Sunday, May 23, 2010

Walking Amongst Giants: American Woman at the MET

I finally made it to the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity at the Metropolitan Museum. Seriously, I have tried 8 times to go and each and every time something has come up. This time I only made it with 45 minutes to spare, so unfortunately it was a bit of a rushed viewing of the exhibition.

A little background on the exhibition:

American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity "explores developing perceptions of the modern American woman from 1890 to 1940 and how they have affected the way American women are seen today". The exhibit is broken up into The Heiress, The Gibson Girl, The Bohemian, The Patriot and the Suffragist, The Flapper, and The Screen Siren.

As you can imagine, the fashions were nothing short of amazing. I could literally go on and on about them. The most interesting thing I found about the exhibit, however, is how truly timeless the pieces were in their construction.

Take this piece from 1910 by Madame Marie Gerber for instance. I highly doubt any hipster would bat an eye if I showed up in a bar in BK in this outfit. After all, it is eveningwear accompanied with leggings!

This sweater from 1895 also caught my eye as it would hardly look out of place in my wardrobe today. I mean there is no way you can deny its similarity to this piece by T Los Angeles.

Then of course there is this excruciatingly beautiful gown made by Madame Grès in 1937. It would hardly look out of place on a red carpet today - just look at this dress worn by Angelina Jolie in 2004.

The exhibit overall was a bit crowded and small, but the curating is amazing. If you are in NYC this summer I highly suggest you brave the crowds and take a trip over to go see it. Also, if you loved the exhibit like me but were hoping to a take a slightly more leisurely stroll through fashion history I highly suggest picking up High Style. It is the catalog created to accompany the exhibit and at $25.00 a copy it is one of the most cost effective art/design books I have ever purchased. I seriously cannot wait to sit down and leaf threw it some more!

Have you been there yet? If so leave your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Looks like fun! I wish they would come here to Florida :)

  2. Trust me you would love it if they did! I'm thinking of going again on a weekday so I can have an actual look. Instead of a breezy run through!