ROCK'N' ROLL to be theme of Metropolitan Museum´s December costume institute exhibition

Tommy Hilfiger on video about the exhibition



The Costume Institute

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland will spotlight classic rock-'n'-roll performers and their peruasive influence on fashion in the exhibition tentatively titled Icons of Rock Style, to be launched at the Metropolitan Museum from December 9, 1999, through March 19, 2000. A selection of 15 to 20 major rock artists who have influenced style from the 1950s to the present will be represented by fashions from the collections of The Costume Institute and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as by loans. This year's Costume Institute Benefit -- the black-tie dinner and dance known as the "Party of the Year" -- will take place on December 6, launching the exhibition with a celebration of rock-'n'-roll music and style. Tommy Hilfiger, Honorary Chairman and Principal Designer, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of hogue, and Aerin Lauder, Director of Creative Product Development at Estee Lauder U.S.A. and Canada, will serve as co-chairs of the benefit.

The exhibition, its accompanying publication, and the benefit for The Costume Institute are made possible by Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. Additional support has been provided by Conde Nast and The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

The exhibition has been organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, where it will be on view from May 12 through September 10, 2000. A third venue for the exhibition -- at the Barbican Centre in London -- will follow.

Philippe de Montebello, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commented: "The Metropolitan Museum's collections and exhibitions -- representing the sheer breadth of the past 5,000 years of world art -- have embraced the study and presentation of fashion history through The Costume Institute. This December's exhibition takes on one of the most recent -- but, without doubt, also one of the most powerful -- influences on 20th-century culture and style, demonstrating once again that fashion remains a living art and that The Costume Institute continues to honor both the best of our history and the most expressive of contemporary culture."

"Rock 'n' roll and the artists behind the music have had a significant impact on fashion and style throughout Rock history," said Tommy Hilfiger. "Their innovative, and at times, daring clothing, has broken ground in style, evolved fashion trends, and made them image icons recognized around the world. These past and present icons, with their genius in music and creativity in fashion, have always inspired me. I am very honored to be part of this unique and exciting exhibition and to be co-chairing the 'Party of the Year' with Anna Wintour and Aerin Lauder. I hope that together we can make this year's gala one of the most successful and memorable to date."

"From hairstyles to mannerisms to clothing, the style and fashions of rock and roll artists have often been the cutting edge off which popular fashion and culture have grown," said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Terry Stewart. "We believe that this unique exhibition will provide tangible contexts in which to explore that relationship. We are thrilled to work with the Metropolitan Museum to bring this profound contribution to 20th-century culture to our respective venues."

The exhibition is being organized by Richard Martin, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum; and James D. Henke, Vice President of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs, and Ileen Gallagher, consultant, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. According to Richard Martin: "It would be diffcult to overestimate the influence of rock on late-20th-century style. More than movies and/or the fashion industry, rock has been a dynamic force in visual style. Every generation of rock history has commanded visual image as much as sound." He continued, "Twenty-five years ago, in 1974, The Costume Institute presented the exhibition Hollywood Design. That memorable exhibition, often described as the most popular in The Costume Institute's history, testified to the great influence of popular film on fashion and fashion's role in film. We would be remiss to end the century with that witness alone, for today rock has supplanted film to become the great interlocutor with fashion in the vivid visual contest of contemporary living."