After two years of tireless renovations, the newly-unveiled Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will stage its first fall exhibit. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire will debut on October 21, 2014, and run until February 1, 2015. According to the MET’s website, the exhibition will feature a chronological history of traditional mourning dress from 1815 to 1915 (example below), and will be home to gowns worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra.
This will be the second exhibition for the Costume Center, which was officially opened to the public on May 8 following a ribbon-cutting ceremony attend by not only fashion’s biggest names (Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and Zac Posen were all said to have made an appearance), but also First Lady Michelle Obama. Ms. Wintour herself, of course, was present for the opening as well.
The Anna Wintour Costume Center is currently featuring Charles James: Beyond Fashion, which will close on August 10. The highly-anticipated inaugural exhibition, which served as the theme for this year’s MET Gala, pays tribute to the life and work of the late designer Charles James. With over sixty of his most notable pieces on display, the exhibit examines his mathematical, almost scientific approach to constructing his dresses and gives and inside look at his inspired tailoring. It has been incredibly well-received, with the New York Times calling it “Outstanding…a tour de corse of masterworks.” and musician David Byrne commenting that the exhibit was “pretty extraordinary.”
I am lucky enough to have seen the Charles James exhibit last week, and was completely blown away by what I saw. James’s creations are nothing short of architectural masterpieces, yet they manage to appear so very wearable. I was tempted to take one particular navy blue silk crepe and rayon dress home with me! And the Costume Center itself is a beautiful space; a blank black canvas with glass panels that really lets the clothes do the talking. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see what Death Becomes Her has in store!