It was a Bank Holiday here in Manhattan (President’s Day. No? Me neither.) yesterday, so I nipped up to the UES to visit The Metropolitan Museum’s blog.mode:addressing fashion exhibition at The Costume Insitute.

It was not what I expected. It’s certainly not an exhibit that has anything whatsoever to do with fashion blogging, rather a chronological display of some iconic pieces from the archives.

The darkened galleries have some truly exquisite pieces on display, from two 18thC panniered silk dresses to a Madame Gres goddess dress, through Galliano’s deconstructed dress for Dior and a Theyskens frilled confection for Nina Ricci. Beautifully curated, the notes included direct quotes from some of the designers.

There is no open access standing collection at The Costume Institute as there is at London’s V&A museum, so this is a rare chance to see a very small sample of what is held by The Met. This in itself would have sufficed as a reason to open up the galleries to the public but, in an attempt to appear all post-modern, they have centred the show around the idea of visitor comment, installing a bank of computers so that visitors can engage in a debate upon the merits of individual items in the show, with a new image posted daily. The blog is here.

Surely museums should be doing this anyway, regardless of the exhibit? Using this as the focal point of the show seems like a pretty spurious reason for getting out some glorious, but unconnected pieces from the archives.

I was also unamused to discover that no merchandising had been produced in conjunction with the show, which does rather prove my point.

There are currently over 80 million blogs in existence, and quite a few discuss fashion. You’d have thought that someone might have gone, hmm, I bet plenty of those fashion bloggers would like a poster of the show’s publicity shot?

But no.

An American museum missing out on a revenue opportunity? That’s news in itself.

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6 comments

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I thoroughly agree this: “Surely museums should be doing this anyway, regardless of the exhibit?” Why is this not the case? I knew there was something about the premise of the exhibit that sounded fishy…

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I didn’t see this exhibition as some people said it was a bit stale….

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The part where people leave their comments behind reminds me of the Turner prize exhibition the other year (at least I think that’s what it was, can’t quite remember) where people put post it notes up on the wall with their comments. I didn’t quite understand the concept so I wrote a short anonymous letter to someone I would never speak openly to. Oops…

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That’s a same, as there are some truly iconic piees on show, & I shall go back again. If you love costume & fashion then this exhibit is a must-visit. But be assured it has nothing to do with blogging! LLG xx

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Blogging still hasn’t quite come out from under the mantle of perceived amateurism.

It also isn’t largely understood and in many instances is seen as suspicious (as well as miasmatic). I know someone who makes a tidy income schooling companies on how to use blogs to promote product or message.

Yes, odd to overlook an opportunity for profit, isn’t it? Just shows a complete lack of understanding. There’s a job in there somewhere, LLG, freelance, at $175.00/hr.

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It’s not often you hear people complaining about people (or museums) not cashing in!
I liked the blog:mode exhibit, I thought the Olivier Theyskens dress was amazing, as well as one in the same case that was Rodarte I think?
The Met has so much art (not only fashion) that is almost never displayed, it would be nice if they had a larger, more permanent display but I think they just don’t have any space for it. They did a Chanel exhibit a few years ago that I thought was one of their best.

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