American couturier Charles James is the center of the exhibit. "To the audience at large, he is one of those names that, because he doesn't have a surviving label or brand, is forgotten," said curator Harold Koda. Expect far fewer people to make the trek to the museum explicitly for the exhibit, titled "Charles James: Beyond Fashion," and for those perusing the museum to be less excited to wander (clog) the galleries of the show.
Speaking of the galleries, they will reopen with the debut of the new Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery. "Since the early 1990s, it's the first time we will be able to have an open space that is also wired for the latest technology," Koda told WWD. "People were always somewhat hesitant about coming down the stairs and seeing our galleries because they can get so congested with two cul-de-sacs. Now we will be able to direct the circulation in a way that underscores the narrative structure of the exhibitions."
In his lifetime, James encouraged his clients to donate pieces to the Brooklyn Museum, whose collection merged with the Costume Institute in 2009. As a result, it's one of the most comprehensive collections of a single designer. Over 100 pieces encompassing almost every major work James ever created will be on display over two floors. On the first-floor, in the special exhibitions galleries, there will be "knock-your-socks-off, glamorous clothes." In the so-called New Costume Institute, the focus will be on James' professional and personal biography.
The show will kick off with the annual Met Ball on May 5th (Koda expects a glamorous red carpet with lots of jewel-toned ballgowns in attendance). The show will be on view for the public May 8th through August 10th.
· The Met's Costume Institute to Highlight Charles James [WWD]
· The Next Met Ball Theme Is a Far Cry From Punk [Racked]