Met Gala 2024 Explores 'The Garden of Time' with Immersive Fashion Exhibition

The 2024 Met Gala, themed "The Garden of Time," will take place on May 6, with a corresponding exhibition, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," opening on May 10 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition will feature 250 items from the Costume Institute's collection, exploring nature-inspired fashion and the fleeting beauty of the natural world.

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Nitish Verma
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Met Gala 2024 Explores 'The Garden of Time' with Immersive Fashion Exhibition

Met Gala 2024 Explores 'The Garden of Time' with Immersive Fashion Exhibition

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute is gearing up for the highly anticipated 2024 Met Gala, set to take place on May 6 in New York City. This year's theme, 'The Garden of Time,' draws inspiration from J.G. Ballard's 1962 short story of the same title, promising a captivating exploration of nature-inspired fashion and the fleeting beauty of the natural world.

The corresponding exhibition, 'Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,' will showcase approximately 250 items spanning 400 years from the Costume Institute's permanent collection. Divided into three main zones—Land, Sea, and Sky—the exhibit pays tribute to the natural world and the emotional poetics of fashion. "It is very much an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion," explains Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute.

The exhibition, opening to the public on May 10, will feature over 200 pieces in 29 rooms, highlighting designs by notable fashion icons such as Cristóbal Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino. Bolton emphasizes the transformative nature of clothing as it enters the museum's collection, stating, "When an item of clothing enters our collection, its status is changed irrevocably. What was once a vital part of a person's lived experience is now a motionless artwork that can no longer be worn or heard, touched or smelled."

To enhance the immersive experience, the exhibition incorporates sensory elements beyond sight, including touch, smell, and digital artwork. Embroidery on select garments embosses the walls for viewers to touch, while digital artwork and 3D printed garment replicas by SHOWstudio and Nick Knight provide further visual engagement. Scent artist and researcher Sissel Tolaas has been working with the Met to track hidden information in archival materials, extracting and replicating smell molecules from up to 100 items using forensic chemistry techniques.

The Met Gala itself boasts an impressive lineup of co-chairs, including Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and Chris Hemsworth, with honorary chairs Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, and Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe. The star-studded event is expected to draw high-profile attendees such as Rihanna, Blake Lively, the Kardashians, and Beyoncé, all adhering to the nature-inspired dress code.

Max Hollein, the Museum's Marina Kellen French Director and Chief Executive Officer, emphasizes the groundbreaking nature of the exhibition, stating, "The Met's innovative spring 2024 Costume Institute exhibition will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience the multisensory facets of a garment...those facets that deteriorate and become lost after entering a museum collection as an object."

The 2024 Met Gala and 'Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion' exhibition mark a significant exploration of the intersection between fashion, nature, and the passage of time. Through immersive sensory experiences and a diverse collection spanning centuries, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute invites visitors to rediscover the emotional and poetic dimensions of fashion, celebrating its enduring connection to the natural world.

Key Takeaways

  • 2024 Met Gala theme: "The Garden of Time", inspired by J.G. Ballard's 1962 short story.
  • Corresponding exhibition: "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion", featuring 250 items from the Costume Institute's collection.
  • Exhibition divided into 3 zones: Land, Sea, and Sky, with immersive sensory experiences.
  • Co-chairs: Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and Chris Hemsworth; honorary chairs: Shou Chew and Jonathan Anderson.
  • Exhibition opens to the public on May 10, 2024, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.