The Costume Institute Prepares for “About Time”
Watch as designers, curators and more walk us through the preparations for The Met’s highly-anticipated Costume Institute show “About Time.”
- [Narrator] The Costume Institute doesn't do dowdy.
Their annual exhibition is always an extravaganza.
Fashionably on time,
the department is preparing
their anniversary year blockbuster show.
- These are the biggest exhibitions that we do at The Met
without a doubt.
Broadway theater is probably the closest
to this kind of level of production.
- [Narrator] About Time needs to draw crowds
and make a big statement.
The Met's still got it.
- It's a massive undertaking.
Of course, this was conceived of before everything happened
and actually completely built and it had to sit
in the production company warehouse
for three months until we could bring them in.
- [Narrator] This is the type of show visitors expect
from The Met,
from a time before COVID
when the place was awash with cash.
Much of the money came from the 2019 Met Ball,
the gala event that every year funds
the museum's Costume Institute.
Gotham's glossiest social events brings out the stars
for the ultimate photo opportunity.
Designers dress them in couture
that echoes the themes of the annual exhibition.
But in 2020, COVID has taken the ball away.
The Costume Institute's head curator
will miss the money
but also the glow the event provides.
- The show gets so much attention
through the attention the gala gets,
it's such an extraordinary moment.
The show really basks in its reflected glory.
And it's a time for the community
to come and celebrate fashion.
So that's been sad.
- [Narrator] Bolton's About Time,
a meditation for The Met's anniversary year.
Lead designer Patrick Herron
has made the passage of time central
to the setting.
- There are two different clocks.
Clock one, clock two.
We're currently in clock two.
- So it's 120 garments in 60 pairings.
- The show looks at fashion and temporality.
We wanted to highlight master works
from our collection
and we had this concept of The Met's 150 years.
So we're producing two timelines.
The lower rung is a very linear chronology of fashion
but the second timeline behind,
pieces that relate through the silhouette
or material or motif or decoration.
So through these pairings,
rather than having time as a succession of events,
it's this coexistence of the past and the present.