The Met Gala Will Take You Into China

The Metropolitan Museum showcased Anna Wintour Costume Institute’s first looks for the “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibition Monday May 4.

Many celebrities had the privilege to attend including actress Jennifer Lawrence and Gong Li.

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Also in attendance was Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Wendi Murdoch, and of course Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who the Met’s Costume Center is named after.

Lawrence was the events co-chair, while chair is Silas Chou, Hong Kong’s fashion and textile billionaire who has holdings in Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.

Attendees got to view over 140 couture and ready-to-wear pieces coinciding with a Chinese art theme. The galleries were filled with screen images created by Chinese film director Wong Kar Wei in low lighting displays.

Designers featured in the showcase include a Dior piece which mimics a water-garden with a black tie floor while on the ceiling. Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy are more designers featured in the show..

The exhibition will open to the public on Thursday May 7 and will be on display till August 16.

01. Evening coat, ca. 1925

via Met

The Met Gala is one of the largest New York City events and around 600 guests will attend the event at $25,00 per ticket. Even with ticket sales there must be an invitation as well to attend.

This event is where the museum receives their main funds for the year according to a Costume Institute spokeswoman, Nancy Chilton.

“China is a fascinating country first of all, and there’s such an increase of interest in China,” says Wendi Murdoch, a co-chair for the event, in a conversation with Costume Institute curator, Andrew Bolton. “I am Chinese and I am very proud to be Chinese. I just feel always certain responsibility to talk about Chinese culture from fashion, art, film. It’s interesting.”

Andrew Bolton tells Observer:

“Both Wendi and I noticed that the interest in China has just become amplified so much in the last few years. So many designers are creating capsule collections to show in China––Chanel, Dior, Valentino. So that was also a starting-off point for us, because a lot of designers who are looking to show in China are also engaging in Chinese history and creating quite the sort of thoughtful meditations on the history of China through their fashions. So that’s also one of our jumping off points for the exhibition.”

04. Evening Dress, Roberto Cavalli, Fall 2005

via Met

This became a big impact on the theme and on top of a fashion influence the Gala has shined light on the Chinese culture as well.

Joe Zee, Yahoo Style executive creative officer says the collection “puts the international spotlight on fashion, so people can understand not just clothes but their history and the reasoning and the social impact.”

While fellow Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was honored that her company could be there to sponsor the “beautifully-curated content” apart of the exhibit.

Murdoch is excited to say that many big names of China will be in attendance for the event. Chinese supermodel Liu Wen and Sun Fei Fei will be there with China’s movie stars Fan Bing Bing, Carina Lau and Du Jan, plus more.

Chinese jewelry designers Wan Bao Bao and Cindy Chao are some of the Artists being featured in the show.

“We started talking about two years ago. It was very interesting and I’m very honored to be part of this group, to be one of the co-chairs. Andrew Bolton, Anna Wintour and Tom, they’re all very supportive.
 Also Silas Chou and our friends in China were very generous to support this. I hope people will be inspired by this exhibition and will take away more curiosity about China, and I hope they will want to learn a bit more about Chinese culture,” says Murdoch.


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