Among the wares are paint-splattered blazers, tote bags, sweaters printed with poetry, and silk dresses, while neatly folded pants and socks are perched on shelves and makeshift tables, all available for purchase. Lew notes that having the retail component not only makes for an interactive experience but also helps keep the clothes alive, something the Met might want to keep in mind for next year’s Costume exhibit.
“We wanted it to be ‘fashion,’ yet have that tension, that questioning of what does it mean to have a retail space within an arts institution,” Eckhaus explains to me. “That felt essential, having the clothes be shop-able, consumable and accessible.” Indeed, it was all those things.
But don’t get too distracted by the shopping— there ’s plenty of incredible art to see. A Susan Cianciolo dressing curtain allows for privacy when trying on the space’s apparel offerings, while a trippy Annabeth Marks painting hangs proudly near a mirror (also by Cianciolo). Not to mention, the floor is littered with mix-and-match rugs by Sophie Stone, a table structure by Martine Syms, kiddie chairs courtesy of Nora Jane Slade, and a blowing plastic fan adorned with photographs, concocted by Jessi Reaves in a far-off corner.