Peggy Moffitt in topless swimsuit by Rudi Gernreich, 1964 (American, born
Austria, 1922–1985) Photograph by William Claxton (American, 1927-2008)
Photograph by William Claxton/Courtesy of Demont Photo Management
Twiggy in dress, spring/summer 1967, by Yves Saint Laurent (French, 1936-
2008, Vogue, March 15, 1967, Photograph by Bert Stern (American, born 1929)
Photograph by Bert Stern/Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York
Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and
Cindy Crawford in tops, 1990, by Giorgio di Sant’Angelo (American, born
Italy, 1933-1989) British Vogue, January 1990, Photograph by Peter Lindbergh (German, born 1944), Photograph courtesy of Peter Lindbergh
Models in dresses by Charles James Dresses, 1948
Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906-1978)
Vogue, June 1948 Photograph by Cecil Beaton (British, 1904-1980)
Courtesy of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion
May 6-August 9, 2009
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion, the spring 2009 exhibition organized by The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will explore the reciprocal relationship between high fashion and evolving ideals of beauty,focusing on iconic fashion models in the latter half of the 20th century and their roles in projecting, and sometimes inspiring, the fashion of their respective eras. The exhibition will be on view at the Metropolitan from May 6 through August 9, 2009. The exhibition is made possible by Marc Jacobs. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.
The exhibition will feature approximately 70 masterworks of haute couture and ready-to-wear. Fashion editorial, advertising, and runway photography plus video footage of models, actresses, socialites, and rock stars who epitomize their epochs, will be used throughout the galleries to explicate the fashion zeitgeist.
The exhibition, in the Museum’s second-floor Tisch Galleries, will explore how models transmit social change via photographs that document turning points in society and design. With the post-WWII resurgence of the American fashion and advertising industries, Dior’s New Look and a proliferation of model agencies created an environment from which high-fashion models with celebrated personalities and distinctive identities emerged. Lisa Fonssagrives, Dovima, Suzy Parker, Sunny Harnett, and Dorian Leigh personified this Golden Age of Haute Couture. Photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Cecil Beaton portrayed the new ideal of feminine artifice. Daywear from Christian Dior and eveningwear from Charles James will evoke the mood of the time, and in some cases, recreate scenes from important photographs.
A large gallery inspired by the 1966 film Qui êtes-vous Polly Maggoo? will channel the Sixties “Youthquake” with ensembles from Paco Rabanne, André Courrèges, and Rudi Gernreich who heralded the transformation from a sophisticated to a girlish ideal, moving from Jean Shrimpton to Peggy Moffitt, Veruschka, and
Twiggy. The next gallery will focus on the ’70s, when athletic models such as Lisa Taylor and Jerry Hall enlivened the simple, unstructured goddess dresses of Halston and the haute bohemian looks of Yves Saint Laurent.
In the 1980s, supermodels expressed an idealized glamour, dissolving boundaries between runway, editorial, and advertising work. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington emerged as the “Trinity” appearing in designers’ global campaigns for brands seeking to bolster their houses’ identities. These models could morph into a different persona at each photo shoot, but always retained their priceless distinction.
By the 1990s, grunge and street style led to a radical shift from glamorous beauty to the rebel chic of Kate Moss, much as Twiggy supplanted Jean Shrimpton in the ’60s. The exhibition’s presentation of the minimalism of Donna Karan, Helmut Lang, and Prada that immediately followed will show how models of this era became an anonymous template of replicated perfection, allowing the clothing to supersede all. A coda to the exhibition will feature the Richard Prince and Marc Jacobs collaboration of masked, unidentifiable nurses (Stephanie Seymour and Natalia Vodianova) in Louis Vuitton.
Designers in the exhibition will include Giorgio Armani, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, André Courrèges, Christian Dior, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Rudi Gernreich, Halston, Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, Charles James, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, and Gianni Versace. Iconic models featured will include Nadja Auermann, Naomi Campbell, Janice Dickinson, Dovima, Linda Evangelista, Lisa Fonssagrives, Jerry Hall, Shalom Harlow, Sunny Harnett, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Dorian Leigh, Peggy Moffitt, Kate Moss, Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Christy Turlington, Twiggy, Amber Valletta, and Veruschka.
Photographers whose images captured the mood of fashion via their subjects, and whose work will be in the exhibition, include Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, William Claxton, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Hiro, William Klein, Helmut Lang, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, and Gianni Versace. Iconic models featured will include Nadja Auermann, Naomi Campbell, Janice Dickinson, Dovima, Linda Evangelista, Lisa Fonssagrives, Jerry Hall, Shalom Harlow, Sunny Harnett, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Dorian Leigh, Peggy Moffitt, Kate Moss, Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Christy Turlington, Twiggy, Amber Valletta,m and Veruschka.
Credits and Related Programs
The exhibition is organized by Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, and Kohle Yohannan, guest co-curator, and a cultural historian. John Myhre, an Academy Award-winning production designer and art director for films including Dreamgirls, Chicago, and Memoirs of a Geisha, serves as creative consultant. Faces, wigs, and headdresses will be designed and styled by Julien d’Ys. The design for the 2009 Costume Institute Gala Benefit will be created by John Myhre with Raul Avila.
A book, Model as Muse, written by Harold Koda and Kohle Yohannan, will accompany the exhibition. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.
For more information please visit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Posted by Joanne Molina