Hollywood A-listers traditionally take the spotlight as they climb the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the annual Met Gala, set to take place on May 2, starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Regina King and Lin -Manuel Miranda as Co-Chairs. But this year, the film industry is also stepping down from the red carpet to the exhibition’s design, with eight directors, including King, creating scenes that blend fashion, historic interiors and each filmmaker’s unique aesthetic.
The “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibit, which opens to the public on May 7, is intended to complement “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which opened in 2021. (Both shows can be seen through September.) “Lexicon focuses more on language and especially contemporary designers, the idea of developing a vocabulary around fashion,” explains Andrew Bolton, chief curator of the museum’s Costume Institute. , from. “Anthology” is actually more about storytelling and historical context, starting with the development of American fashion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the rise of a recognizable American style, and the rise of the name designer.”
King is joined by Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola, Tom Ford, Chloé Zhao, Janicza Bravo, Autumn de Wilde and Julie Dash, who have each taken over one or more of the American Wing’s style rooms to create cinematic vignettes that capture the fashions of various show eras. They range from Scorsese’s concept—set in a 20th-century living room designed by Frank Lloyd Wright—to Zhao’s minimalist style in a circa 1835 Shaker rest room and King’s tableau in a 19th-century Virginia parlor. “We had our stories, our complex history of the rooms and the costumes we wanted to put in them, and then we gave directors free rein to rethink those elements,” Bolton says. (Guests to this year’s Met Gala have been encouraged to dress in “Gilded Glamor and White Tie.”)
Set in a circa 1850 Rococo Revival salon, Bravo’s vignette examines the clothing of Marguery Bolhagen and Elizabeth Hawes, both American designers who achieved success in the mid-20th century, although they are not as widely known as names like Claire McCardell or Bill Blass (who are also represented in the show).
“It was like going back to my roots and using the space, and the space first, to create a kind of diorama or tableau vivant,” said Bravo, director of the 2021 release. Zola† “I wanted to see myself in those rooms. I had to. I am present in both the absurd and the loneliness.”
Bolton of the show added: “The end results are very different from what the curators themselves would have done. Seen through the lens of these particular directors, the creation feels very personal and intimate, while also telling the story of American fashion in a completely unique way.”
This story first appeared in the April 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.