The Costume Institute’s 2020 exhibition About Time, Fashion and duration traces a century and a half of fashion—from 1870 to the present—along a disruptive timeline, on the occasion of The Met’s 150th anniversary. Employing Henri Bergson’s concept of “la durée” (duration), it explores how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present, and future. The timeline unfolds in two adjacent galleries fabricated as enormous clock faces and organized around the principle of 60 minutes of fashion. Each “minute” features a pair of garments, with the primary work representing the linear nature of fashion and the secondary work its cyclical character.
The exhibition identity is drawn from the classic clock face typography. The Met used the typeface Benton Modern Display Condensed designed by Dyana Weissman and Richard Lipton. Not only the typeface embodies the classic clock-like look but it also says contemporary fashion. Captions use Union by Radim Peško. Paired with the exhibition design by Es Devlin, the identity feels classic yet contemporary.