A Design Desert at the Met

Posted on May 06, 2014 by Sandy Ericson

Judging from the online photos in the NY Times, the biggest problem with the parade at the Met’s Costume Institute Gala the other night, was trying to figure out who to blame. Then again, maybe it was the waste of so many beautiful materials that were turned into junk?

At least three fourths of the gowns would make a design teacher crawl up the wall in agony. The designs would be on quiz after quiz with something like “re-design this gown to reflect the art elements covered this week”.  Students would be flying out of there with A’s -- there is so much to fix! And that’s just for the Design 1 beginners.

Check out the red carpet rundown here and see if I have a case.

Given the chain of decisions to put a celeb on such a selfie carpet, take your pick.  Should we blame the designer for thinking he or she had a good idea? Or, maybe it was the celeb who threw a dart in a dark closet; or, maybe she had to accept a reject because it was free? Or, maybe the blame lies with the stylist who had a better sales pitch than she did taste? Or, maybe it was the escort of the evening who picked it out? All of the above? I suspect all of the above -- the line-up was really bad.

But someone had to make those things, so I’m going to take this Met Gala as definitive proof that all those designers that get plum jobs with big houses but look like they are 12, really are 12.

While there were several beautifully designed pieces in there (immediately recognizable), the great majority constituted simple embarrassment. They were professionally embarrassing for the designer, physically embarrassing to appear in, embarrassing to move in and, in total, made up an embarrassing display for the Met itself, the City of New York as a model event for the fashion industry, the fashion schools for turning out people without a clue and for the US as a society to emulate.

Next year, please Anna, jury the show or make Design 1 a prerequisite.

Sandra Ericson

Posted in Education, Fashion Design, fashion trends, May 2014, new designers


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