I also don’t think the words Bolton attached to every look – the “lexicon” part: “freedom”, “fluidity”, “comfort”, “calm” – will make a real impression on visitors. But I bet what people will take away is how cohesive some general themes are: the elegant black dress, similarly draped over the body of Charles James to Isabel Toledo and Rick Owens; the structured skirt suit; camel cashmere; homemade knit plush; denim (of course!); and the really terrific opening room with a bouquet of patchwork clothing from Ralph Lauren to SC103 and Puppets and Puppets. And the whole thing can make visitors think twice about American fashion, which was the goal.
Having said that, I also bet people will be drawn to the Dior show, which demands less from the viewer. It’s like a Marvel movie for the Met’s Wes Anderson. What do you think?
OLDEST BOY There’s sort of a role reversal here: the scrappy Brooklyn Museum housing the glam giant, while the mighty Met strikes a softer, more modest, and (dare I say) underground pose. (That extends to the appropriate soundtrack: the scintillating “Femenine,” a recently rediscovered work from the 1970s by post-minimalist black and gay composer Julius Eastman.)
Does it say something – everything? – about New York and how it changed that Dior made its home in Prospect Heights, rather than Fifth Avenue.
In America: a fashion lexicon
Part 1 of the Costume Institute exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” September 18-5, 2022, at the Anna Wintour Costume Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., 212-535-7710; metmuseum.org. (Part 2, “In America: A Fashion Anthology” opens May 5, 2022.) Timed tickets required for museum admission; visitors 12 years of age and over must show proof of vaccination against Covid-19.
Christian Dior: Creator of Dreams
Until February 20, 2022, Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, 718-638-5000; brooklynmuseum.org. Timed tickets; visitors 12 years of age and over must show proof of vaccination and valid ID