It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
The debate about what does and does not constitute Art rages—although quite politely—at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. One would imagine that anything within the Met's revered galleries and extensive collections would receive the benefit of the doubt in regards to its stature as Art. Even so, there's still a battle over the status of fashion among the museum's curators and people involved in the fashion world.
The Met's Costume Institute is housed in the museum's lowest level, meaning that its collection is physically and, hence, figuratively seen as occupying the basement of Art. Some designers assume they're creating art, and others believe the notion of fashion designers being seen as or, worse, calling themselves artists is "boring" or egotistical.
After a slow-motion montage of celebrities in designer fashions on a red carpet, director Andrew Rossi's "The First Monday in May" addresses the debate about fashion's status as Art in the documentary's opening scenes. The movie's conclusion is: of course, fashion is Art, or at least that's what we're apparently expected to garner from the montage of intricately, ornately designed pieces from famous designers of the contemporary and modern eras.
Later, Rossi returns to the dispute in a bit more detail (mostly by juxtaposing interviews with fashion designers who are of opposing opinions on the subject), but by that point, it doesn't matter. The movie has answered the question for itself, and it has moved on to its real purpose: to offer an inside look at the creation of the Costume Institute's 2015 exhibit about fashions inspired by Chinese culture. Such exhibitions have become major public events, thanks to the star-attended gala on the day of the title that marks a Met fashion exhibit's opening. It's such an event that the date of the party joins Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day as the only four days on which the Met closes its doors to the general public.