Inside Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion (2024), The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute's upcoming exhibition, a Hitchcockian swarm of black birds will encircle a black tulle evening dress designed by Madeleine Vionnet just before the outbreak of World War II. In another of the contained galleries designed by architecture firm Leong Leong, the walls will be embossed with the foliate, vegetal, and insectoid embroidery of an Elizabethan bodice. ‘When an item of clothing enters our collection, its status is changed irrevocably', says Wendy Yu Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton, of the ambition to reawaken rare historical garments and rarefied contemporary fashions in this landmark show.
Various technological activations developed and realised by the exhibition's Creative Consultant Nick Knight, and SHOWstudio, from cutting-edge tools, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and computer-generated imagery to traditional formats of x-rays, video animation, light projection, and soundscapes, will afford visitors sensorial ‘access’ to around 250 fashion objects. In addition, artist and researcher Sissel Tolaas will contribute her work with scent to bring select garments to life. The exhibition will include pieces spanning over 400 years of fashion history, including the father of haute couture Charles Frederick Worth, Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Loewe and Nina Ricci.
‘By appealing to the widest possible range of human senses, the show aims to reconnect with the works on display as they were originally intended—with vibrancy, with dynamism, and ultimately with life’, says Bolton.
In celebration of the exhibition opening,The Met Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, 2024.
Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion is presented at The Met Fifth Avenue from May 10 through September 2, 2024.
The exhibition and benefit are made possible by TikTok. Support is provided by Loewe. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.