>> Hints at the 2009 Costume Institute Gala theme have been swirling since May — first, it was thought to be an ode to Marc Jacobs, and then an ode to fashion muses. Now that the official announcement has come out, we learn that both subjects are involved, just not quite in the way that was originally thought: the May 4 gala rings in "The Model as Muse," with Marc Jacobs as honorary chair, and Kate Moss, Anna Wintour, and Justin Timberlake as co-chairs.
The accompanying exhibit, which runs May 6 to Aug. 9, will explore the evolution of models and "their roles in projecting and sometimes inspiring the fashion of their respective eras," with special focus on one of the first publicly known models, Marion Morehouse; the first supermodel, Lisa Fonssagrives; fifties mannequins Suzy Parker, Dovima, Sunny Harnett, and Dorian Leigh; sixties icons Jean Shrimpton, Moffitt, Twiggy, and Veruschka; Seventies faces Jerry Hall, Iman, and Janice Dickinson; the supermodel trinity of Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell; Nineties “It” girls Kate Moss, Amber Valletta, Nadja Auermann, and Shalom Harlow; and more recently, Gisele Bundchen.
As Harold Koda, curator of the Costume Institute, explained: "We look at the power of clothing, fashion photography and the model to project the look of an era. With a mere gesture, or the line of her body, a truly stellar model can sum up the attitude of her time, creating an alluring synergy between herself and the clothing to communicate a designer’s message to the wider world."
Seventy haute couture and ready-to-wear looks, plus photography, runway images, and video footage of models, rock stars, socialites and actresses who set the tone for each era will emphasize the theme, but most exciting of all — think of all the models who will be representing at the gala.