China Through The Looking Glass

Saw this lovely lady on the steps going in and knew I was in for a special time...

Saw this lovely lady on the steps going in and knew I was in for something special…

I’m off on holiday for a couple of weeks but before I wheel my suitcase off out of this city’s humidity, I’ll leave you with some images of another recent traveling experience of mine. These pictures don’t even do justice to the epic lushness on display in the Met’s big summer blockbuster exhibition: China Through the Looking Glass.

It’s another winner for the museum; a crowd pleaser. There was an endless white noise of oohs and ahs rippling through the lofty rooms as visitors gawped at the avant-garde and the traditional standing side by side; haute couture, porcelains, statues; costumes, furniture and objects; film, jewelry and installations.

While the intricacy of the embroideries is dazzling and the depth of color and mystery of the symbols intoxicating, one thing stood out for me. Looming large over all these centuries of history and culture, emerging triumphant from behind the palatial laquer and floral sprigged screens, like he used to at the end of his runway shows, strides John Calliano whose work for Dior is a major contribution to the exhibit. While there are gorgeous designs from Dries Van Noten, Alexander McQueen, John Paul Gaultier, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford for YSL, contemporary and past Valentino, early Lanvin, headpieces from Stephen Jones, among others, it is Galliano’s work for Dior that ties the past and present together into something magical.

As it’s called China Through the Looking Glass, I don’t feel I’m negating the immense scope celebrated here by focussing on this one modern day designer. As Lewis Carroll took us through the looking glass with Alice transporting our imaginations places it would never venture otherwise, John Galliano in his singular way opened up the East, giving us a tour through his eyes at Dior that no one else could provide.

His interpretations would bring you to tears.

And I left this uplifting exhibition battling with one unexpected sad thought: are Galliano’s best days behind him..?IMG_7652
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7 comments

  1. I haven’t seen it, yet. My Met run, last Friday, was early and focussed on finding “empty space”/ solace in the City (upcoming post). I’ll try to get over there at some point.

  2. A few years back I enjoyed a similar exhibit in San Francisco. What amazed me then, and I felt that again with your photos, is the richness of the fabrics. Lovely!

  3. Beautiful pictures Jackie. Have. Great holiday! ~Elle

  4. Thank you thank you for sharing this fabulousness ! I do hope it comes to London….. I will need something to replace my Savage Beauty habit. Happy hols lady xx

  5. Someone else who just saw it told me it was excellent. Alas, I don’t think it will still be up when sofagirl and I come in November. Have a wonderful holiday, wherever you are headed!

  6. Ooooh and it to think I almost missed this – posted during my little island ‘tour’. My catching up was well worth it! Thank you for sharing this and, like Julie of vintageattitude, I hope it will come to Europe. And that Galliano makes a real come back… xxx

  7. As a Chinese; I love it and find it very inspiring! Thank you for sharing it!

    Vivienne X

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