NEW YORK — Even on the cusp of World War II, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their ever-glamorous troupe knew how to have a good time. Testimony to that is found in "Blithe Spirit: The Windsor Set," an exhibition that debuts Friday and toasts café society at The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here.

Merriment isn’t generally associated with the period between 1935 and 1940, but the show’s 80 elegant and extravagant pieces challenge that. The period is depicted by couture pieces from the likes of Chanel, Lanvin, Vionnet and Schiaparelli. Paintings of the times include Dali, Berard and Cocteau, and Horst, Beaton, Man Ray and Hoyningen-Huene cover photography. Jansen and Emilio Terry represent furniture. Combined, they chronicle some of the higher times shared by the Windsors, Lady Mendl, who decorated Henry Clay Frick’s mansion, and various baronesses and countesses.

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