The First Monday in May – Film

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The First Monday in May is a documentary film around the making of The Met Gala ball, but it’s so much more than that.  It’s a virtual feast of exquisite fashion curated by the genius of Andrew Bolton of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This film is a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of how The Met’s most attended fashion exhibition in history, “China: Through the Looking Glass” was created as well as the purpose and glamour of the annual Met Ball which funds the Costume Institute’s annual budget.  Each year The Met Ball launches the spring fashion exhibition (so if you’re in New York in May-August please to go and see the Costume Institute’s latest exhibition as it’s sure to be amazing).

Along with Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour who is Chair of the ball and in this film you see why she is such a formidable force in the fashion industry as well as her lighter side, you are introduced to the politics of curation and fashion and thoughts about fashion as art.

Interviews with designers Galliano, Gaultier and Largerfeld along with film makers Wong Kar-Wei and Baz Lurhmann give insight into fashion designers creative processes as well as the creative process of the gala event.

Fashion has only recently been accepted as an art worthy of being displayed in a museum and this exhibition explores some of the reasons for this.

When you hear the gasps of awe in the cinema by other patrons when truly exquisitely inspiring couture is unpacked and unveiled to be included in the exhibition there is not doubt that fashion is art.

Rihanna in Guo Pei at The Met Ball: The First Monday in May movie
Rihanna arriving at The Met Ball in Chinese designer Guo Pei dress which took 2 years to make

Andrew Bolton knew as a child that his dream job would be a curator at the Fashion Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it’s a wonderful “rags to riches” tale as we discover he is from a small Lancashire UK village and his career dreams really have come true. For me, Andrew and his insight are the start of this movie.

The sumptuous haute couture which is displayed in the exhibition and worn at The Met Ball is truly stunning. What I love about fashion and is that it enables all of us to be artists, not just the designers of the garments.

The designer expresses their artistic vision through the garments they create.

You can then be an artist in the way you choose to put outfits together which is beautifully expressed in this recent blog post by Lisa White.

The First Monday in May is a fascinating and visually beautiful film which captures the creativity and passion behind the exhibition and gala. Highly recommended!

The film opens in Australia on 12 May 2016 (Check out times at Palace Cinemas for previews) and is already showing in the USA (check your local directories for release dates).

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2 Comments

  • I saw the movie on Friday after hearing about it from Imogen. INCREDIBLE! Art, history, and storytelling merge to give the world a vision of what style is and what it hopes to achieve. It is a story about a curated exhibit of the collective genius throughout time and history. Loved every minute!

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