Thursday 7th November

| BY Helena Fletcher

The 2020 Met Gala Is All About Time and Louis Vuitton – Here Are 10 of Nicolas Ghesquière’s Most Timely LV Looks That Belong In The Show

Stop clock watching and listen up! Time and the temporality of fashion is the theme for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Insitute’s 2020 exhibition. The Met will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year with a jubilant roster of shows highlighting the treasures of the institution’s expansive collection as well as their more recent acquisitions obtained under the 2020 Collections Initiative. Titled About Time: Fashion and Duration, the Costume Insitute’s blockbuster exhibition was announced this morning. Following on from Gucci’s camp in 2019, it’s now Louis Vuitton’s turn to support the upcoming exhibition, which will be on display in the Met Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall on Fifth Avenue, New York from May to September 2020.

Curated by Andrew Bolton, About Time will present a survey of 150 years of fashion, with 160 designs selected from the extensive archive of the Institute. To avoid homogenisation of fashion history and challenge perceptions of fashions and periods of dress, Bolton will curate the show in two “timescale” sections, one chronologically and the other “counter-chronologically”, at once in tune with both the linear and cyclical nature of fashion. The first will be a straightforward timeline of black ensembles from 1870-2020 and the second will comprise of mostly white looks (with occasional pops of colour), curated by categories including silhouette, materials, techniques patterns and motifs to delineate flashback and fast-forward-like “folds” in time.

Inspiration for About Time is cited from the 20th-century French philosopher Henri Bergson theories on time la durée (duration) and his understanding it as an indivisible fluid entity that amasses, as well as referencing the work of Bloomsbury group writer Virginia Woolf and her prolific legacy. Michael Cunningham’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours and Sally Porter’s 1992 film adaption of Orlando are both namechecked as inspirations. Quotes from Woolf’s time-based literature will act as the “ghost narrator” of the show as Susan Sontag’s had for Camp: Notes on Fashion. “What I like about Woolf’s version of time is the idea of a continuum,” Bolton told “There’s no beginning, middle, or end. It’s one big fat middle. I always felt the same about fashion. Fashion is the present.”

The upcoming Met Gala, celebrating The Met’s Costume Institute and the opening of About Time, will be co-chaired by Louis Vuitton’s womenswear artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière with actors Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and, of course, Condé Nast’s creative director and US Vogue’s editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. Dream dinner party guestlist right there. Known for his experimental and extra-luxe retro-futurism Ghesquière’s Vuitton is the perfect fit for the theme, with every one of his 18 catwalk collections for the Maison seamlessly going between the past, the present and into the unknown, meanwhile affirmatively asserting his designs at the vanguard of the contemporary. In anticipation of this year’s exhibition and Gala, we selected 10 of the best time-traversing looks from Ghesquière’s epic six-year tenure at Louis Vuitton – starting with the AW14 debut all the way to his latest SS20 collection. If only we could jump in a Tardis and fast forward to the first Monday in May…

The 2020 Met Gala will be held on Monday, 4th May. ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ will be on display from 7th May–7th September 2020 at the Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. /