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In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

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Metropolitan Museum of Art / New York / Art

The Met Costume Institute exhibition of 2019 took inspiration from Susan Sontag’s 58 aphoristic notes on an evanescent subject—camp. It’s 2020 exhibition took inspiration from Virginia Woolf, who continually returned to a concept that controls, eludes, and haunts us all—time. In 2021, the exhibition takes its inspiration from a patchwork quilt. Using the stylized patches as a template, the show is arranged into horizontal and vertical rows that contain 100 squares in all. Each square is home to an ensemble that expresses a quality of American design. This “lexicon” comprises part one of “In America.” In May, part two unfolds narratives that piece together a history of American fashion. —L.J.

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