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Brooke’s Vantage Point: A Bejeweled Silk Road Leads To Influence On Fashion Trends

By Brooke Ferber

This past November, my dream came true: I attended a lecture featuring Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. “The Atilier with Alina Cho” lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was designed as a panel, comprised of Wintour and Costume Institute Curator Andrew Bolton. Topics discussed ranged from the Kardashians to Bolton’s and Wintour’s personal lives.

Of particular relevance, considering the recent erection of the Anna Wintour Costume Institute at the Met and the First Lady Michelle Obama presiding over its ceremonial opening, is Wintour’s lauding of Mrs. Obama’s modest, attainable, and influential fashion. I found this particularly interesting and almost demonstrative of girl power—a popular movement of female empowerment of which I am fond.

The upcoming Costume Institute exhibition, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” also constituted a major element of the panel. Bolton explained that the exhibition with a Chinese concentration is relevant now, more than ever, due to the heightened economic ties between China and other world powers that have, during this process, permeated fashion.

The exhibition will showcase Chinese jewels and porcelains to represent the country’s unique culture and is expected to juxtapose these cultural pieces with global fashion pieces in order to trace China’s influence. I think this organization lends itself to a coherently designed exhibition, which is becoming a rarity now as curators strive for modern exhibition styles, which usually confound visitors.

The exhibition’s title, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” perfectly captures the exhibition’s theme of Chinese cultural objects’ reflection in global fashion while cleverly alluding to glass, which we associate with porcelains and jewels. The exhibition’s title also suggests an aspect of surrealism, which could influence the exhibition. I suppose that audiences just might have to wait until May 7, 2015, when the exhibit opens to discover the details. In the mean time, I would suggest booking tickets for “The Atelier with Alina Cho” on April 30, in which Donatella Versace will appear; if it is anything like the fall lecture, it is a worthwhile adventure!

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