New York Met Exhibition Explores Chinese Influence on the West

[su_heading size=”22″]A special exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute called Return to China: Through the Looking Glass, will feature more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside masterpieces of Chinese art. The exhibition will be on view from May 7 through August 16, 2015 [/su_heading]

“I am excited about this partnership between these two forward-thinking departments which will undoubtedly reveal provocative new insights into the West’s fascination with China,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met. “The artistic direction of acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai will take visitors on a cinematic journey through our galleries, where high fashion will be shown alongside masterworks of Chinese art.”

“From the earliest period of European contact with China in the 16th 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,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute.

 
 

This is The Costume Institute’s first collaboration with another curatorial department since AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion in 2006, a partnership with the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. China: Through the Looking Glass will feature more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside masterpieces of Chinese art. Filmic representations of China will be incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are shaped by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which we understand the richness of Chinese history.

These events and the exhibition are featured on the Museum’s website,www.metmuseum.org/ChinaLookingGlass


Evening coat

 
 

Evening coat, ca. 1925
French
Silk, fur, metal
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Robert S. Kilborne, 1958 (2009.300.259)
Photography © Platon

Detail of Festival Robe

Festival robe (detail), 19th century
Qing dynasty, Daoguang (1821–50)–Xianfeng (1851–61) period
China
Silk, metallic thread
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Anonymous Gift, 1944 (44.122.2)
Photography © Platon

Valentino evening dress

Valentino SpA (Italian, founded 1959)
Evening dress, “Shanghai” collection, 2013
Courtesy of Valentino SpA
Photography © Platon

[su_frame align=”right”][/su_frame]

Jar with Dragon

Jar with dragon, early 15th century
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Xuande mark and period (1426–35)
China
Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1937 (37.191.1)
Photography © Platon

Evening dress

Roberto Cavalli (Italian, born 1940)
Evening dress, fall/winter 2005–6
Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli
Photography © Platon

Court Robe

Court robe (detail), 19th century
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
China
Silk and metallic-thread tapestry (kesi) with painted details
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Ellen Peckham, 2011 (2011.433.2)
Photography © Platon

Evening dress

Tom Ford (American, born 1961) for Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961)
Evening dress, fall/winter 2004–5
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Yves Saint Laurent, 2005
Photography © Platon

Red John Galliano dress

John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
Dress, spring/summer 2003 haute couture
Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture
Photography © Platon

Film still from Daughter of the Dragon

Film still from Daughter of the Dragon, 1931
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, PARAMOUNT/THE KOBAL COLLECTION

Evening dress

Ralph Lauren (American, born 1939)
Evening dress, fall/winter 2011–12
Photography © Platon

Purple dress

Jean Paul Gaultier (French, born 1952)
Evening dress, fall/winter 2001–2 haute couture
Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier
Photography © Platon

19th-century rubbing from a 10th-century stele describing a sudden illness

19th-century rubbing from a 10th-century stele describing a sudden illness, a stomach ache
Rubel Collection C-74
Photograph courtesy of Special Collections, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University

Cocktail dress

Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
“Quiproquo” cocktail dress, 1951
French
Silk, leather
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1953 (C.I.53.40.38a–d)
Photography © Platon

Film still showing woman in red dress

Film still from In the Mood for Love, 2000
Courtesy of Block 2 Pictures Inc.
Photograph © 2000 Block 2 Pictures Inc. All rights reserved.

Red dress with gold details

John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
Dress, fall/winter 1997–98
Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture
Photography © Platon

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