BY: BY MICHELLE KIM
|Virginia Woolf circa 1933 Central Press/Getty Images|
“[About Time: Fashion and Duration is] a re-imagining of fashion history that’s fragmented, discontinuous, and heterogeneous,” Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, tells Vogue. Bolton was inspired by the 1992 Sally Potter film Orlando, based on the Virginia Woolf novel of the same name — a tale following a young man who undergoes a gender transition. (It has since been called “the first English language trans novel.”) “There’s a wonderful scene,” he tells Vogue, “in which Tilda Swinton enters the maze in an 18th-century woman’s robe à la Francaise, and as she runs through it, her clothes change to mid-19th-century dress, and she reemerges in 1850's England. That’s where the original idea came from.”
So though this year’s Camp: Notes on Fashion was perhaps the most explicitly queer Met Gala theme, next year’s heavy emphasis on Virginia Woolf’s work may lend to some queer undertones throughout the exhibit. Not to mention that Woolf herself carried a long love affair with poet Vita Sackville-West, the real-life inspiration behind Orlando.
Quotes from Virginia Woolf’s time-bending books, including Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse, will appear throughout the exhibition (similar to how Susan Sontag’s quotes served as narration through this year’s Camp: Notes on Fashion show). “What I like about Woolf’s version of time is the idea of a continuum,” Bolton says. “There’s no beginning, middle, or end. It’s one big fat middle. I always felt the same about fashion. Fashion is the present.” Find other reference photos related to the exhibit..
The exhibition is being underwritten by Louis Vuitton. The Met Gala will be chaired by the luxury brand’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Emma Stone (a Louis Vuitton ambassador), Meryle Streep (who starred in the 2002 film adaptation of The Hours), Lin-Manuel Miranda (supposedly because of his time-collapsing musical Hamilton), and Anna Wintour. This year’s camp-themed Met Gala was chaired by Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, and Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele.
More information on the Met Gala sponsored by Vogue. I could only dream of attending! I have the dress!