8 posts tagged "Museum at FIT"
It’s been over ten years since Irene Albright first opened the doors to the Albright Fashion Library—the more than 15,000-dress-, 7,000 shoe-strong collection of contemporary couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories now housed in a massive 7,000-square-foot loft at 62 Cooper Square. “Irene was working with KCD and saw that people were running around chasing clothes, and she just decided to start buying [important pieces],” recalled the Library’s creative director, Patricia Black. “Eventually, people would come to her saying, ‘Oh, do you still have that sweater? Can I borrow it?’”
Today, after a decade functioning as a sort of dream closet for fashion insiders, the Library is feting its history, as well as the incredible individuals who have pulled from its continually evolving archive, with Albright Goes to School, an exhibition in partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology and MAC Cosmetics that opens this evening at the Museum at FIT.
“I wanted to celebrate Irene, the Library, the stylists—the people who were working on the inside—the shakers and tastemakers,” said Black. “Without them, we wouldn’t have what we have in terms of this colossal space just packed from floor to ceiling with clothes.”
The show—a first look debuts here—features individual looks that ten stylists (June Ambrose, Paul Cavaco, Catherine George, Tom Broecker, Freddie Leiba, Lori Goldstein, Kathryn Neale, Mary Alice Stephenson, Kate Young, and Patti Wilson) created using iconic wares from the Library. A Tom Ford goat hair jacket layers over a Comme des Garçons tank in Goldstien’s look; Balmain is mixed with Givenchy and the artist’s own choker and face mask in Leiba’s; and Patti Wilson utilizes a Lanvin body harness to sex up an otherwise high glamour Yves Saint Laurent and J.W. Anderson combo.
There’s a rich history to the institution, and Black, Museum at FIT director and chief curator Valerie Steele, and set designer Stefan Beckman were tasked with expressing that through a tight narrative. “There are some incredible stylists who pulled these outfits, but they each have their own different story,” related Beckman, who described the installation as a “gritty fire escape urban idea.”
Steele added that the Museum’s interest in the exhibition stemmed, in part, from a desire to champion stylists. “People tend to think, Oh, designers make fashion. So it was important to be able to bring in stylists and show that they also have a really important role in putting looks together.”
The ten ensembles will be on display through March 31. The show marks the beginning of a greater collaboration between FIT and the Albright Fashion Library. “Irene is such an eclectic collector of everything from fashion to art to houses to people. So who knows what she’s going to start collecting next and where we’re going to take that,” suggested Black. “[But] I’m excited about the beginnings of seeing how we get to work and inspire the new generation of kids who dream of becoming the next designer, visual director, creative director, fashion editor, stylist, or costume designer. I’m hoping that we can lend a little bit of light to them in this moment.”
“We had to start with the basics,” explained FIT graduate student and curator Kristen Haggerty. She’s talking about the origins of the university’s just-launched exhibition, Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket, a study of the motorcycle jacket’s evolution from a utilitarian Schott Bros. basic, to a symbol of post-WWII rebellion, to the modern-day fashion staple. “The first Perfecto was made in 1928 and was sold by Harley-Davidson—it’s really what everyone thinks of when they think of a biker jacket,” said Haggerty, gesturing to a 1980 replica of the late twenties belted classic with an exposed zipper. “Yes, it’s a very stylish garment, but every one of those elements means something.”
The show, which opens with an in-depth examination of the iconic Perfecto, combines documentary photography, press clippings, and a tightly curated collection of original pieces to shed light on the now 80-some-year history of the moto. Wares by Helmut Lang, Rick Owens, and a particularly memorable tutu moto jacket from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2005 outing display the many ways in which fashion designers have appropriated and interpreted the garment. “Over the years, the Perfecto became something much more than a utilitarian biker jacket,” Haggerty told Style.com. “There were times when it was pretty subversive. Modern designers [have also] really gone above and beyond. It’s a garment that can exist in two different places at the same time, and have meaning for both of them.” All one needs to do is browse a rack at Versace, Chloé, Balmain, or Saint Laurent to see what she’s talking about. The exhibition, however, will help you understand and, dare we say, appreciate it.
Beyond Rebellion will be on view at The Museum at FIT, Tuesdays through Fridays, through April 5.
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]