For most of the twentieth century—the Mao-suit decades—couture fashion was not a feature of daily Chinese life. But centuries of Chinese culture have inspired designers in the West. The Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute and Department of Asian Art examine that influence in more than a hundred pieces, including this Dior gown, by John Galliano, in “China: Through the Looking Glass.”
This evening, the Metropolitan Museum’s annual Costume Institute exhibition launches with its traditional gala. The theme? China: Through the Looking Glass, a celebration of half a millennium of Chinese influence on European luxury goods.