Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Nov
3
to Mar 18

Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

From the Jewish Museum:

Clothing is intended to cover our bodies, but it also uncovers. To what extent is our choice of dress freely made, and how do our surroundings affect our decisions? The variety of costumes displayed in this exhibition attests to the diversity of Jewish communities around the globe. In many cases, the clothes worn by Jews were similar or even identical to those worn by non-Jewish neighbors, although at times special features distinguished them from the dominant culture.

This exhibition invites viewers to consider the language of clothing in all its complexity. Though this language can disclose information about gender, age, background, and custom, some important meanings remain vague and fluid. Clothing may accentuate or conceal; it may be transitory, but it may also be ageless and universal. These garments, dating primarily to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are drawn from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the repository of the most comprehensive collection of Jewish costume in the world. Its holdings provide a unique testimony to bygone communities, to forms of dress and craft that no longer exist, and to a sense of beauty that still has the power to enthrall.

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Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip
Nov
22
to Mar 17

Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip

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From the Museum of the City of New York:

The world of fashion was turned on its head in the 1960s, as its traditions were challenged, rejected, and reimagined for the restless next generation. Beginning with the introduction of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as a new American style icon and evolving over the course of the decade, fashions of the 1960s were legendary for their energy, their ingenuity, and their enduring appeal. Their influence was far-reaching—many of the era’s defining styles have been invoked by new generations of designers. Yet the scope of the decade’s trends far exceeds its iconic miniskirt, color-block dress, or bohemian spirit. Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip explores the full arc of 1960s fashion, shedding new light on a period marked by tremendous and daring stylistic diversity.

Featuring more than 70 garments drawn primarily from the Museum’s Costume Collection, the exhibition traces the dramatic transformation in clothing between 1960 and 1973, not only in length and silhouette, but also in materials and methods of textile manufacture. Works by designers as diverse as Mary Quant, Geoffrey Beene, and Pauline Trigère illuminate the communicative powers of fashion in the ’60s—reflecting cultural trends from Beatlemania to Pop and Op Art to infatuation with the “space race,” and social changes like the women’s liberation movement and the radicalism of the counterculture and antiwar movements. Also on display are fine and costume jewelry, shoes, handbags, design renderings, and photographs that capture the spirit of a creative and confrontational era.

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The Body: Fashion & Physique
Dec
5
to May 5

The Body: Fashion & Physique

From MFIT:

Fashion is inextricably linked to the physical form of the wearer. The cut of a garment draws the eye to zones of the body, simultaneously accentuating and concealing in order to achieve a desired silhouette. Elaborate undergarments, diet regimens, exercise routines, and even plastic surgery have all been promoted as necessary tools for attaining the ideal fashion shape. However, the idealized fashionable body is a cultural construct. Over the last 250 years, full hips, narrow hips, feminine waists, and boyish frames have each, at different times, been hailed as the pinnacle of beauty. According to a Vogue article from 1950, “A ‘figure’…is considered good or bad only as related to clothing generally, and current fashions specifically.” The Body: Fashion and Physique will explore the complex history of the “perfect” body in fashion.

This exhibition will also examine the broader relationship between the fashion industry and body politics from the nineteenth century to the present. 50 objects from the collection of The Museum at FIT will be on view, alongside clippings, photographs, and videos from the popular press. The Body: Fashion and Physique will elucidate the impact the fashion industry has had on how people have viewed and treated their bodies throughout history. It will also consider how fashion has contributed to the marginalization of certain body types within our culture.

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Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
May
10
to Oct 8

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

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From The Met:

The Costume Institute's spring 2018 exhibition—at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters—will feature a dialogue between fashion and religious artworks from The Met collection to examine the relationship between creativity and the religious imagination.

Serving as the cornerstone of the exhibition, papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside The Vatican, will be on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Fashions from the early 20th century to the present will be shown in The Met's Medieval and Byzantine galleries and at The Met Cloisters alongside religious artworks, to provide an interpretative context for fashion's engagement with Catholicism.

