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When The Garden Of Time Unfurled Red Carpet

When The Garden Of Time Unfurled Red Carpet

Where Haute Couture Mingled With Artistic Expression, There Lied A Hidden Garden—A Garden Not Of Soil And Petals, But Of Imagination And Time. Inspired By J.G. Ballard’s Enigmatic Short Story, Look How This Year’s Theme Transported To A Realm Where Blooms Intertwine With Eternity.

This year’s MET Gala, held at the Costume Institute within the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, revolved around a theme inspired by the corresponding exhibition. For 2024, the theme has been “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” which drew from a 1962 short story by English novelist J.G. Ballard. The MET Gala’s dress code, fittingly, is “The Garden of Time.”

J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Garden of Time” delves into the same dystopian modernity found in his longer works. The narrative revolves around Count Axel and his wife, who reside in a luxurious villa adorned with rare books, fine art, and exquisite decor. Their decadent life unfolds within the estate’s beautiful pool and garden. However, beyond the villa’s walls lies an empty landscape stretching as far as the eye can see.

When The Garden Of Time Unfurled Red Carpet


The turning point occurs when an unruly mob appears in the distance. Count Axel discovers that each time he cuts a flower from his garden, time reverses, and the brutish mass retreats. Unfortunately, it has been a long while since any plants bloomed, and the Count is left with no choice but to trim the very last of his flowers to fend off the approaching chaos. As their garden becomes barren, he and his wife meticulously stow away their cherished books, music, and other treasures, bracing for an abrupt end.

This vivid and thought-provoking short story serves as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of human history, creation, and destruction—a theme echoed in The MET’s “Sleeping Beauties” exhibition.



Given the obvious references to the natural world, attendees adorned themselves with taking plenty of haute couture inspo looks – floral motifs on the red carpet! Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring 2024 haute couture collection featured f lowers and long stems, paying homage to the theme. Other couture shows also served as inspiration: Valentino showcased outsize florals, while Giambattista Valli paraded more traditional, romantic blooms down the catwalk.

However, not all guests embraced the light and airy side of nature. Some ventured toward the darker end of the spectrum, embodying the sense of transience inherent in the theme. Additionally, some fashion-forward attendees delved into fashion archives, drawing inspiration from the macabre. Themes of death and decay, especially in relation to nature, found their place on the red carpet.

Have a look at how the Haute Couture anticipated the creativity and elegance that unfolded before our eyes!


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