Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Anna Wintour Costume Center

Once upon a time, in 1948...

 The Party of the Year, was maybe not quite yet the party of the year. Eleanor Lambert, invited society "matrons" - I do not know who in their right mind would like being called a matron - but anyhoo,  she invited matrons to buy a ticket for 50 bucks and said matrons were able to choose a gown from the Costume Institute to wear to a midnight dinner (I like that part : ) in December and Ms. Lambert dubbed it  'the party of the year'.  

And in 1971 the theme at the newly renovated Costume Institute was 'Fashion Plate'.  It celebrated the Costume Institute's own holdings - represented by  200 years of fashion and accompanying fashion plates.

Robe de style by Jeanne Lanvin.  Fashion plate by Benito for Vogue.  1924

And in 1973 with a waft of perfume and a demand for the young Harold Koda to make a mannequin for the exhibit 'Eighteenth-Century Woman' to appear ready for the guillotine, Mrs. Vreeland became the Special Consultant to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and had her debut with  the 1973 exhibit 'The World of Cristobal Balenciaga'.

Diana Vreeland The World of Balenciaga Met Museum

Out went the matrons and in came the patrons.

Marisa Berenson at the Met Gala.

Halston and Bianca Jagger.  Met gala.  1981

Paloma Picasso and Rafeel Lopez-Sanchez.  1981.

Diana Vreeland and Yves Saint Laurent at the Met gala.
Diana Vreeland and Bill Blass at the Costume Institute

And since 1995 Anna Wintour has raised nearly $125 million dollars for the Costume Institute.

She has truly changed the party of the year into THE Party of the Year and while raising an astounding amount of money to support one of my favorite places in the world.  The CI is now also the home of the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection with its incredible collection of Charles James.

It was just announced that when the Costume Institute reopens in May after a $40 million dollar renovation, it will be renamed the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

love, kisses and vintage, Juliana

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