Curator Harold Koda has helped the Metropolitan Museum of Art dip its 137-year-old toe into the blogosphere. Last week saw the opening of “blog.mode: addressing fashion,” an exhibition that presents 65 pieces from the Met’s Costume Institute and then invites visitors to post comments about them–at a terminal at the exhibition’s “blogbar” or from anywhere. Through April 13, individual costumes and accessories will be posted on the exhibition’s blog, which will include commentary from Koda and co-organizer Andrew Bolton as well as from contemporary designers.
“While painting and sculpture can sometimes seem to be at an intimidating conceptual remove, fashion is so familiar, so ubiquitous to our experience that it is inherently and immediately accessible,” says Koda. “Individuals who might shy away from commenting on the merits of a Juan Gris or Henry Moore will readily disclose their thoughts on a gown by John Galliano or a mule by Manolo Blahnik.” (Little surprise then that Blahnik sponsored the show.)
So how’s it going? Ten days in, the blog has collected 382 comments, which include a surfeit of “Love It!”s and lusting (“I want them in a size 7!!!”), but many of the views are more interesting. A poster identified as Ashlee muses on a ruffled confection of crinkled steel gray silk organza by Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci: “If you fell into water in this dress, you’d probably drown. Its [sic] not at all practical,” while one Gloria Guinness writes that “On the spectrum of fashion, from utilitarian to fantasy, this particular gown hits that sweet spot of outrageousness,” and calls it “a one-wearing wonder…made for staircase descents.” Meanwhile, commenter “Saul, Age 6″ is not impressed. “I don’t like this one. It’s too wrinkly,” he opines.