Save The Date: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exhibition Dates: May 4–September 4, 2017

Member Previews: May 2–May 3, 2017

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Floor 2

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute spring 2017 exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, on view from May 4 through September 4, will examine Kawakubo’s fascination with the space between boundaries. This in-between space is revealed in Kawakubo’s work as an aesthetic sensibility, establishing an unsettling zone of oscillating visual ambiguity that challenges conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. Not a traditional retrospective, this thematic exhibition will be The Costume Institute’s first monographic show on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1983.

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). Cubisme, spring/summer 2007; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Craig McDean

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). 18th-Century Punk, autumn/winter 2016–17; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Met. “Curator Andrew Bolton will explore work that often looks like sculpture in an exhibition that will challenge our ideas about fashion’s role in contemporary culture.”

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). Inside Decoration, autumn/winter 2010–11; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Craig McDean

The exhibition will feature approximately 150 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear designs for Comme des Garçons, dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection. Objects will be organized into eight dominant and recurring aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness. Her fashions demonstrate that interstices are places of meaningful connection and coexistence as well as revolutionary innovation and transformation, providing Kawakubo with endless possibilities to rethink the female body and feminine identity.

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969); Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time. Continue reading

752,995 Visitors to Costume Institute’s Manus x Machina Make It the 7th Most Visited Exhibition in The Met’s History

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, which closed yesterday, attracted 752,995 visitors during its run from May 5 to September 5, putting it in seventh place among the Museum’s most visited exhibitions, joining blockbusters such as Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978), Mona Lisa (1963), and Painters in Paris, 1895-1950 (2000). The show also becomes the second most visited Costume Institute exhibition, surpassing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), which had 661,509 visitors. China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) remains the department’s most popular show with 815,992 visitors and The Met’s fifth most visited. All three exhibitions were curated by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

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House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Wedding Ensemble Autumn/winter 2014–15, haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection. This ensemble, which Lagerfeld has described as “haute couture without the couture,” exemplifies the confluence of the hand (manus) and the machine (machina). Made from scuba knit, a synthetic material, the dress is hand molded, machine sewn, and hand finished. Maison Desrues (founded 1929) hand embroidered the buttons with gold, glass, and crystals, and Atelier Montex (founded 1939) hand embroidered the medallion with glass, crystals, paillettes, anthracite cannetilles, and gold leather leaf motifs. The train of scuba knit and silk satin is machine sewn and hand finished. Lagerfeld’s hand-drawn design was digitally manipulated to give it the appearance of a randomized, pixelated baroque pattern and then realized through a complex amalgam of hand and machine techniques. Atelier Lunas (founded 1993) used a heat press to transfer the rhinestones; Atelier Anne Gelbard (founded 1997) painted the gold metallic pigment by hand; and the pearls and gemstones were hand embroidered by Cécile Henri Atelier (founded 1982).

Manus x Machina explored how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It addressed the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) as discordant tools in the creative process, and questioned the changing delineation between the haute couture and ready-to-wear.

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Lower Level Gallery View: Tailleur and Flou © The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Far Left) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883–1971) Suit 1963–68, haute couture Machine-sewn ivory wool bouclé tweed, hand-applied navy and ivory wool knit trim handbraided with interlocking chain stitch Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e) (Next) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Suit Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) “quilted” polyamide by Materialise, hand-painted with blue, gold, and silver trompe l’oeil tweed pattern, hand-embroidered with braided white, blue, and gold wool, silk, and metal trim, and gold metal buttons with pearls Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Middle Right) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Ensemble Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) white polyamide overlay by Materialise, with handstitched clear crystals, lining of black silk crepe de chine hand-embroidered by Lesage with gold synthetic sequins Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Far Right) House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Cristóbal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972) Suit Winter 1964, haute couture Machine-sewn black silk synthetic gauze and Lurex matelassé Courtesy Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, Getaria, Spain

We are thrilled that so many people from around the world experienced this exploration of the artistry of fashion,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “The exhibition required the transformation of the Robert Lehman Wing into a domed cathedral-like space that invited people to slow down and contemplate the process and craft of the objects.

