Costuming ‘The Hours’ at the Met: Vintage Wallpaper and ’90s Calvin Klein
A century since it first opened as a women’s suffrage museum, Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been working on this new exhibition—”The Hours: Met Ball & Costume,” from November 6 to January 24, 2016. Now opening in the West Wing of the Met, the exhibit will feature costumes and accessories once worn by the most recognizable figures in American history. (There is a lot involved, so it’s worth getting a head start on your reading ahead of time.)
It’s a pretty remarkable show, and for the Met, it also marks the first time in its 118-year history that the museum has made itself a center of the industry it presents. It did so, in part, with the help of the Costume Institute to create an exhibition about this particular industry. And it has been embraced by New Yorkers who have a fascination with the history of the Met and New York that they don’t share with the average tourist.
“To be a citizen or at least a resident of New York City, to be on social media, to be in the city’s history, to see the Met and the Costume Institute being linked in that way was a real gift,” says costume designer Ann B. Robertson, who has been designing costumes for the Costume Institute since 1978. “We were thrilled”—at least until the Met made her design her first official commission for the exhibit.
“We went there knowing that Ann would design a lot of the costumes, and it was exciting for us all to be in the same room together. Ann really brought to the table a way of approaching the designs that wouldn’t have occurred to us in the early design stages. But I think that’s what the show is about—using history and bringing it to life. We wanted to have a sense of how we are living and how the lives of the people in these costumes have touched the lives of people who are far away from us