Thursday, May 16, 2013

Andrew Bolton

"Fashion, like the superhero, celebrates metamorphosis, providing unlimited opportunities to remake and reshape the flesh and the self.  It offers entrance into another world….the freedom to fantasize to escape the banal." ~Andrew Bolton

Where do I begin….Andrew Bolton is a genius.  Now a celebrated and renowned curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Costume Institute, his most recent triumph being 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture,' which open from now until August.  The exhibit displays how the era of punk has left it's mark on the world, and on fashion.  Obviously, this is not Bolton's first brush with fame.

Alexander Mcqueen: Savage Beauty came out in 2011.  It was Mr. Bolton's first curation at the Met.  Having seen it first hand, you get a sense that Andrew wants you to physically feel what the designer felt when thinking up and designing those pieces.  Every room has a theme; every theme a feeling.  Each of these feelings stay with you when walking through each room.  Whether it's wind blowing through your hair or growls coming through the wall, you will absolutely feel. "Every time I went past that long queue, it broke my heart because I knew McQueen would be so happy to see it."

Andrew Bolton grew up in Great Britain, he became the curator of Contemporary Chinese Art for the Victoria & Albert museum in London.  From there he went on to create a Fashion in Motion event featuring Jimmy Choo and Vivienne Tam.  He would eventually transform many other exhibits in to works of art.  Those of which would have books written about them, about him. 
(Books: The Supermodern Wardrobe, Sole Satisfaction and Men in Skirts.)

Until he started his employment, The Costume Institute was held in the bottom floor of the Met for over thirty years.  It was kept and used mostly to reference from and for "society matrons" mainly to raise money to keep the museum open.  Andrew chooses to find as much as he can, personal and otherwise about the designer whose work he's showing to be sure that the patrons can fully grasp what they're seeing, touching at least four out of the five senses.  

When it came to curating 'PUNK' he really had to do his homework.  When that generation came around, he was too young to foresee the affect it would have on fashion and music for decades to come.    "In small towns punk was very much about customization, going to thrift stores and army-surplus stores and mixing things together."  He turns every exhibit in to a full days experience; you wait in line with anxious anticipation, dying to see what all the fuss is about, only to leave you talking about it for the rest of the afternoon, if not longer.  

As a guest, you take on so many emotions one would never expect to feel from any inanimate object.  It will leave you breathless and wanting more, which I could never have thought would happen just by walking through the halls of any museum. It feels as though these pieces are walking in front of you, like an actual show, as opposed to you ogling at every single detail wondering what the designer was thinking at that precise moment when they decided to create such a masterpiece.  Do yourself a favor and check out his latest piece, 'Punk: Chaos to Couture' right now, at least once.  It will be one of the best things you ever did.

"If you're going to treat fashion as art, treat it as art……." ~ Andrew Bolton