I’ve been to a few of the Costume Institute exhibits at the MET. But China through the looking glass felt very different from the older exhibits. For one, it was enveloped across floors and woven through the existing pieces of Chinese art and artifacts at the MET. When you get that kind of context to the content you are seeing, it takes the experience to the next level.
One look at the gold perfection created by Chinese couturier Guo Pei surrounded by centuries old sculptures says it all.
Woven through decades and various designers, the curation created a wonderful narrative between the muse and its designer – some literal, some not so much. I was surprised to see the amount of pieces that were YSL – both RTW and fragrances. Chanel was the one that caught me off guard – Coco’s apartment on Rue Cambon is decorated all over with Chinese furniture and artifacts. It was surprising that not more pieces of her RTW captured that love.
Through different floors, through Ginza like cherry blossom filled walkaways, through shrouded doorways in dimly lit red, this exhibit was able to re-create the very essence of China. And that I guess there in lies the deep reaching pockets and genius of the MET.
Photo of me by Shivam Punjya