Making Mainbocher: Main Rousseau Bocher
Aug 20

Making Mainbocher: Main Rousseau Bocher

  • Chicago History Museum

From the Chicago History Museum:

The Chicago History Museum explores the life and legacy of an enterprising Chicagoan who rose to the heights of the fashion world in its newest costume exhibition, “Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier,” opening Saturday, October 22.

The exhibition features nearly 30 garments from the Museum’s permanent collection. Enhanced by fashion illustrations, photography, oral histories and video, the ensembles reveal the story of a remarkable man and his journey to become the first American working as a couturier in Paris.

“By examining the steps taken by Main Bocher to achieve great success as a couturier, this exhibition introduces visitors to the extraordinary career of Main Bocher and invites them to get know him as an arbiter of early- to mid-twentieth-century style,” said Petra Slinkard, curator of costume, “This exhibition is the first of its kind, dedicated to the study and presentation of the work of Mainbocher.” 

Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum.

Black Fashion Designers
May 16

Black Fashion Designers

  • Fashion & Textile History Gallery at FIT

From The Museum at FIT

Black Fashion Designers examines the significant, but often unrecognized, impact that designers of African descent have had on fashion. The exhibition features approximately 75 fashions by more than 60 designers. Although there have been exhibitions on individual black designers, this is the first major exhibition in many years that highlights the global history of black fashion designers from the 1950s to the present. All of the objects on display are part of the permanent collection of The Museum at FIT.

Black Fashion Designers is organized by Ariele Elia, assistant curator of Costume and Textiles, and Elizabeth Way, curatorial assistant, at The Museum at FIT. The curators were supported by an advisory committee of scholars and fashion professionals, some of whom are participating in the exhibition’s symposium, audio tour, and Fashion Culture program series.

Black Fashion Designers Symposium and Educational Initiatives

The Museum at FIT will host a one-day symposium on February 6, 2017, featuring talks by designers, models, journalists, and scholars on African diasporic culture and fashion. A provisional list of speakers for the symposium and Spring 2017 Fashion Culture program series includes writer Teri Agins, stylist June Ambrose, journalist and photographer Dario Calmese, Professor Alphonso McClendon, designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie et Ochs, Dapper Dan of Harlem, designer Grace Wales Bonner, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Robin Givhan, former model and founder of The Diversity Coalition Bethann Hardison, Professor Monica Miller, designer Mimi Plange, Professor Eric Darnell Pritchard, Professor Elena Romero, Professor Victoria Rovine, costume designer Jeriana San Juan, and model Veronica Webb.

Image courtesy The Museum at FIT.

Native Fashion Now
Sep 4

Native Fashion Now

  • The National Museum of the American Indian–New York

From the National Museum of the American Indian

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, Native Fashion Nowcelebrates the visual range, creative expression, and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 70 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to maverick designers making their mark in today's world of fashion.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories, and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, this exhibition features designers who traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expression and cultural borrowing. From one of Patricia Michaels' (Taos Pueblo) finale ensembles from the reality television series Project Runway to Jamie Okuma's (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) dramatically beaded Christian Louboutin boots, and innovative works made from Mylar, vinyl, and stainless steel, Native Fashion Now underscores Native concepts of dress and beauty, which are inextricably bound to identity and tradition in a rapidly changing world.

Image: Orlando Dugi (Diné [Navajo]) and Troy Sice (Zuni), The Guardian—Bringer of Thunder, Lightning and Rain handbag, 2013. Courtesy the National Museum of the American Indian.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern
Jul 23

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

  • The Brooklyn Museum

From the Brooklyn Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona—including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O'Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.

The exhibition is organized in sections that run from her early years, when O’Keeffe crafted a signature style of dress that dispensed with ornamentation; to her years in New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress; and to her later years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colors of the Southwestern landscape. The final section explores the enormous role photography played in the artist’s reinvention of herself in the Southwest, when a younger generation of photographers visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

Advance timed tickets go on sale January 24, 2017.

Image courtesy the Brooklyn Museum.


