the collection, but not a traditional masterworks exhibition," Bolton told the New York Times on Thursday. "Something that connects to the zeitgeist, and what people are talking about now."
He then decided it was time for an exhibit about time itself. The show will open on May 7 and will include 160 pieces of women's fashion covering more than 150 years.
“Fashion is indelibly connected to time,” Bolton explained. “It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times.”
Most of the exhibit will accomplish what Bolton set out to do, by highlighting pieces the Met already has. However, about 30 percent of the exhibit will come from outside sources, because putting everything together "Really revealed the biases and prejudices of previous curators," he said.
Bolton said he believed Jil Sander's work could represent the minimalism of the 1990s, but he found only two Sander pieces at the Met collection. British designer Georgina Godley agreed to recreate a piece from her influential "Lump and Bump" collection from 1986 because it no longer existed.
Es Devlin, who designed the set seen in Beyonce's "Formation" tour, was hired to design the show. Michael Cunningham, who wrote the novel The Hours, contributed a short story for the catalog.
Working on the show "made me realize more than ever that the clock and the calendar — especially the 24/7 time of digital capitalism — is one of the main contributing factors to the creative exhaustion that many designers are feeling at the moment," Bolton told the Times.
The time-themed Met Gala is scheduled for May 5. The show will be chaired by Anna Wintour, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, actresses Meryl Streep and Emma Stone and Nicolas Ghesquiete of Louis Vuitton.
This year's theme was "Camp: Notes on Fashion," inspired by Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on Camp." One of the most talked-about outfits from the event came courtesy of Lady Gaga, who wore four different outfits on the red carpet.
Photo credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
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