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.