Sara Berman's Closet
Sep 5

Sara Berman's Closet

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The meticulously organized, modest closet in which Sara Berman (1920–2004)—an immigrant who traveled from Belarus to Palestine to New York—kept her all-white apparel and accessories both contained her life and revealed it. Inspired by the beauty and meaning of Berman's closet, the artists Maira and Alex Kalman (who are also Berman's daughter and grandson) have recreated the closet and its contents as an art installation.

This exhibition will represent Berman's life from 1982 to 2004, when she lived by herself in a small apartment in Greenwich Village. In her closet Berman lovingly organized her shoes, clothes, linens, beauty products, luggage, and other necessities. Although the clothing is of various tints—including cream, ivory, and ecru—it gives the impression of being all white.

With its neatly arranged stacks of starched and precisely folded clothing, the closet will be presented as a small period room in dialogue with The Met's recently installed Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room from 1882, which will feature clothing from the 1880s of the type that Arabella Worsham, a wealthy art patroness, might have worn. Despite vast differences of scale and ornament, and the separation of 100 years, the two rooms show there were similarities between the life stories of Berman and Worsham (c. 1850–1924). Both began as women of limited means who, by their own ingenuity, created new lives for themselves in New York City.

Image: Sara Berman, age 74 in Rome, Italy. Courtesy the Met's exhibition catalogue, Sara Berman's Closet.

Margiela – The Hermès Years
Aug 27

Margiela – The Hermès Years

  • Mode Museum

From the Mode Museum

From 31 March 2017 to 27 August 2017, MoMu is displaying Belgian stylist Martin Margiela’s Hermès collections from 1997 to 2003 for the first time. As well as this, the tribute exhibition also explores the relationship during these years between these collections and his own label, Maison Martin Margiela. Groundbreaking deconstruction and timeless luxury – the two worlds of designer Martin Margiela – are the starting point of the exhibition ‘‘Margiela – The Hermès Years’’.

Tickets to this exhibition can be purchased here

Image (courtesy MoMu): HERMÈS “Losanges” Spring/Summer 2003 - photo Nathaniel Goldberg | MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA Spring/Summer 1989 - photo Raf Coolen - graphic design Jelle Jespers


fashion after Fashion
Aug 6

fashion after Fashion

  • Museum of Arts and Design

From the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY):

In 2015, fashion trend forecaster and authority Li Edelkoort declared “the end of Fashion as we know it,” and in her “manifesto for the next decade” provided “ten reasons why the fashion system is obsolete.” In doing so, she echoed a sentiment shared by fashion industry insiders, journalists, pundits, and scholars alike—from reporter Teri Agins, author of the 2000 book The End of Fashion, to fashion theorist Barbara Vinken, who coined the term “postfashion” to describe the contemporary zeitgeist. As the world of fashion continues to evolve, the term “fashion” itself demands redefinition. fashion after Fashion takes up this call, seeking a new understanding of fashion that accommodates a wider range of practices and ideologies. 

The exhibition presents the work of six designer teams who are thinking—and making us think—about fashion anew. Featuring some of the most innovative work being produced in the context of contemporary fashion, fashion after Fashion focuses on commissioned, site-sensitive installations to offer an experience that is as immersive and affective as it is mentally stimulating. It presents fashion as an expanded field of practice that is determined by concept and context, and whose practitioners work collaboratively and creatively between and across areas of design and art. 

fashion after Fashion is co-curated by Hazel Clark and Ilari Laamanen in collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, with support from MAD’s Assistant Curator Barbara Paris Gifford and Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.

Image courtesy MAD Museum.

Uncommon Threads: Clothing & Textiles from the YU Museum Collection
Apr 29

Uncommon Threads: Clothing & Textiles from the YU Museum Collection

  • The Yeshiva University Museum

From the Yeshiva University Museum

Our ancestors used clothing and textiles to beautify their synagogues, their tables and themselves on Shabbat and holidays as well as important lifecycle events. Many of these were preserved and worn or used by several generations. More recently, Jews purchased special clothing and textiles to both to support Israel’s economy and to show their support for Israel by wearing or displaying them in their homes.

Highlights include a gold bracelet that belonged to the wife of the Hatam Sofer, a nineteenth century Ottoman velvet bridal dress, an Adele Simpson evening dress trimmed with fox fur, a 1753 Ashkenazic wimpel, and an early 19th century Alsatian Passover Seder show towel.

Image courtesy the Yeshiva University Museum.