The exhibition, originally set to close on August 14, was extended by three weeks, and hours were added on September 2 and 3, when it stayed open until midnight, three hours past the usual 9:00 p.m. closing time on Friday and Saturday nights.

The exhibition was made possible by Apple. Additional support was provided by Condé Nast.the_met_logo

The exhibition is featured on the Museum’s website, www.metmuseum.org/ManusxMachina, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #ManusxMachina.

The Met Extends Hours for Final Weekend of Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

Exhibition to Remain Open until Midnight on Friday and Saturday, September 2 and 3

Attendance Surpasses 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibition, with 664,328 Visitors to Date

Exhibition Dates: May 5–September 5, 2016 (extended from August 14)

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Robert Lehman Wing

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Ensemble, Raf Simons (Belgian, born 1968) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), spring/summer 2015 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Haute Couture Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today extended hours for the final weekend of the popular Costume Institute exhibition Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. On Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3, the exhibition will remain open to the public until midnight. The Museum normally closes at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. The exhibition will end its run on Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

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Dress, Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984), autumn/winter 2013– 14 haute couture; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.14) Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

The exhibition, which opened on May 5, has already been extended by three weeks-from August 14 to September 5-and has so far drawn more than 664,328 visitors, surpassing 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty to become The Costume Institute‘s second most attended exhibition. Last year’s China: Through the Looking Glass, which drew 815,992 visitors, remains the department’s most popular show and The Met’s fifth most visited exhibition. The McQueen exhibition, the Museum’s ninth most popular show, drew 661,509 visitors. All three were curated by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

22.MxM,TailleurandFlouGalleryView

Lower Level Gallery View: Tailleur and Flou © The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Far Left) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883–1971) Suit 1963–68, haute couture Machine-sewn ivory wool bouclé tweed, hand-applied navy and ivory wool knit trim handbraided with interlocking chain stitch. Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e) (Middle Left) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Suit Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) “quilted” polyamide by Materialise, hand-painted with blue, gold, and silver trompe l’oeil tweed pattern, hand-embroidered with braided white, blue, and gold wool, silk, and metal trim, and gold metal buttons with pearls. Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Middle Right) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Ensemble Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) white polyamide overlay by Materialise, with handstitched clear crystals, lining of black silk crepe de chine hand-embroidered by Lesage with gold synthetic sequins Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Far Right) House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Cristóbal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972) Suit Winter 1964, haute couture Machine-sewn black silk synthetic gauze and Lurex matelassé Courtesy Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, Getaria, Spain

Manus x Machina explores how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It addresses the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the changing delineation between haute couture and ready-to-wear.

14.MxM,CaseStudy,ChanelWeddingEnsemble

House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Wedding Ensemble Autumn/winter 2014–15, haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection. This ensemble, which Lagerfeld has described as “haute couture without the couture,” exemplifies the confluence of the hand (manus) and the machine (machina). Made from scuba knit, a synthetic material, the dress is hand molded, machine sewn, and hand finished. Maison Desrues (founded 1929) hand embroidered the buttons with gold, glass, and crystals, and Atelier Montex (founded 1939) hand embroidered the medallion with glass, crystals, paillettes, anthracite cannetilles, and gold leather leaf motifs. The train of scuba knit and silk satin is machine sewn and hand finished. Lagerfeld’s hand-drawn design was digitally manipulated to give it the appearance of a randomized, pixelated baroque pattern and then realized through a complex amalgam of hand and machine techniques. Atelier Lunas (founded 1993) used a heat press to transfer the rhinestones; Atelier Anne Gelbard (founded 1997) painted the gold metallic pigment by hand; and the pearls and gemstones were hand embroidered by Cécile Henri Atelier (founded 1982).

