Monday, 1 May 2017

The First Monday in May

It's the fashion world equivalent of the Oscars, or the Super Bowl, and it happens each year on the first Monday in May - I am of course referring to the Met Gala - an annual fundraising event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which celebrates the Costume Institute’s magnificent new exhibition on a changing theme. It started in 1946, and over the decades has become the party of the year with the biggest designers, models and Hollywood stars who collectively celebrate the new exhibition and embrace wholeheartedly the year's theme.

While I love the fashion and I love to see how guests interpret the theme, the thing I find so engaging and so compelling is the overall process of organising the gala and how the entire event is brought together. In the documentary, The First Monday in May, director Andrew Rossi gives a brilliant insight into the inner workings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

The documentary follows the progress in 2015 of the Met Gala preparing to launch the new exhibition at the Costume Institute entitled China Through The Looking Glass. This exhibition explored the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fuelled the fashionable imagination for centuries.

In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion was juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.

There's a moment during the documentary where Anna Wintour is discussing the entrance to the gala with her team at her home after reviewing the table settings, and it all seems so effortless and collaborative and then you see the finished effect and it's just completely breathtaking.

The seating plan alone is a massive operation with planning beginning in December of the preceding year and this brilliant article will tell you everything you need to know about what goes into organising the met gala seating chart.

I wish I'd had the opportunity to visit this exhibition it just looked absolutely incredible and completely breath-taking and the glimpses of the actual exhibition in the documentary are so compelling. You can watch the First Monday in May here.

The 2017 Met Gala will celebrate the works of phenomenal Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. The exhibition will showcase 150 of Kawakubo’s most extraordinary designs dating as far back as the early 1980s. It’s a showcase of fashion as told through the lens of our contemporary culture - click here for more information.

Images: 1 & 2 - Eric Bowman, 3 - David Pruden

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