Mary Katrantzou work / inspired by chinoiserie for her autumn winter 2011 collection. (c) Mary Katrantzou
From the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions. The exhibition features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are framed by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which to understand the richness of Chinese history.
"China: Through The Looking Glass"' is this years Costume Institute exbhibition ( at the MET New York ) which explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. The exhibition will feature more than one hundred examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, including pieces from Mary Katrantzou's Autumn Winter 2011 collection for example, alongside Chinese art, costumes, paintings, porcelains, and film, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.
Exhibition: May 7 - August 16, 2015 at MET New York / The Metropolitan Museum of Art. + via www.metmuseum.org
/ Pictures: Valentino SpA, Evening dress, "Shanghai" collection, 2013 / Jar with dragon, Roberto Cavali evening dress & Alexander McQueen evening dress / Jean Paul Gaultier, Evening dress, fall/winter 2001–2 haute couture /