 

During the extended hours, the Museum’s Great Hall Balcony Bar will be open until midnight as well, with appetizers, full bar service, and music by the ETHEL and Friends string quartet. The Met Store‘s exhibition shop adjacent to the galleries will also be open, featuring a range of products inspired by the exhibition, including the exhibition catalogue and an exclusive collection of fashion accessories, jewelry, and publications. The Manus x Machina galleries will be the only galleries in the Museum open to the public during the extended hours.

Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 Exhibition At Metropolitan Museum To Focus On Technology’s Impact On Fashion

Costume Institute Benefit May 2 with Co-Chairs Idris Elba, Jonathan Ive, Taylor Swift, and Anna Wintour, and Honorary Chairs Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada

Exhibition Dates: May 5–August 14, 2016
Member Previews: May 3−May 4
Exhibition Locations: Robert Lehman Wing and Anna Wintour Costume Center

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that The Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition will be manus x machina: fashion in an age of technology, on view from May 5 through August 14, 2016 (preceded on May 2 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented in the Museum’s Robert Lehman Wing and Anna Wintour Costume Center, the exhibition will explore the impact of new technology on fashion and how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.

Ensemble, Sarah Burton (British, born 1974) for Alexander McQueen (British, founded 1992), fall/winter 2012–13. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Catwalking

Ensemble, Sarah Burton (British, born 1974) for Alexander McQueen (British, founded 1992), fall/winter 2012–13. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Catwalking

Fashion and technology are inextricably connected, more so now than ever before,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met. “It is therefore timely to examine the roles that the handmade and the machine-made have played in the creative process. Often presented as oppositional, this exhibition proposes a new view in which the hand and the machine are mutual and equal protagonists.”

manus x machina will feature more than 100 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, dating from an 1880s Worth gown to a 2015 Chanel suit. The exhibition will reflect on the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of industrialization and mass production. It will explore the ongoing rhetoric of this dichotomy in which hand and machine are presented as discordant instruments in the creative process, and will question this oppositional relationship as well as the significance of the time-honored distinction between the haute couture and ready-to-wear.

Wedding dress, Karl Lagerfeld, (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), fall/winter 2014–15 haute couture, front view. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Catwalking

Wedding dress, Karl Lagerfeld, (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), fall/winter 2014–15 haute couture, front view. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Catwalking

Wedding dress, Karl Lagerfeld, (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), fall/winter 2014–15 haute couture, back view. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Catwalking

Wedding dress, Karl Lagerfeld, (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), fall/winter 2014–15 haute couture, back view. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Catwalking

The Robert Lehman Wing galleries on the Museum’s first floor and court level will present a series of pairings of handmade haute couture garments and their machine-made ready-to-wear counterparts. The galleries will be arranged enfilade (an axial arrangement of doorways connecting a suite of rooms with a vista down the whole length of the suite.), with a suite of rooms reflecting the traditional structure of a couture atelier and its constituent petites mains workshops for embroidery, feathers, pleating, knitting, lacework, leatherwork, braiding, and fringe work. These will be contrasted with ensembles incorporating new technologies including 3D printing, laser cutting, thermo shaping, computer modeling, circular knitting, ultrasonic welding, and bonding and laminating.

Evening dress, Yves Saint Laurent (French, 1936-2008), 1969–70; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, 1983 (1983.619.1a, b) © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evening dress, Yves Saint Laurent (French, 1936-2008), 1969–70; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, 1983 (1983.619.1a, b)
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dress, Silicon feather structure and moldings of bird heads on cotton base, Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984), fall/winter 2013–14. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

Dress, Silicon feather structure and moldings of bird heads on cotton base, Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984), fall/winter 2013–14. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

In a departure from previous exhibits, The Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries will present a series of “in process” workshops, including a 3D-printing workshop where visitors will witness the creation of 3D-printed garments during the course of the exhibition.

