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“China Through the Looking Glass” @ the MET

If you haven’t visited the MET to see the Costume Institute’sChina Through the Looking Glass” exhibit you still have time and you should definitely go. The exhibition explores Chinese influences on western fashion but make no mistake; it is no historical representation. Instead, the exhibit is a showcase of the opulent, Avant-garde and sometimes quirky extractions from Chinese culture, paired with historical references. For this reason, it’s worth exploring how seemingly extreme differences can become culturally iconic fashion vignettes distilled through our own lens, as common place.

 

I’ve paired some themes from the exhibit with current fashion imagery that take influence from those themes, to point out that inspiration can come from all corners of the world in large and small doses.

Blue Porcelain Dress MET China
Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015 4

(Vogue 2015)

 “Porcelain Dolls”

China Through the Looking Glass
China Through the Looking Glass
China Through the Looking Glass

“Flowers of Fire”

YSL Opium Perfume MET China

“Back East”

Back East MET China
China Through the Looking Glass MET 2
Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015 7
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015

(Vogue 2015)

“Enter the Dragon”

Enter Dragon MET China
MET China Through the looking glass 3
Ann May Wong MET CHina

“English Garden?”

Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015 2

(Vogue 2015)  

SS15 Print Trends Delicate Garden

(WGSN Trend S/S 2014)  

English Garden MET China
China Through the Looking Glass MET
China Through the Looking Glass MET

“Big Blooms”

MET China through the Looking Glass
MET China Through the Looking Glass
MET China Through the looking glass 18

“Reverse Affect”

Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015 8

(vogue 2015)  

China Through the Looking Glass MET 5

(right: Dior 2015)  

China Through the Looking Glass MET

“Erte’ Arrival”

Erte ChinaThrough the Looking Glass
Erte
Erte 2

“Monastic Zen”

China Through the Looking Glass
The_Row_003_1366 2
Monastic Zen
Monastic zen black

“Gilded Age”

gilded age China Through the Looking Glass
Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015 10

(Vogue 2015)

Chnia Through the Looking Glass Vogue 2015 3

(Vogue 2015)

 “Chunky Necklaces”

Iris Apfel China Through the Looking Glass
Savor-Saturdays-Accessory-Edit-Iris-Apfel-Documentary-White-House-Interior-Designer-Fashion-Icon-HSN

“Pop Art Iconography”

Chairman Mao Dress China Through the Looking Glass
Prada Faces

“Calligraphy”

Calligraphy China Through the Looking Glass
Pattern_T_shirt_Fashion_Trend_1
Chinese Calligraphy
john-galliano-fall-2000-newspaper

( John Galliano)

My absolute favorites of course, are the ones that completely escape the realm of wearable reality. This Galliano pile of genius is what I’m referring to. I just love it!

Gallianno

If you went to the exhibition what did you think of it? What were your favorite experiences and what inspires you most? Or did it inspire you at all? Leave your comments and thoughts below.