The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY mounts a show every May focused on an aspect of the history and present of couture.
Usually this is a trip through the luxurious textiles and techniques of international couture,
Issey Miyake. Spring/summer 1990. 2016 Costume Institute show.
Machine garment pleated, machine sewn yellow and red purple polyester-linen plain weave.
Iris Van Herpen, spring/summer 2015. The Costume Institute show in 2016
Machine sewn black polyester microfiber and cotton twill, hand finished, hand embroidered with clear thermoformed, laser cut acrylic, hand-joined with clear silicone connectors.
This year an all-American show. It tracks the evolution of American fashion from 1940 to the present.
Couture, casual wear, fun wear, uniforms and (in a second post), evening wear with which the museum has attempted to identify specific elements of American style as they have evolved since WW2.
Of the 100 or so designers in the exhibition, about 50 percent are young designers of several races, ethnicities, and sexual and gender identities (in a second post).
This because the Met is among North American institutions undertaking a review of its own biases following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman on May 25, 2020
Falling Starts sweater, spring/summer 2019; polychrome cotton intarsia knit embroidered with white cotton thread.
Loaned by Willy Chavarria, American born 1967.
and in the midst of continuing violent disturbances against would-be immigrants on the country’s southern borders; and continuing hostility to people thought to be Muslim and increasing hostility to those who ‘look Asian’.
Dress of white cotton poplin trimmed with polychrome synthetic flowers with polychrome synthetic printed sash.
Loaned by Prabal Gurung, American born 1979 Singapore to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021
As to what identifies a connecting style, perhaps
a fair amount of insouciance and whimsy
comfort before elegance
a tendency towards unfussy, clean lines
no particular reverence for ‘natural’ fabrics
and very little embellishment of the textiles used.
A solitary young woman visited while I was there. A standout from all the blue jeans and New York black and single-colour crowd.
She was wearing a dress of maroon-pink cotton plaid at once modestly girlish with a bow at her nape and bouffant sleeves all the way down to her elbow, and colour-loud.
A Louisa-May-Alcott-Little-Woman whose dress and black-and white striped sneakers must have signalled to her elders that she intended to decamp to New York or Los Angeles and pursue her happiness.
And here she was: all-American in an all-American dress I loved.
Dress of polycrhome checked cotton plain weave, 1943.
Claire McCardell, 1905-1958 for Townley Frocks, American founded 1929. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Ensemble, spring/summer 1973, coat of beige and camel wool tweed edged with camel suede; belt of camel suede, dress of camel wool jersey.
Bonnie Cashin, 1908-2000, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Dress, 1970-73, pieced polychrome wool jersey.
Stephen Burrows, American born 1943. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Ensemble, 1972, coat of gray wool mohair with black leather; dress of yellow wool knit edged with yellow leather.
Bonnie Cashin, 1908-2000, American. Loaned by her archive to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Dress of camel ultrasuede, 1974.
Halston, 1932-1990, American. Loaned by the Brooklyn Museum to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021
Dress, 1970s, polychrome printed cotton jersey.
Diane von Furstenberg, American born Brussels 1946. Private loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021
Ensemble, autumn/winter 1978-79; sweater of ivory wool knit appliqueed with grey wool boucle and white felt; skirt of white gabardine.
Perry Ellis, 1940-1986, American. Private loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021
Dress, 1980s, pink silk georgette embroidered with black crystals and beads.
Fabrice Simone, 1951-1998, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Dress, autumn/winter 1986/87, black wool jersey with polychrome plastic buttons.
Patrick Kelly, 1954-1990, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art, MY
Ensemble, spring/summer 1994, dress of white synthetic organza embroidered with polychrome cotton thread and clear iridescent paillettes; stole of pink synthetic plain weave with turkey down.
Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Anna Sui, American born 1955
Dress, autumn/winter 1994/95; pink wool mohair, pink synthetic taffeta embroidered with iridescent paillettes, pink synthetic satin.
Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021 by Isaac Mizrahi, American born 1961.
Coat, autumn/winter 2000-2001, polychrome plaid cotton-synthetic twill, beige cotton-synthetic satin, and khaki cotton-synthetic twill..
Miguel Adrover, Spanish born 1965. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (Ardrover was sued for copyright infringement by the British house, Burberry).
Coat, 2004, gray wool gabardine appliqued with silk tull and embroidered with black and clear crystals, beads and sequins.
Loaned by Libertine, American founded 2001, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Johnson Hartig American born 1970.
Tailcoat, autumn/winter 2009-2010; black cotton sateen trimmed with polychrome plastic buttons.
Loaned by Jeremy Scott, American born 1975 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021
Ensemble, autumn/winter 2015-2016, painted polychrome polyester plain weave and gray cotton knit.
Loaned by Eckhaus Latta, American founded 2011 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021. Mike Eckhaus, American born 1987. Zoe Latta, American born 1987
Ensemble, autumn/winter 2017/18; shirt and trousers of pink nylon plain weave; cape of pink nylon plain weave.
Loaned by Matthew Adams Dolan, American born 1986 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021
Ensemble, spring, summer 2018. Coat of beige double-face cotton canvas trimmed with brown leather; trousers of white cotton canvas.
Tory Burch, American born 1966 loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Ensemble, autumn/winter 2016/2017; coat of light pink Alpaca wool knit; shirt of light pink synthetic plain weave, trousers of light pink synthetic twill.
Zero + Maria Cornejo, founded 1998. Maria Cornejo, American born Chile, 1962 loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021
Dress, spring/summer 2017, black wool gabardine, white cotton poplin, black silk satin and red and black printed plastic.
Loand by Hood by Air founded 2006 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021. Shane Oliver, American born 1988
Ensemble, autumn/winter 2017/18; patchwork blue and white cotton denim.
No Sesso, American founded 2015 loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021. Pierre Davis, American born 1989
Ensemble, 2018. Sweatshirts and trousers of gray cotton knit.
Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021 by Bstroy, American founded 2013. Brick Owens, American born 1990 and Dieter Gams, American b0rn 1991.
Uniform, 1948; blue herringbone twill and red cotton plain weave.
Helen Cookman, 1894-1973, American. Booklyn Museum Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Suit, 1948, gray pinstripe wool twill.
Gilbert Adrian, 1903-1959, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021
Ensemble, 2018, jackets, skirt and trousers of gray wool twill; shirts of white cotton oxford, cardigans of gray cashmere knit, neckties of gray wool twill.
Loaned by Thom Browne, American born 1961, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2021
Coat, spring/summer 2018, polychrome combed wool broadcloth.
Loaned by Andre Walker American born 1967 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Pendleton Woollen Mills, American founded 1863.
Dress, autumn/winter 2018-19, beige wool-synthetic novelty weave embroidered with clear sequins and crystals and polychrome wool boucle cord.
Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY by Lou Dallas, founded 2017. Raffaella Hanley, American born 1989
Coat, 2021; pink synthetic plain weave.
Loaned by Norma Kamali, American born 1945, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2021
Ensemble, spring/summer 2019; top of black cotton knit; trousers of black cotton twill.
Loaned by Telfar, American founded 2005, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Telfar Clemmons, American born 1985
Ensemble, 2019; dress of pieced polychrome printed and embroidered cotton , linen and silk plain weave, twill and satin with shirt of blue and white cotton chambray,
Sarah Nsikak. American born 1991. Loaned by La Reunion, American founded 2019, to the Metropolitan Musuem of Art in 2021
Dress, spring/summer 2019, pink synthetic taffeta.
Loaned by Marc Jacobs, American born 1963, to the Metropolitab Museum of Art in 2021
Ensemble, atumn/winter 2018/2019, shirt of white cotton poplin, skirt of red silk taffeta.
Loaned by Carolina Herrera, American born Venezuela 1939 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY