Lifestyle Magazine

China : Through The Looking Glass

By Rolala @rolalaloves
Guo Pei Gold Dress at China Through The Looking Glass

I can't believe that it's taken almost four months since I wrote about the fashions at this year's Met Gala to actually make it to see China: Through The Looking Glass at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition which is a collaboration between the Costume Institute and Department of Asian Art examines the impact of Chinese influence on Western fashion. It opened on May 7 and was originally supposed to run until August 16 but due to popular demand it was extended through September 7. It was just reported in the New York Times that as of last Friday, the show had a record attendance of 735,000 visitors surpassing the record of 661,509 for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (another incredible show!). 

China: Through The Looking Glass showcases the connection between fine art and fashion while exploring China's influence on Western fashion through history. Influential filmmaker Wong Kar Wai served as the artistic director for this show and his stylistic vision and impeccable eye for detail can be felt throughout. This exquisite haute couture gold gown by Chinese designer Guo Pei with a lotus flower shaped bodice and skirt was presented alongside a gallery of Buddha statues. Given the importance of the lotus as a symbol in Buddhism this was the perfect placement.

The collection of over 140 pieces is presented on multi-levels and this staging is meant to be labyrinth-like evoking Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, a nod to the "looking glass" element in the exhibition's title. A cinematic journey is also created as significant moments in Asian film are juxtaposed within the galleries. The entire experience is incredibly captivating on a visual and sensory level. I can't imagine anyone wouldn't come away from a viewing without a realization and appreciation of the pervasive influence of Chinese culture on Western fashion especially after seeing references presented alongside their inspired creations.

The Met has announced extended hours for Labor Day weekend so if you're in New York and you haven't seen this exhibit yet, I'd highly suggest it. You can learn more about China: Through The Looking Glass through the museum's official website.

China : Through The Looking Glass
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