2024 Met Gala unveils ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’ theme

The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has revealed the theme of its highly anticipated spring 2024 exhibit and the accompanying Met Gala: “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

Set to take place on May 6, the event promises to transport attendees into a world of timeless elegance and intricate craftsmanship.

The term “sleeping beauties” in the exhibit’s title refers to delicate garments from the museum’s collection that require special glass enclosures for preservation. These treasured pieces, spanning four centuries, are so fragile that they can no longer be worn or experienced directly.

Curators have ingeniously organized the exhibit’s galleries around the unifying metaphor of nature, emphasizing the cyclical themes of rebirth and renewal. Through creative and immersive activations, the exhibit aims to evoke the sensory elements of these dormant garments, including their scents, sounds, textures, and motions.

Andrew Bolton, the curator behind all Met Gala exhibits, emphasized the transformative nature of clothing within the museum’s collection. “What was once a vital part of a person’s lived experience is now a motionless ‘artwork’,” Bolton noted. The exhibit’s mission is to revive these artworks by reigniting their sensory capacities, bringing them back to life for visitors to experience anew.

Approximately 250 garments and accessories, both historical and contemporary, will be on display. The exhibit will be presented in a series of themed rooms, each offering an immersive environment designed to engage visitors’ senses of sight, smell, touch, and hearing. Examples include an Elizabethan bodice adorned with intricate “insectoid embroidery” and a breathtaking black tulle evening dress from the pre-World War II era, set against a ceiling projection of a Hitchcockian swarm of black birds.

The “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” exhibit is slated to run from May 10 to September 2, 2024, offering a unique opportunity for fashion enthusiasts and art aficionados to step into a world of enchanting couture and exquisite craftsmanship.

The Met Gala, renowned for its star-studded guest list and breathtaking fashion statements, is sure to dazzle once again as attendees don fairytale ballgowns in celebration of this extraordinary theme.

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