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August 23 2014

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Red, White, And Beautiful

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Come tomorrow, the Museum at FIT will become a construction site of sorts when American Beauty—an exhibition that focuses on technical innovation and composition as benchmarks of sartorial greatness—opens. “Our best designers have been and continue to be those who utilize construction as a vehicle to achieve their aesthetic vision,” says Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at FIT and curator. She’s out to show that modern American fashion is far more sophisticated than blue jeans and sportswear, and mixed among the work of hall of famers like Claire McCardell (above right), Halston, and Pauline Trigère will be that of some new recruits to the art of dressmaking, like Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy (above left) and Jean Yu. “Anyone, and I mean anyone, can call himself or herself a designer,” Mears remarks. “I wanted to challenge that term and make a point that the best and most innovative fashion comes from those who have a strong technical knowledge of clothing construction.”

Photos: William Palmer (Rodarte); Irving Solero (Claire McCardell) / Courtesy of The Museum at FIT

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Dept. of Culture