6 posts tagged "Museum at FIT"
When side by side, the words fashion and technology oft conjure images of barely wearable ensembles destined for Lady Gaga. But at the Museum at FIT’s latest exhibition, Fashion and Technology, which opened yesterday, co-curators Ariele Elia and Emma McClendon reveal that technology is a crucial part of our ordinary wares. Spanning 250 years of innovation, the show covers such everyday inventions as the washing machine, rayon, and the zipper. But that’s not to say it’s without sci-fi novelties. For instance, there are jazzy space race-era looks by the likes of Pierre Cardin and Emilio Pucci. Also on display are garments by André Courrèges, who, convinced that space would soon become a hot holiday destination, developed an entire intergalactic wardrobe, complete with a sleek PVC helmet and moon boots.
However, as Diane von Furstenberg notes in a video playing at the exhibition, “Things we thought would be sci-fi exist.” Case in point, von Furstenberg’s Spring ’13 collaboration with Google Glass. Of course, she’s not the only Internet-savvy designer. In 1996, Jean Paul Gaultier created a cyberspace-inspired jumpsuit (pictured above). And don’t even get us started on social media’s fashion influence. Remember the frenzy Burberry caused when it released its Spring ’12 collection on Twitter before it hit the runway?
Perhaps most high-tech is the exhibition’s tiny LilyPad Arduino circuit board, which, when sewn into clothing, is pretty much a wearable computer. “You first see things like wearable electronics in places like athletic wear and the military,” said McClendon, explaining that it’s only later that most designers realize tech-fashion’s artistic potential. A cutting-edge innovation that may take a little longer to catch on? Clothing “grown” from bacteria. Not sure if we’re ready for a “BioCouture” top just yet.
Fashion and Technology is on display at the Museum at FIT from December 4 to May 8.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi is headed back to London. After showing in New York for five years, the label’s co-founder Justin Thornton feels the time is right. “We originally left for New York because we wanted to expand the business and grow internationally,” he said. “Today, London is a very different fashion week to what it once was, and it’s a great place for us to show.” [WWD]
Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince of the Kills are looking back on ten years of touring. To mark the occasion, they have reinterpreted the Fleetwood Mac classic “Dreams” for their new album Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. Catch a decade of photos accompanied by the duo’s rendition of the song on Nowness.com today. [Nowness]
Care to see the results of Swedish electronic king Avicii’s collaboration with Denim and Supply? Ralph Lauren has finally released images of his first-ever ad campaign, which was shot in New York by Mark Seliger. Avicii is front-and-center showing off the collection’s earthy palette of flannel and leather. [Rolling Stone]
Valerie Steele is toasting gay fashion designers. The Museum at FIT director has announced plans for her latest exhibition, entitled Queer Style: From the Closet to the Catwalk, which will highlight gay designers and their influence on the industry. Dior, Saint Laurent, and Versace are just a few names on Steele’s list to be included in the showcase that is slated to open next year. [Vogue U.K.]
19-year-old Karlie Kloss has been having a banner year, and it just keeps getting better. The new Victoria’s Secret Angel landed the cover of Vogue Italia‘s December issue and stripped down to her birthday suit for Steven Klein’s editorial, called “Body by Kloss.” [Telegraph]
The past 50 years of the CFDA will be commemorated in an upcoming exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in February. The show will include work by historical CFDA members chosen by curators Patricia Mears and Fred Dennis. [Museum at FIT]
Elite Model Management is set to open a branch in Shanghai early next year. To kick things off, the agency is hosting 70 models from 70 different countries who are heading to Shangai next week to get ready for Elite’s 28th Model Look World Final competition on December 6. Some of the tutors at boot camp are Fei Fei Sun, Nyasha Matonhodze, and Natasa Vojnovic. [WWD]
Pringle of Scotland’s Alistair Carr has enlisted British artist Liam Gillick for a capsule collection of knitwear and accessories. LiamGillickForPringleOfScotland was unveiled yesterday at a Pringle pop-up shop at Art Basel in Miami. [Dazed Digital]
In Manhattan, where a walk-in closet is a covetable luxury, finding the space to house over 50,000 garments and accessories is no small feat. Over the course of several years, that’s exactly what the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has managed to do. Now, a hand-picked selection of looks are coming out of storage for two consecutive exhibitions, The Great Designers: Part One (opened yesterday) and Part Two, along with a pair of books to match (due out next year).
