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The Model as Muse : Embodying Fashion
The Model as Muse
Embodying Fashion
H.K. + LB, June 1, 2009
Model as Muse/Peter Lindbergh_Naomi Campbell_Geoffrey Beene, 1990
Model as Muse/Peter Lindbergh_Naomi Campbell_Geoffrey Beene, 1990
 
The Model as Muse  examines a timeline of fashion from 1947 to 1997 through the idealized aesthetic of the fashion model," said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. "We look at the power of clothing, fashion photography, and the model to project the look of an era. With a mere gesture, a truly stellar model can sum up the attitude of her time – becoming not only a muse to designers or photographers, but a muse to a generation."

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Museum's Costume Institute Gala Benefit takes place on Monday, May 4, 2009. Marc Jacobs serves as Honorary Chair of the Gala. Co-Chairs are Kate Moss; Justin Timberlake; and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. This fundraising event is The Costume Institute's main source of annual funding for exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements. The exhibition features approximately 80 masterworks of haute couture and ready-to-wear. Fashion editorial, advertising, and runway photography plus large- scale projections from feature films are used throughout the galleries to contextualize the fashion zeitgeist.

Model as Muse/Peter Lindbergh_Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington et Cindy Crawford en Giorgio di Sant'Angelo, Vogue anglais, janvier 1990
Model as Muse/Peter Lindbergh_Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington et Cindy Crawford en Giorgio di Sant'Angelo, Vogue anglais, janvier 1990
 
The exhibition, in the Museum's second-floor Tisch Galleries, explores how models transmit cultural change via photographs that document turning points in society and design. With the post-WWII resurgence of the American fashion and advertising industries, the launch of Dior's New Look and a proliferation of model agencies, an environment in 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 evoke the mood of the time, and in some cases, recreate scenes from important photographs. A large gallery inspired by William Klein's 1966 film Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? evokes the Sixties "Youthquake" with Bernard and François Baschet and Xavier de la Salle's metallic dresses from the movie and ensembles from Paco Rabanne,

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