Disgraceful. According to International Herald Tribune fashion reporter Suzy Menkes, during Monday’s big Metropolitan Museum ball, a pantyless Madonna scrambled atop the 2,000-year-old exhibit to get a better view of Kanye West’s performance. “My lasting memory,” she wrote, “Will be Madonna climbing up the Temple of Dendur to cheer on Kanye. And from my privileged position, it was very clear she just had these fishnet hose on and nothing underneath. It was an incredible moment.” Incredible? Or appalling? I think it’s just disgusting. In fact, I find the whole idea of a bunch of bratty, entitled celebrities running roughshod over history’s greatest treasures in the name of fashion to be kind of lamentable. Sure, the temple, built by Petronius around 15 BC, is a sturdy stone monument that can probably withstand Madonna’s shenanigans, but the idea that she and her ilk have no respect for it is what’s so egregious. Yes, I slavishly cover the ball every year. And yes, I drooled over Madge’s outfit THIS year. But keep them all corralled in the Costume Instutute, for God’s sake. In the future, let’s not let the celebrities roam around the rest of the building. At least until they can prove they can be trusted around nice things. (via Jezebel via Fashionista)
Tag Archives: Metropolitan Museum of Art
If you recall, there was a great hue and cry among the society swells who were invited to this year’s Costume Exhibit ball because none of them knew exactly what to wear to a punk-themed ball. Certainly not actual punk. So stylists from here to Timbuktu were charged with trying to track down vintage Versace ball gowns with a giant safety pin attached or some artfully dishabille Comme des Garcons gown. In the end, though, it looks as if everybody just threw their hands in the air and wore whatever the hell they wanted. The only legitimately punk looks are from Zandra Rhodes (who, frankly, looked ridiculous and out of place) and supermodel Anja Rubik (and let’s be real about her luxe leather getup: It probably cost upwards of $10,000, which ain’t very punk). Elsewhere on the red carpet, we see vague nods to the theme: Ivanka Trump‘s gold spike cuffs, Rooney Mara‘s dark purple lipstick, and Constance Jablonski‘s fetish-light harness straps over her gown. But all in all, I’m thinking the theme is a bit of a fizzle. Check out the early arrivals at ONTD, and we will probably be posting more tomorrow.
With the arrival of PUNK: Chaos To Couture, the Costume Institute’s exhibit and theme for this year’s Met Ball, it’s time once again for another round of the punk debate: What did it mean? How did it change us? Was it for real?
The New York Times has already published a couple of articles teasing the concept of the exhibition; Punk? At the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Shock horror! To up the ante they hauled Legs McNeil out of mothballs to sputter that this is all some “masturbatory fantasy for Anna Wintour and Vogue…/…..They always go and try to co-opt what they can’t own. They try to co-opt authenticity and turn it into something boring.” But the way people go on about exploiting punk’s authenticity is the most boring thing of all. It’s all a load of old bollocks.
Punk was always a sham and the clever prank of master-commodifier Malcolm Mclaren. It was only ever born to be sold. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After the Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten became John Lydon and launched Public Image Limited, a nod that posing and packaging were integral to punk rock’s DNA. Just the other day he had a viral moment showing his true colors as a good old-fashioned chauvinist, reprimanding a female Australian anchor for being to shrill and that she should be quiet when a man is talking. Really, that just about sums it up. He’s just a grumpy old man. Nothing especially revolutionary there. And if you thought punk still had any teeth, well, just consider that they played the movement’s anthem, God Save The Queen (“a fascist regime” etc etc) at opening of the London Olympics, in front of the Queen herself, poor thing.
I think if you want to find the real roots of punk you have to look to Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies, an album released 40 years ago and several years before anyone had ever heard of punk. For me it’s the ultimate punk album, because it really is beyond the pale. God Save The Queen is a nursery rhyme compared to the tawdry necrophiliac power ballad I Love The Dead. It’s appallingly specific and not for the faint-hearted. Such a thing is unimaginable today.
Second it’s punk because it’s as camp as Christmas. Just look at the fabulous gatefold sleeve in the form of a green snakeskin wallet, with Alice and his band on the inside holding some poor baby naked as a butterball turkey and tricked out in Kiss-style make-up. Someone call the child abuse hotline!
But ultimately the most punk thing about it is that it is true. Sontag threw so many off the scent when she said that camp is the lie that tells the truth. No. Camp is not a lie. It tells the truth, warts and all. Although School’s Out is not on the album Cooper’s outrageous breakout single was nothing if not prophetic. The song ends with the line “School’s been blown to pieces” and in so many ways that’s true, from the unspeakable shootings to the fact that increasingly students know nothing. My favorite twitter thread ever was the one where kids were tripping on the fact that the Titanic wasn’t just a movie… it was a real boat that really sank. OMG.
And so here we are with the billion dollar babies having their frou-frou punk ball at the Met. It’s not so much that it’s like Marie Antoinette on her pretend farm at Versailles, it’s more that the billion dollar babies are the boomers who fiddle while Rome burns. The album came with a giant billion dollar bill, a nod to the idea that in the future – i.e. our present day – the dollar isn’t worth what it used to be (and indeed billions have become trillions of downgraded debt). And our values aren’t worth much more either. From Hello Hooray to No More Nice Guy, the songs on the album evoke a completely bankrupt carnival society in just about every imaginable way.
Well of course Billion Dollar Babies won’t be a part of PUNK: Chaos to Couture, because it defies assimilation which surely makes it truly punk. That said, I can’t wait for whatever delicious overpriced miniature collectible they’ll be selling as I exit through the gift shop. Bring on the gold-plated Swarovski-encrusted safety-pin broaches!
CAN YOU IMAGINE? All that sparkly military drag? In one room? I’m GASPING. From HintMag: “If it’s true that Michael Jackson is the subject of the Met’s Costume Institute in 2014, as prognosticators are prognosticating, the exhibit is sure to be another blockbuster, on par with Savage Beauty. It might also be the first of the yearly shows without the involvement of a single label. Aside from the iconic costumes early in his career — i.e. Swarovski-encrusted gloves, fedora hats, the red leather jacket in ‘Thriller’ — later on the King of Pop began wearing the likes of Balmain, Tom Ford, Dior Homme, and Givenchy, much of it women’s.” Yes! Yes! SQUEEEEEE!
My secret obsession? MUFFS. My God, I just want to bury my face in them! Get my fingers all up in there! Feel the warmth! MMMMM. This one, in particular, has me ROCK HARD. It’s from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s early 19th century, which surprises me, because of its perfect condition, yes, but also because for some reason I imagine colors that vivid are a 20th-century construct. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around something that vibrant existing back then. The description from the Metropolitan Museum web site: “Muffs, a popular accessory for women, and ONCE FOR MEN [caps mine], covered the hands, keeping them warm during the winter months as well as enhanced an ensemble. The muff featured here is a beautiful example of feather work, for each feather is applied to a natural hemp base. The curving of the feathers around the round shape produce a strong sense of motion, creating a stunning accessory for the viewer.” Gorgeous! Check out other muffs at the web site. (via The Flaming Curmudgeon)