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Unpack Fashion With the Costume Institute’s Fall Exhibition

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A Viktor & Rolf ball gown from spring/summer 2010
Photo: The Costume Institute

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The Met’s Costume Institute is pulling back the curtain to show museum-goers the process behind how its biggest clothing acquisitions in the last 10 years were made in its just-announced fall exhibition Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion.

The exhibit will show off 60 pieces from the early 18th century to current day, displayed in packing crates as if they just arrived at the museum. It’s mostly womenswear, but there will be a few men’s pieces and accessories, too.

The museum believes that each item represents a significant part of fashion history, so to highlight that, they’ll be paired with a more recent piece to show how designers reimagine past fashions in new ways; for example, a Cristobal Balenciaga gown from 1964 will be matched with a John Galliano for Maison Margiela dress from 2015.

"The masterworks we've chosen to highlight are among many we have collected in the past decade that draw on forms, motifs, and themes of the past, reinterpreting fashion history in ways that resonate in the present," exhibit curator Jessica Regan said in a press release.

The exhibition will open at the Anna Wintour Costume Institute beginning Tuesday, November 8th and be on view through February 5th. Meanwhile, Manus x Machina is on display for another month, thanks to an extended run.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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