“For the general public it’s going to be the big names—Armani, Chanel, Dior—that are the attraction, but personally, I’m really excited about the opportunity it gave us to build out our contemporary collection,” Valerie Steele, the museum’s director and chief curator, said at the press preview of the Part One exhibition (co-curated by Jennifer Farley and Colleen Hill) this morning. Of the tomes, highlighting 500 looks by 100 designers from the twentieth century onward, Steele added, “I have wanted to do a book for the museum with Taschen for a long time, ever since they did a fantastic publication for the Kyoto Costume Institute.”
Both the exhibitions and books gave Steele a fun excuse to “shop”—two of the most exciting purchases are a black wool coat with delicate gold embroidery from Alexander McQueen’s Fall 1997 collection for Givenchy and a liquid silver Thierry Mugler mermaid dress from 1987. Part One features approximately 50 garments from several generations of designers. It was surprising to see how easily current looks by designers like Prada (a black and baby blue guipure lace and cotton frock from the memorable Fall 2008 collection) blended with early-twentieth-century pieces. The black Paul Poiret silk faille coat from 1908, trimmed with fine black and gold fringe that doubled for fur at a distance, is great for today’s pelt-wary. An Elsa Schiaparelli gown in black rayon, cut on the bias and with a swirling flower print, had an asymmetrical shoulder seen on many of the gowns in recent runway seasons.
The Great Designers, Part One at the Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. On view November 29 to May 8, 2012.
“What was it like to go through Daphne Guinness’ closet?” someone asked Valerie Steele at the Museum at FIT Friday morning, minutes before Daphne Guinness, the exhibit, opened its doors.
“Closets—not closet,” Steele, who curated the exhibit, corrected. “It truly was every girl’s dream.” Standing next to Steele was Guinness herself, immaculately dressed in one of her signature more-is-more outfits, complete with heel-less black claw shoes. The duo spent months sifting through Guinness’ extensive collection of one-of-kind McQueen, Givenchy, and Rick Owens pieces in London and New York, eventually narrowing it down to 100 items for display. What stands out about Guinness, through the exhibit, and conversation, is her profound appreciation for the art of fashion that extends far beyond most peoples’, fashion insiders included. For Guinness, every intricate stitch and button detail provides a visual fixation, a tool for performance art (“sometimes it’s just the only way to deal with things”), and, at times, a shield of sorts.
“I used to use [fashion] as a defense, in a way,” Guinness tells the audience. “It was a protective tool, and now it’s not.” Guinness and Steele sat down with Style.com to talk about how they managed to work through Guinness’ collection of over 2,500 garments, why chic is no longer an armor, and what they learned through the process.
How did you pick out the pieces for the exhibit? It must have been pretty tough to narrow it down.
VS: Daphne is so organized, she has a computer database on all of the clothes. First thing we did, I went through and circled all the ones we wanted and Daphne went through that list. Then, we kept looking in the closets in New York, her apartment in London, and finding more things. Just a week and a half ago, Daphne found in a box in London—it was a McQueen for Givenchy cape that had been lost and she called me to put it in the show, so we did.
DG: It’s the only organized thing I did in the last three years. Yes, the cape had been split apart from the dress that went with it.
Daphne, it must have been tough to part with some of these pieces, right?
DG: I got Lee [McQueen] to make the black cape in that transparent material and I was like, “Oh, I really love it, I don’t know if I can part with it for the exhibit.” Then I thought, “OK, I signed up for this and it’s got to mean something here, so I will include it.” Also, it was really important for me to be here and be a part of putting all of this together. You can’t style it like it was on the runway because that was the artist’s vision, but it’s not necessarily how I would do it. Or, how I would wear it on a different day, in fact.
VS: At one point, Daphne even asked me, “Do I style it like I would now or at that time when I got it?” I told her to style it like she would now. We thought it would take days and days to style it, but it was really fast.
Daphne, when you look through it today, do you already want to change how it’s styled in the exhibit?
DG: No, I’m really comfortable and happy with it. It all makes sense now and really puts it into context. Valerie has done a great job of putting it into the context of why I have certain things. For example, David LaChapelle, he was always the best at lending things. Also, he gave me a couple of pieces, which no one ever does, ever. I have never been given anything in my life actually.
DG: Yeah, really. It’s so unfair—no, you know what’s good about it? I think that’s why I had close relationships with these people; it’s because I wasn’t trying to use them. It was an equal thing. They knew I was in it for the right reasons and I knew they were in it for the right reasons. And, when you are a designer, a lot of these people don’t have any money. People think because they have a name that they have money, but they don’t. They put their heart and soul into it. They really do. A lot of people feel entitled about it and like they don’t have to give back. I find that so disrespectful to someone’s art, especially knowing how many hours of work they have put into it. Continue Reading “Daphne Guinness, Undressed” »