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    On the 1962 short story that inspired this year’s Met Gala dress code.

    Emily Temple

    February 16, 2024, 11:01am

    Yep, Anna Wintour is being literary again.

    The 2024 Met Gala, this year co-chaired by Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, and Zendaya, along with Wintour, will be held at the museum this spring to celebrate an exhibition called “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” Said exhibition will not celebrate fairy tales so much as “clothing and fashion so fragile that it can’t ever be worn again—and are thus sleeping beauties in the scrupulous archives of the Costume Institute,” according to Vogue. (In this economy? being, as ever, the most futile of questions in the face of the Met Gala.)

    The dress code for the event is “The Garden of Time,” which was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of the same name, in which Count Axel and his wife live and listen to Mozart in a magnificent villa, surrounded by a garden of crystal flowers, as an angry and unruly army advances upon them. To keep the “approaching rabble” at bay, Axel must turn back time by plucking the flowers, one by one, until they are all gone, and there is no time left.

    Probably most guests will just wear florals, but hopefully some of them will embrace the theme of the inevitable doom of the aristocracy and/or the inability of money and beauty to stop our relentless march toward death!

    The story is available in The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard.

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