20 Years of Met Gala Costume Exhibitions Catalogs

Years before I started as an accessories assistant at Vogue, my mom and I would go to see the Costume Institute exhibitions together, and it became a tradition I looked forward to every summer. We’d meet at the uptown 6 train platform at Grand Central, head up to Museum Mile together, press on our Met entrance stickers (and reminisce about the old times when they used pins), then make our way through the exhibition. We’d often check out a few other galleries along the way, typically searching for the Robert Venturi Chippendale chair my mom is certain lives somewhere in the American Wing (spoiler alert, we’ve never been able to find it), then head to the roof for a glass of rosé while we rested what we like to call our “slow museum stroll legs.” The day is not over, however, until we stop at the bookshop on the way out to pick up a copy of the exhibition’s catalog.

Collecting books has been important to my family since before my time, and the house I grew up in was basically held up by wall-to-wall bookshelves. There were side tables made from overflowing stacks, and every coffee table had a few on display. My own collection of Met mementos started the day we visited “Punk: Chaos to Couture” and has grown each year since, from one volume featuring the remarkable ball gowns of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” to the electric and exaggerated “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” Now, as a Market Editor and two years since I attended, I look forward to walking up the steps again for this year’s show, In America: An Anthology of Fashion and, of course, picking up the newest catalog for my personal collection.

In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

About Time: Fashion & Duration

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garcons: Art of the In-Between

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

China: Through the Looking Glass

Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion

Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century

Goddess: The Classical Mode

Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years

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