Coat, Paul Poiret, (French, 1879–1944), ca. 1919; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. David J. Colton, 1961 (C.I.61.40.4). © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Coat, Paul Poiret, (French, 1879–1944), ca. 1919; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. David J. Colton, 1961 (C.I.61.40.4). © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Designers in the exhibition will include Gilbert Adrian, Azzedine Alaïa, Christopher Bailey (Burberry), Cristobal Balenciaga, Boué Soeurs, Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Pierre Cardin, Hussein Chalayan, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Giles Deacon, Christian Dior, Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Mariano Fortuny, John Galliano (Christian Dior, Maison Margiela), Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton), Hubert de Givenchy, Madame Grès, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough for Proenza Schouler, Yoshiki Hishinuma, Marc Jacobs (Louis Vuitton), Charles James, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Helmut Lang, Mary McFadden, Issey Miyake, Miuccia Prada, Paul Poiret, Paco Rabanne, Noa Raviv, Yves Saint Laurent (Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent), Mila Schön, Raf Simons (Jil Sander, Christian Dior), Maiko Takeda, Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy), threeASFOUR, Philip Treacy, Iris van Herpen, Madeleine Vionnet, Alexander Wang, Junya Watanabe, and others.

Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made, but recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “manus x machina will challenge the conventions of the hand/machine dichotomy, and propose a new paradigm germane to our age of digital technology.

Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, said, “Both the automated and handcrafted process require similar amounts of thoughtfulness and expertise. There are instances where technology is optimized, but ultimately it’s the amount of care put into the craftsmanship, whether it’s machine-made or hand-made, that transforms ordinary materials into something extraordinary.” (Apple is the main sponsor of manus x machina.)

In celebration of the exhibition opening, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit, also known as the Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 2, 2016. The evening’s co-chairs will be Idris Elba, Jonathan Ive, Taylor Swift, and Anna Wintour. Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada will serve as Honorary Chairs. This event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.


manus x machina is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator of The Costume Institute. Shohei Shigematsu, Director of OMA New York, will lead the exhibition design in collaboration with the Met’s Design Department. Raul Avila will produce the Benefit décor, which he has done since 2007. The exhibition is made possible by Apple. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

A publication by Andrew Bolton will accompany the exhibition. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press, and will be available in early May 2016.

A special feature on the Museum’s website, www.metmuseum.org/manusxmachina, provides information about the exhibition. (Follow on Facebook.com/metmuseum,
Instagram.com/metmuseum, and Twitter.com/metmuseum to join the conversation about the exhibition and gala benefit. Use #manusxmachina, #CostumeInstitute, and #MetGala on Instagram and Twitter.)

A Changing of The Guard at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Harold Koda to Step Down After Leading Met Museum’s Costume Institute for 15 Years

Andrew Bolton to Become Curator In Charge of the Department

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that Harold Koda, who has been Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute since 2000, will step down on January 8, 2016. Campbell also announced that Andrew Bolton, currently a Curator in the department, will become Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute upon Mr. Koda’s departure.

During his time at the Met, Harold has brought great change to the department, including the transfer of the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection to the Museum, and the two-year renovation and reopening of its space as the Anna Wintour Costume Center last year,” said Mr. Campbell. “He has led his talented team in contributing to the field of costume in groundbreaking ways including landmark acquisitions, exhibitions, and publications.”

He continued: “I am certain that Andrew, known for his extraordinary creativity and scholarship, will carry on Harold’s tradition of curatorial excellence. His rigorous research and innovative approach to installation make him a visionary curator and a great collaborator with colleagues both within and beyond the Museum.”

Harold Koda

Since rejoining the Met in 2000, Mr. Koda’s exhibitions have included Goddess (2003), Dangerous Liaisons (2004), Poiret: King of Fashion (2007), Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (2012), Charles James: Beyond Fashion (May 2014), and the upcoming Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style. His tenure is highlighted by the transfer of the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection to the Met in January 2009 and the reopening of The Costume Institute’s space after a two-year renovation in May 2014 as the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

In his earlier tenure at the Met as Associate Curator, Koda worked closely with the late Richard Martin, then Curator in Charge, on 12 acclaimed exhibitions, including Diana Vreeland: Immoderate Style (1993), Madame Grès (1994), and Christian Dior (1996). Koda has co-authored 20 books, including 12 landmark catalogues for Met exhibitions. He lectures widely and contributes scholarly articles to many publications.

