Pearls are often considered the “Queen of Gems” and have been prized for thousands of years; the first historical mention is from China, some 2,300 years ago. Speaking of China, I just got to see “Through the Looking Glass,” a show-stopping exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The show is the culmination of a collaboration between The Costume Institute and The Department of Asian Art. Gorgeous gowns from many eras inspired by the designers’ fascination and inspiration of China’s artistic heritage. The clothing is beautifully displayed in the Asian Art Galleries alongside Chinese art and architecture. Shown above, a silk brocade dress by Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2006-2007.