 

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Fashion Unraveled
May
29
to Nov 17

Fashion Unraveled

From MFIT:

Fashion Unraveled will examine the concepts of imperfection and incompletion in fashion. Garments that are altered, unfinished, or deconstructed, in addition to clothing that shows signs of wear, will highlight the aberrant beauty in flawed objects. Unless such imperfections are intentional—as they are in the case of deconstructed fashion—these garments are often overlooked in museum collections. This exhibition will include a selection of objects from the museum’s permanent collection, highlighting objects that are not only visually compelling, but that may also tell intriguing stories about their makers and/or wearers.

It is only in recent years that imperfect or inauthentic objects have been given greater consideration, as interest in their “biographies” has grown. Signs of repeated wear, shortened hemlines, and careful mends can be found even on haute couture garments, and they highlight the lasting economic and emotional worth of many clothes within museum collections. These findings – which are often unseen and unknown by museum visitors – challenge the concept of fashion as a strictly ephemeral, disposable commodity. Fashion Unraveled will also reveal how the appearance of aged clothing, with its flaws and signs of decay, has been embraced by many designers as an aesthetic choice, furthering the reconstruction of notions about beauty and value in fashion.

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Frida Kahlo's Wardrobe
Jun
16
to Nov 18

Frida Kahlo's Wardrobe

From the V&A:

This exhibition will present an extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico.

Exploring the development of Kahlo's style as an amalgam of traditional Mexican garments, this exhibition will present her fashions from Europe and beyond, and demonstrate how her wardrobe was expressive of the complex relationship between her Mexican and Western heritage

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Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color
Sep
7
to Jan 5

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color

From MFIT:

Pink is popularly associated with little girls, ballerinas, Barbie dolls, and all things feminine. Yet the symbolism and significance of pink have varied greatly across time and space. The stereotype of pink-for-girls versus blue-for-boys may be ubiquitous today, but it only gained traction in the mid-twentieth century. In the eighteenth century, when Madame de Pompadour helped make pink fashionable at the French court, it was perfectly appropriate for a man to wear a pink suit, just as a woman might wear a pink dress. In cultures such as India, men never stopped wearing pink.

Yet anyone studying pink comes up against “the color’s inherent ambivalence.” One of “the most divisive of colors,” pink provokes strong feelings of both “attraction and repulsion.”  “Please sisters, back away from the pink,” wrote one journalist, responding to the pink pussy hats worn at the Women’s March. Some people think pink is pretty, sweet, and romantic, while others associate it with childish frivolity or flamboyant vulgarity. In recent years, however, pink increasingly has been interpreted as cool, androgynous, and political. “Why would anyone pick blue over pink?” mused the rapper Kanye West. “Pink is obviously a better color.” In the words of i-D magazine, pink is “punk, pretty, and powerful.”

Curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color will explore the changing significance of the color pink over the past three centuries. 

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T-Shirt: Cult, Culture, Subversion
Jan
9
7:30 AM07:30

T-Shirt: Cult, Culture, Subversion

From the Fashion & Textile Museum:

Collating for the first time some of the most recognisable and wearable designs of the last century, T-Shirt: Cult - Culture - Subversion provides a unique insight into the historical and cultural influence of the most ubiquitous, affordable and popular garment of the last 100 years.

Since its earliest incarnation at the start of the 20th Century, the t-shirt has served as a means to broadcast social, musical and political passions, most recently becoming a creative tool for expressing innovative design. T-Shirt: Cult - Culture - Subversion explores each of these embodiments of this everyday item, featuring significant pieces from the archives of artists, designers and collectors. 

Spanning over 50 years and featuring over 100 rare and ground-breaking examples, the exhibition includes some of the most valuable examples in the world. Highlights include rare surviving pieces from the 1970s, by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, era-defining designs from the archives of Katharine Hamnett and contemporary reimaginings from Dior, Moschino and Henry Holland.

Today the t-shirt continues to be recreated with the advent of each new technology and political message, remaining an advert for social change, a canvas for artistic expression and a defining element of costume for almost every trend and subculture imaginable. T-shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion is curated to inspire dialogue, to encourage new ways of seeing and to empower us to reinterpret the messages of popular culture, all via this most diverse, enduring and crowd pleasing garment.