Prior to rejoining the Metropolitan, Mr. Koda served as co-curator of Giorgio Armani (2000) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Mr. Koda worked for 11 years at the Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory of the Fashion Institute of Technology as Associate Curator, and Curator in the costume collection, and then as Director of the Design Laboratory, from 1979 to 1992. He was the curator of Balenciaga (1986), and worked on exhibitions including Jocks and Nerds (1989), Splash! (1990), and Halston: Absolute Modernism (1991), with Mr. Martin, and occasionally with Laura Sinderbrand. Earlier, he was an Exhibition Assistant to the Costume Institute’s Special Consultant, Diana Vreeland, working on Met exhibitions, including The Glory of Russian Costume (1976) and Vanity Fair (1977).

Born in Honolulu, he graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.A., and a B.F.A. in Art History. He also studied at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and received his Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University in 2000.

Mr. Koda received special awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1986 and 1997, the Costume Society of America Richard Martin Award for Poiret: King of Fashion in 2007, and the Fashion Group International Oracle Award in 2009.

Andrew Bolton

Andrew Bolton joined The Costume Institute in 2002, as Associate Curator, and was named Curator in 2006. He has worked closely with Harold Koda and independently, on exhibitions including Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century (2004), Chanel (2005), AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion (2006), Poiret: King of Fashion (2007), Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (2008), American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (2010), Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (2012), Punk: Chaos to Couture (2013), and China: Through the Looking Glass (2015).

The China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition, curated by Mr. Bolton, closed on Monday after attracting 815,992 visitors, surpassing The Costume Institute’s prior most popular show on Alexander McQueen, which drew which attracted 661,509 visitors. Both exhibitions are among the Museum’s top ten most visited, with China at number five, and Alexander McQueen at number nine.

Mr. Bolton has authored and co-authored more than 12 books, lectures widely, and contributes scholarly articles to many publications.

Prior to joining the Metropolitan, Mr. Bolton worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for nine years, as Senior Research Fellow in Contemporary Fashion, and prior to that as Curatorial Assistant in the Far Eastern Department. During this period, he also curated exhibitions at the London College of Fashion.

Born in Great Britain, he earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Non-Western Art from the University of East Anglia. In 2007, he became a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts in London. He has received several awards, including the 2015 Vilcek Prize in Fashion, the Best Design Show from the International Association of Art Critics for Poiret (with Harold Koda) and for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. For the Superheroes catalogue, he received the AIGA Design Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award, both in 2009.

The Costume Institute

The Costume Institute’s collection of more than 35,000 costumes and accessories represents five continents and seven centuries of fashionable dress, regional costumes, and accessories for men, women, and children, from the 15th century to the present. It combines the department’s holdings with the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, and constitutes the single largest and most comprehensive costume collection in the world, offering an unrivaled timeline of Western fashion history.

The Costume Institute began as the Museum of Costume Art, an independent entity formed in 1937 and led by Neighborhood Playhouse founder Irene Lewisohn. In 1946, with the financial support of the fashion industry, the Museum of Costume Art merged with The Metropolitan Museum of Art as The Costume Institute, and in 1959 became a curatorial department. The legendary fashion arbiter Diana Vreeland, who served as special consultant from 1972 until her death in 1989, created a memorable suite of exhibitions, including The World of Balenciaga (1973), The Glory of Russian Costume (1976), and Vanity Fair (1977), galvanizing audiences and setting the standard for costume exhibitions globally.

In 1989, Richard Martin took the helm, with the support of Harold Koda (now Curator in Charge), and began a rotating cycle of thematic exhibitions. Martin’s tenure culminated in Rock Style, the last exhibition before his death in 1999.

