“China: Through the Looking Glass,” a spectacular exhibition curated and organized by Andrew Bolton opened Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with production design by Nathan Crowley. Two years in the making, installed both in the Anna Wintour Costume Center and within the grand backdrop of the museum’s Chinese Galleries—a first for contemporary fashion—the show juxtaposes masterpieces of Chinese art and rare artifacts with works by (mostly) Western designers, inspired by the idea of China but emerging from the wilder shores of the imagination. By Leslie Camhi
Designers’ imaginations have been fired by visions of pleasure pavilions and blossoming branches, with a handful of familiar motifs emblematic of China itself: the peony, the pagoda, the phoenix captive on the grounds of a summer palace.
Many of the garden motifs we associate with China were first popularized in the West by the aristocracy of France and England as patterns on imported or domestic-imitation china and wallpaper.
Peacocks, cranes, and other gorgeous winged creatures appear on many of the garments in the exhibition.
Hair: Guido Palau; Makeup: Pat McGrath for CoverGirl: Produced by PRODn at Art + Commerce; Set Design: Mary Howard; Wallpaper: Courtesy of de Gournay; Dressing: Madame Paulette Photographed by Steven Meisel, Vogue, May 2015
It was not your average night at the museum, but the biggest and boldest night on fashion’s calendar—the Met Gala. About 600 guests wound their way through the red-carpet tumult and into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s entrance hall, dominated for the night by a gigantic chinoiserie vase created entirely by white and blue roses. Up the grand staircase lined by fragrant, verdant bamboo they walked, past Vogue staffers clad in pale jade and lapis–toned Michael Kors pajamas.
With fashion's heavy hitters and Hollywood's most stylish in attendance, the arrivals always end up being the most jaw-dropping of the year.
Rihanna arrived draped in a vast fur-lined gold robe —a couture creation that took more than 50,000 hours to make by Chinese designer Guo Pei.