Perhaps in an effort to contend with America’s dark history of death and exploitation, the Met’s Costume Institute has released some of the most cursed promotional images of the year. This year’s exhibition, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” has rooms staged by great American directors. What these rooms lack, however, are mannequins that don’t make you want to claw your own eyes out. Nine directors — Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Regina King, Autumn de Wilde, Chloé Zhao, Janicza Bravo, Radha Blank, Julie Dash, and Tom Ford — were assigned rooms that vibed with their film work. “It invites the audience in,” Coppola told Vogue. “Hopefully you get lost in the moment of each space.” You could definitely get lost staring into the eyes of the fainting woman in de Wilde’s take on the Benkard Room.
— Vulture (@vulture) May 2, 2022
Below, we’ve collected the most … let’s say interesting images from this year’s Costume Institute exhibition.
The Baltimore Room, by Autumn de Wilde
This puppy looks like a little gentleman, which is important. However, the fact that he will never get his cherry, that he is frozen in the moment right before getting the treat he so richly deserves, is criminal. The unfairness of it all distracts the viewer from the uncanny ostrich neck of Sir Puppington’s owner.
The Shaker Retiring Room, by Chloé Zhao
It’s giving “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” Zhao decided to style the Shaker Retiring Room in golden hues and spooky Crucible-type shit. Her room has expressionless mannequins, as opposed to the highly expressive faces in de Wilde’s. It adds a layer of mystery to the room. Are the other women worried about their floating friend? Excited? They almost look bored. “Goody Prentiss is floating again. YAWN. Let me know when she can do something truly miraculous, like make me horny for my old, old, old husband.” If Dua Lipa doesn’t take a selfie next to her levitating forerunner, I’m suing.
Me watching the sex scene in Eternals.
The Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room, by Sofia Coppola
Coppola has made a dark-ride version of Great Expectations, and we should all be grateful. Which theme park has the stones to create this Miss Havisham illusion, in which she looks pretty in the mirror, only to turn around and have her wizened old mug scare a bunch of 5-year-olds? Years from now, the Met’s security guards will confirm that this mannequin could be heard whispering to itself late at night.
The Richmond Room, by Regina King
King’s Richmond Room display highlights the work of Black dressmakers, whose contributions to fashion were suppressed by the white population of Virginia. Very cool, very worthy of emphasizing. But why is that tray glowing? Is it to bring attention to domestic staff’s labor? Is it to give Shining vibes?
The Frank Lloyd Wright Room, by Martin Scorsese
These mannequins are cheating on each other. The man is seeing a Helen Henny animatronic character from Munch’s Make Believe Band, and the woman will soon be dating Pete Davidson.