Photo: Emily Finkbinder for StyleCaster
Spring showers or not, NYC’s Metropolitan Museum is hosting the star-studded Costume Institute Gala tonight. Before the likes of Emma Watson and Anna Wintour grace the red carpet, StyleCaster got a peek at the exhibit this morning via the press preview.
Along with Anna the iconic editor was all sleek and polished in a long-sleeved printed dress without a strand of her trademark bob out of place Gap’s Patrick Robinson and curator Andrew Bolton was on hand at the museum’s airy sculpture court.
Robinson explained the Gap and Costume Institute connection. “The theme of the exhibition was a natural fit,” Robinson said of the retailer underwriting the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity installation.
Bolton chatted on the ideas behind the exhibit. “The original focus was on women who donated to the Brooklyn Museum like Lauren Bacall, but we shifted from icons of American feminity to ideals of American feminity.”
But as with every ideal, there seems to be some that lives the theory out more vividly (namely, famous faces only).
Bolton added, “As in The Sportif in Serena Williams, The Bohemian in Lady Gaga, The Flapper in Beyonc and The Screen Siren as Angelina Jolie.”
The Bohemian. Photo courtesy of Met Costume Institute
We never saw Lady Gaga as the bohemian type, but hey, we’ll roll with the expert on this one.
After the remarks, press headed upstairs for a first look at the exhibit. With Sarah Jessica Parker narrating on the exhibit’s headset, the installation was one part chatty and another part facts.
SJP dished on The Gibson Girl early American sportswear that was tomboy meets maxi skirt and then later moved on The Bohemian (which was more hippie contrarian than Gaga space age). Our favorite though, was The Flapper.
What with the intricately beaded drop-waist numbers and accompanying sparkling wigs, it was the perfect dreamy mood for some mischievous nights on the town. Or as Parker chatted intimately into the headset, “As she rouged her lips, bobbed her hair, drank bootleg gin, smoked Lucky Strikes, danced the Charleston, and necked in the backseats of Roadsters, the flapper marked the ultimate rejection of Victorian prohibitions against sexual expression.” In other words, they’re our kind of girls.
The Flapper exhibit. Photo: Emily Finkbinder for StyleCaster
An inspiration figure for the installation. Anna May Wong in Travis Banton from Limehouse Blues. Photo courtesy of Met Costume Institute
Louise Brokaw by Martin Munkasci, 1933. Photo courtesy of Met Costume Institute.
Screen Siren exhibit. Photo courtesy of Met Costume Institute
Photo: Emily Finkbinder