The Met Unveils ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’ as Spring 2024 Exhibit

The Met Unveils ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’ as Spring 2024 Exhibit, Gala Set for May 6

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is set to bring a new sensory dimension to historical fashion with its spring 2024 exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” From May 10 to September 2, 2024, The Met Fifth Avenue will host this innovative showcase, exploring the themes of rebirth and renewal through the lens of nature and the transient allure of fashion.

In a fusion of tradition and technology, “Sleeping Beauties” will rekindle the sensory experiences of the garments on display — from their tactile textures to the ambient sounds of their movement. The exhibition promises to offer a multisensory journey, allowing visitors to ‘feel’ and ‘hear’ the fashion pieces in a way that transcends their static existence within museum walls.

“The Met’s innovative spring 2024 Costume Institute exhibition will push the boundaries of our imagination and invite us to experience the multisensory facets of a garment, many of which get lost when entering a museum collection as an object. Sleeping Beauties will heighten our engagement with these masterpieces of fashion by evoking how they feel, move, sound, smell and interact when being worn, ultimately offering a deeper appreciation of the integrity, beauty and artistic brilliance of the works on display.” – Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director and CEO of The Met

Coinciding with the exhibition, The Met Gala®, known for its star-studded red carpet and extravagant themes, is scheduled for May 6, 2024, underpinning the exhibition’s focus on reanimation and revitalization.

TikTok takes center stage as the principal sponsor of the event, with additional support from Loewe and Condé Nast.

The exhibition, curated by Andrew Bolton, will leverage an array of diverse technologies, including augmented reality, to reawaken the sensory attributes of fashion masterworks. Approximately 250 items, from historical garments to modern-day designs, will be presented, all unified by the recurring motifs of nature’s beauty and brevity.

Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge, The Costume Institute, commented: “When an item of clothing enters our collection, its status is changed irrevocably. What was once a vital part of a person’s lived experience is now a motionless ‘artwork’ that can no longer be worn or heard, touched, or smelled. The exhibition endeavors to reanimate these artworks by re-awakening their sensory capacities through a diverse range of technologies, affording visitors sensorial ‘access’ to rare historical garments and rarefied contemporary fashions. By appealing to the widest possible range of human senses, the show aims to reconnect with the works on display as they were originally intended—with vibrancy, with dynamism, and ultimately with life.”

An illustrated catalogue will complement the exhibition, featuring new photography by Nick Knight and published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with Yale University Press.