Dress Up Time

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most recent exhibition, China Through the Looking Glass, juxtaposed contemporary fashion designers’s elaborate costumes with artifacts from China’s past. Some of the most recognizable designers included Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen. Perhaps the most memorable dress in the exhibition was the elaborate gold ballgown by Chinese designer Guo Pei. Inspired by Buddhism, the base of the dress was created to resemble the lotus flower, a symbol for purity as it grows out of murky water. Here, Pei showcases traditional Chinese culture in a modern, Western style ballgown. With the merger of the East and the West, this show explores the connections between these two cultures and the influences China has on Western designers. This blockbuster show received such high praise from viewers that it was extended by two weeks and became one of the most visited exhibitions in Met history.

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