The redesigned Costume Institute space opened on May 8, 2014, after a two-year renovation as the Anna Wintour Costume Center with the exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion. The complex includes the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery, the main showcase space with a flexible design that lends itself to frequent transformation with the latest video, sound, and wireless technology. The Center also includes the Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery to orient visitors to The Costume Institute’s exhibitions and holdings. Behind the scenes is a state-of-the-art costume conservation laboratory; an expanded study/storage facility to house the combined holdings of the Met and the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection; and The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library, one of the world’s foremost fashion libraries.

815,992 Visitors to Costume Institute’s China Exhibition Make It Fifth Most Visited Exhibition in Metropolitan Museum’s History

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that the exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, which closed yesterday, attracted 815,992 visitors during its run from May 7 to September 7, putting it in fifth place among the Museum’s most visited exhibitions. Joining blockbusters such as Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978), Mona Lisa (1963), and Painters in Paris (2000), the popular show exceeded the number of visitors to The Costume Institute‘s prior most popular exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), which was the Met’s eighth most visited exhibition, with 661,509 visitors.

The exhibition explored the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. High fashion was juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.

The exhibition, which was originally set to close on August 16, was extended by three weeks, and then hours were added on September 4 and 5, when it stayed open until midnight, three hours past the Museum’s usual 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday night closing time.

The exhibition, curated by Andrew Bolton, was a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art. Wong Kar Wai was artistic director and Nathan Crowley served as production designer.

Encompassing approximately 30,000 square feet in 16 separate galleries in the Museum’s Chinese and Egyptian Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, it was The Costume Institute‘s largest special exhibition ever, and also one of the Museum’s largest. With gallery space three times the size of a typical Costume Institute spring show, China accommodated the high numbers of visitors without lines.

We are thrilled that so many visitors from around the world experienced this exploration of the impact of Chinese art on Western fashion,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The exhibition is one of the most ambitious the Museum has ever mounted, requiring an extraordinary collaboration across departments with unprecedented results. There are certain projects that only the Met can do, and this was certainly one of them.”

The exhibition was made possible by Yahoo. Additional support was provided by Condé Nast and several Chinese donors. The exhibition is featured on the Museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #ChinaLookingGlass and #AsianArt100.

China: Through the Looking Glass Exhibition Extended through September 7 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View: Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong Evening dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), autumn/winter 1998–99 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View:  Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong
Evening dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior
(French, founded 1947), autumn/winter 1998–99 haute couture; Courtesy of
Christian Dior Couture
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

China: Through the Looking Glass at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been extended by three weeks through Labor Day, September 7. The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute in collaboration with the Department of Asian Art, opened to the public on May 7, and has drawn more than 350,000 visitors in its first eight weeks.  To date, the exhibition’s attendance is pacing close to that of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), which was the most visited Costume Institute exhibition ever, as well as the Met’s eighth most popular.

Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong Ensemble, Paul Smith (British, born 1946), autumn/winter 2011-12; Courtesy of Paul Smith Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong
Ensemble, Paul Smith (British, born 1946), autumn/winter 2011-12; Courtesy of
Paul Smith
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Export Silk Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Export Silk
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie Dress, 18th century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Fédération de la Soirie, 1950 (50.168.2a,b) Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie
Dress, 18th century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Fédération de la
Soirie, 1950 (50.168.2a,b)
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Charlotte C. Weber Galleries, Ancient China Dress, House of Givenchy (French, founded 1952), autumn/winter 1997-98 haute couture; Courtesy of Givenchy Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Charlotte C. Weber Galleries, Ancient China
Dress, House of Givenchy (French, founded 1952), autumn/winter 1997-98 haute
couture; Courtesy of Givenchy
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The exhibition, made possible by Yahoo, explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. High fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery. The exhibition, which was originally set to close on August 16, is curated by Andrew Bolton. Wong Kar Wai is artistic director and Nathan Crowley served as production designer.