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Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Style of Her Own
Oct
20
to Jan 21

Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Style of Her Own

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From the Fashion & Textile Museum:

Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895–1989) is one of the most important women photographers of the 20th century. Her work in the thirties, forties and fifties brought an informal and contemporary approach to fashion that had enormous influence on Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and the other great photographers who followed. A uniquely American artist, this is the first major survey of her work in the UK and is timed to coincide with a resurgence of interest in female photographers. The exhibition features over 100 photographs spanning three decades, from 1931 to 1959, and presents the work of couture designers Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior, as well as American fashion innovators Claire McCardell and Clare Potter. 

The exhibition will also present a significant body of portraiture by Dahl-Wolfe. These portraits capture literary figures such as W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Jean Cocteau, Edith Sitwell, Colette and Carson McCullers. She also documented fashion designers; and a major portfolio of Hollywood stars from Bette Davis, Orson Welles and Vivien Leigh in the 1930s to James Cagney and Veronica Lake in the 1940s.

A key focus of the exhibition is Dahl-Wolfe’s 22 years as the leading contributor to Harper’s Bazaar, from 1936 to 1958, working with editor Carmel Snow, legendary fashion director Diana Vreeland and the designer Alexey Brodovitch. ‘From the moment I saw her first colour photographs, I knew Bazaar was at last going to look the way I had instinctively wanted,’ declared editor Carmel Snow. 

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Items: Is Fashion Modern?
Oct
1
to Jan 28

Items: Is Fashion Modern?

From MoMA:

Items: Is Fashion Modern? explores the present, past—and sometimes the future—of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today. Among them are pieces as well-known and transformative as the Levi’s 501s, the Breton shirt, and the Little Black Dress, and as ancient and culturally charged as the sari, the pearl necklace, the kippah, and the keffiyeh. Items will also invite some designers, engineers, and manufacturers to respond to some of these indispensable items with pioneering materials, approaches, and techniques—extending this conversation into the near and distant futures, and connecting the history of these garments with their present recombination and use. Driven first and foremost by objects, not designers, the exhibition considers the many relationships between fashion and functionality, culture, aesthetics, politics, labor, identity, economy, and technology.

 

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Worn: Footwear, attachment and affective experience
Sep
29
to Jan 27

Worn: Footwear, attachment and affective experience

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This exhibition explores our relationship with and attachment to shoes. Focusing upon the shoe as an everyday object, it explores the ways that the worn shoe may act upon us, examining how garments and people may become entwined. It suggests that our particular attachment to footwear is located in our intimate and tactile relationship to it; that attachment is created through touch and wear. Through use and wear shoes become, both a record of the wearer’s lived experience, and also an extended part of themselves - a distributed aspect of the self.

The manifestations of this attachment are apparent in the ways that a garment wears: the creases, folds and scuffs, which are the inevitable outcomes of use.  Gesture is preserved within the garment – even when our bodies are gone traces of motion remain. These marks form a web, a map of experience. The worn garment is a repository of experience, a container of trace.

Through an iterative process of making, wearing, and recording, these works make apparent the intimacies of our relationship with shoes.  Rather than record the narratives which we apply to footwear, they highlight the material traces of the relationships embodied within the artefacts themselves. The shoes here are not footwear in a conventional sense but are, instead, objects designed to amplify and make explicit their role as records of gesture and experience.  These empty shoes are records of an absent performances, of gestures which are lost to the viewer so that only their traces, the marks upon the shoe, remain.

Ellen Sampson is an artist, writer and curator. Using film, photography and installation, her work explores the relationships between bodily experience, memory and artefacts.  She addresses the  ways that material objects can become records of lived experience and how these traces of these experiences can be read or understood by the viewer. Exploring the resonance of worn and used artefacts, she seeks to uncover how attachment is produced and maintained - the way that an object which is worn or held close to the body can become incorporated into the self. 

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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
May
27
to Feb 18

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

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From the V&A:

This exhibition examines the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition.

Image credit, Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, 1968, Paris, France. Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos.

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