REVIEW: China Through the Looking Glass

china through the looking glass metropolitan museum

One more exhibition to remind you that the world is obsessed with China now.

Every year The Costume Institute’s spring exhibition brings legends, themes and any subject that can draw, well, huge crowds. The MET gala that happens every May to open the exhibition is so glitzy that at times people forget about the real deal: the exhibition itself.

China: Through the Looking Glass is probably one of the most perfectly curated edition of the exhibition in recent years. Western designers have long been influenced by China, their art, their culture and the iconic qi pao. They have produced some of the most memorable looks on the runways of Paris. Think Yves Saint Laurent by Tom Ford in 2004, Jean Paul Gaultier couture and in recent memory, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. All these designs by the greats were brought back to broad day light and proudly displayed through out the two floors of exhibition space. While there is obviously a lack of Asian designers being represented, Chinese couturier Guo Pei’s exquisite work kind of make up for that, especially the “Magnificent Gold” dress. Visually, the entire space is stunning, everything from the finishing, the lighting, the movies that were selected to play at the back definitely accentuated all the clothing that were on display. At the end of the visit, it just makes you want to go back again and again and again.

On a completely unrelated note, I bumped into Andrew Bolton (the curator) walking through the exhibition with Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz when I visited last week during Museum Mile Festival. I was too star struck to take a proper photo but I had that moment on my snapchat!

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