This is The Costume Institute’s first collaboration with another curatorial department since AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion in 2006, a partnership with the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. China: Through the Looking Glass features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to- wear alongside masterpieces of Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are shaped by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which we understand the richness of Chinese history.

Jar with Dragon (Chinese), early 15th-century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1937 (37.191.1) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Plato

Jar with Dragon (Chinese), early 15th-century; The Metropolitan Museum of
Art, Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1937 (37.191.1)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Plato

Festival robe worn by Emperor Qianlong, second half of 18th-century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1935 (35.84.8) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Festival robe worn by Emperor Qianlong, second half of 18th-century; The
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1935 (35.84.8)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Ralph Lauren (American, born 1939), autumn/winter 2011–12; Courtesy of Ralph Lauren Collection Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Ralph Lauren (American, born 1939), autumn/winter 2011–12;
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren Collection
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Jean Paul Gaultier (French, born 1952), autumn/winter 2001-2 haute couture; Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Jean Paul Gaultier (French, born 1952), autumn/winter 2001-2
haute couture; Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

13."Quiproquo" cocktail dress, Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), 1951; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1953 (C.I.53.40.38a-d) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon 14.Film Still from In the Mood for Love, 2000; Courtesy of Block 2 Pictures Inc. Photo: Courtesy

13.”Quiproquo” cocktail dress, Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957) for House of
Dior (French, founded 1947), 1951; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of
Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1953 (C.I.53.40.38a-d)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon
14.Film Still from In the Mood for Love, 2000; Courtesy of Block 2 Pictures Inc.
Photo: Courtesy

Dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), spring/summer 2003 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French,
founded 1947), spring/summer 2003 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior
Couture
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Encompassing approximately 30,000 square feet in 16 separate galleries in the Museum’s Chinese and Egyptian Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, it is The Costume Institute’s largest special exhibition ever, and also one of the Museum’s largest. With gallery space three times the size of a typical Costume Institute major spring show, China has accommodated large numbers of visitors without lines.

Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evening dress, Tom Ford (American, born 1961) for Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961), autumn/winter 2004–5; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Yves Saint Laurent, 2005 (2005.325.1) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Tom Ford (American, born 1961) for Yves Saint Laurent, Paris
(French, founded 1961), autumn/winter 2004–5; The Metropolitan Museum
of Art, Gift of Yves Saint Laurent, 2005 (2005.325.1)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

The Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery presents a series of “mirrored reflections” focusing on Imperial China; the Republic of China, especially Shanghai in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s; and the People’s Republic of China. These reflections, as well as others in the exhibition, are illustrated with scenes from films by such groundbreaking Chinese directors as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Ang Lee, and Wong Kar Wai. Distinct vignettes are devoted to “women of style,” including Hu Die (known as Butterfly Wu), Oei Huilan (the former Madame Wellington Koo), and Soong Mei-Ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek).

Directly above the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the Chinese Galleries on the second floor showcase fashion from the 1700s to the present, juxtaposed with decorative arts from Imperial China, including jade, bronze, lacquer, and blue-and-white porcelain, mostly drawn from the Met’s collection. The Astor Court features a thematic vignette dedicated to Chinese opera, focusing on John Galliano’s Spring 2003 Christian Dior Haute Couture Collection.

Designers in the exhibition include Cristobal Balenciaga, Travis Banton, Bulgari, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Callot Soeurs, Cartier, Roberto Cavalli, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino Garavani, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Picciolo for Valentino, Craig Green, Guo Pei, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin, Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Alexander McQueen for Givenchy, Edward Molyneux, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Dries van Noten, Jean Patou, Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Smith, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vivienne Tam, Giambattista Valli, Vivienne Westwood, Jason Wu, and Laurence Xu.

This exhibition is one of the most ambitious ever mounted by the Met, and I want as many people as possible to be able see it,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met. “It is a show that represents an extraordinary collaboration across the Museum, resulting in a fantastic exploration of China’s impact on creativity over centuries.”

Museum Members will have early morning private access to the galleries from Wednesday, July 22, to Sunday, July 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., before the Museum opens to the public.