This week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute revealed the theme for its upcoming Spring 2024 exhibition, as well as the Met Gala, as “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” The exhibition will explore ideas of rebirth and renewal through nature, and spotlight 250 reworked and revived pieces in the institute’s 33,000-piece permanent collection. It will feature works spanning four centuries that will be brought to life through immersive experiences that will allow patrons to smell, touch and even hear the garments.
“When a costume comes into the Met’s collection, its status is changed and the sensorial access we have to the garments is diminished. We’re only left with a sight,” said Andrew Bolton, the head curator at The Costume Institute. “The idea for this exhibition is to reawaken the sensorial capacities within fashion at the Costume Institute through various technologies.”
Items set to be included are an embroidered Elizabethan bodice and a tulle evening gown designed by Madeleine Vionnet. The garments will be displayed in a series of galleries designed to look like a “bell jar,” with each having an activation based on the qualities of earth, air and water.
Organisers said that accessibility is a priority with this exhibition, and they hope the introduction of sensorial components will appeal to audiences with disabilities.
“We really wanted to have the biggest, broadest platform possible in terms of how the show is actually disseminated more globally,” said Bolton.
The exhibition will run from May 10 to Sept. 2, 2024. The annual Met Gala celebration will take place on May 6, 2024. Sponsors include TikTok, Loewe and Vogue parent company Condé Nast. The technological activations will be made in collaboration with photographer Nick Knight and ST smell artist Sissel Tolaas.
At the Met Gala, Karl Lagerfeld Was the Evening’s Star
Attendees stayed on dress code — with some over-the-top interpretations — for the annual event, which paid homage to the late designer.