Manus x Machina: A Dream Come True
I suppose I should have paid.
Suggested admission is $12 for students...but when you're given the option, who in their right mind chooses to fork over their money? Especially a starving college student?
I look around me, trying not to notice that I am the only one without a little sticker attached to my shirt that says: "MET." The guards and museum docents arranged sporadically around the displays are eyeing me; I feel like there's a red lightbulb above my head or something. I am Satan, the girl who did not pay to get into the Met Museum (I also cut the entrance line. This is easy to do when you're small and quiet, but don't try it at home).
In retrospect, I really should have paid.
But in my defense, I didn't even have enough money for a proper lunch. How could I have had money to throw at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts? For some reason, I imagine they're already pretty well off without my dough.
I stumble through the throng of tourists speaking a slur of languages to each other, impatiently pushing my way through to get to the only exhibit I care about.
"Sir, where's the costume exhibit located?" I ask in my syrupy sweet child's voice, reserved for times when I need to get directions to a place I basically barreled my way into.
"Behind the big staircase; go straight and you'll see it," he says with a jaded smile--the smile of an employee who has dealt with one too many tourists and has stood idly by while his job crushed his soul.
"Thanks," I murmur, pushing through an Asian family with a ridiculous amount of cameras and shooting in the direction he pointed me to.
I'm power-walking through the crowd, starting to feel a little claustrophobic and getting anxious as a result. I unreasonably glare at the people surrounding me, blaming them for my pain. I'm so hungry I feel like my wrists and ankles are going to snap and I'm being herded like cattle through an exhibit on Ancient Egyptian plates or something--I begin to wonder if this fashion exhibit is even worth it. I debate turning around and leaving. Maybe I'll just tell people I went and it wasn't a big deal. That could work, I irrationally think to myself, already dreaming about diving face first into a hot plate of food from somewhere, anywhere. It's at this moment I run face first into Manus x Machina, this year's costume exhibit--an exhibit entirely dedicated to the marriage between fashion and technological design.
My jaw drops open and all feelings of hunger disintegrate. I'm immediately knocked on my ass (not literally, thank God) by the wonder, the meticulousness, the fascinating art form that is couture. My eyes begin to water as I drink in the displays one by one, whispering to my childhood self, You're finally here.
(House of Chanel)
See, when you're a little girl growing up in a small town in Southern California and you're obsessed with fashion, the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Exhibit is like a faraway fantasy. It's a dream, something I always promised myself I would one day see.
As I make my way through the small exhibit, ignoring the stupid comments of tourists ("What do you think of this one, Dave? Do you like it?" *Dave grunts*, "Can we go to the cafe?") and allowing my hunger to disintegrate (I'm fed, instead, by fashion), I practically pinch myself. I'm seeing the Costume Exhibit in person.
(Louis Vuitton, Proenza Schouler)
Ever since I was a child, I would rush to the nearest drug store a few weeks after the First Monday in May (the annual Met Gala, for those who don't know), to purchase Vogue's special edition coverage of the Gala itself. I promised myself two things: that one day I'd see it in person, and that one day I'd be invited to the Met Gala.