The Met Gala has announced the theme for its 2020 event, one that will celebrate the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary. Titled “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” the theme will “showcase a century-and-a-half of fashion history culled from [the museum’s] archive and presented along a disruptive timeline.”
In a statement provided to Vogue, Andrew Bolton, the head Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute added, “It’s a reimagining of fashion history that’s fragmented, discontinuous, and heterogeneous.”
Bolton added that that the event’s theme of fashion timelessness was inspired by the 1992 Sally Potter-directed film Orlando, based on the time-traveling Virginia Woolf novel of the same name. Bolton explained, “There’s a wonderful scene in which Tilda Swinton enters the maze in an 18th-century woman’s robe à la Francaise, and as she runs through it, her clothes change to mid-19th-century dress, and she reemerges in 1850s England. That’s where the original idea came from.”
Providing some visual guidelines, the museum published an image on Instagram by fashion photographer David Bailey with a caption that reads, “Employing philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la duré (translation: the duration), time that flows, accumulates and is indivisible, the show will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future.
The event will also be examined through the writings of Woolf, who will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition.