New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is famed for its world-renowned Costume Institute and annual Met Gala celebrating the most extravagant designer creations. That sartorial spark doesn’t extend to its visitors, however.
Eliza Vincz told NJ.com that she was asked to leave the museum on Feb. 24 because she was wearing an elaborate 18th-century-style costume. Vincz was wearing the costume to keep with the theme of her presentation for a private Shady Ladies Fashion and Beauty Tour, which “uncovers the sexy secrets of history and art,” according to its website.
The 26-year-old New Jersey resident was prepping for her talk when she was approached by a security guard who told her she couldn’t be in the museum in costume. She claims that the guard also accused her of stealing the outfit, described as a blue taffeta 18th-century handcrafted robe à la française similar to the costume below, from the Costume Institute.
“I was furious and I was embarrassed, ” Vincz told NJ.com of the experience. “I felt like a criminal in the one place where I get a lot of the inspiration for my clothing. It hurt — it hurt terribly.”
“It was the best kind of worst compliment you can get,” she added. “I was so authentic that [the guard] actually thought I had stolen it.”
Vincz was able to give her tour presentation in the Met’s lobby but was then escorted out by a second guard.
She said that as a frequent Met visitor she felt “betrayed” by the experience.
According to a statement issued by the Met, the museum doesn’t have a dress code but stands by its security staff’s efforts to keep the space safe.
“The Met doesn’t have a dress code, but there are guidelines for what visitors can bring in and what activities are allowed in the galleries, and the museum’s security officers are also there to ensure that anyone entering the building isn’t going to unnecessarily disturb fellow visitors or put the art at risk,” a museum spokeswoman said in a statement to NJ.com.
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