Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The First Monday in May: Monday, April 25 2016

The First Monday in May is a film about the 2015 show staged by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass.

Curated by Andrew Bolton, the show focuses on the impact of Chinese design on the fashions of the western world. China has been making silk for almost 6000 years, hence the Silk Road. Today, it is the most important manufacturer of silk fabric in the world. The Chinese are also experts at silk embroidery, and this, along with the lovely designs created by Chinese clothing manufacturers, has influenced the fashion world of the west.

Bolton made a magical choice when he decided to build his show around China. He had to be very careful not to offend the sensibilities of the Chinese people by his use of their culture as inspiration. He succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams. The show is one of the most successful in the history of the Metropolitan Museum, and 815,992 people visited it.

The film is fascinating as we see the origins of the idea, then the preparations for the show, then the staging of it. The creations are breath-taking works of art. But there is even more. We see the careful place-setting for the Met Gala Night Opening dinner, then the guests arriving and walking up the red carpeted stairs. We are shown Andrew Bolton walking through the galleries alone, after the Gala. We can be sure he is tired, but very happy at the result of all his hard work.

The bar has been set higher for his next Show!

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