Items: Is Fashion Modern?
The MoMa, Museum of Modern Art, presents Items: Is Fashion Modern?, an investigation of garments and accessories that have had a profound effect on the world over the last century. Filling the entire sixth floor of the Museum, the exhibition, which runs until the 28th of January – 2018, explores fashion thematically, displaying 111 powerful and enduring manifestations of the ways in which fashion touches everyone, everywhere.
Like other forms of design, fashion exists within a complex system that involves politics and economics as much as it involves style, technology, and culture.
The exhibition examines this complex system using each item as a lens.
The items are loosely grouped throughout the galleries, in order to provide both deliberate and accidental adjacencies as the public moves through the exhibition.
The installation begins with an area devoted to the mutating idea of body and silhouette, highlighting issues of size, image, and gender with examples of the Little Black Dress, the Wonderbra, the Sari, and Rudi Gernreich’s Unisex Project, among many others.
The exhibition then moves into a zone devoted to new technologies and visions of the future, bringing together experiments such as Issey Miyake’s A-POC and Pierre Cardin’s Cosmos Collection along with Gore-Tex, the leotard, and Moon Boot.
A middle gallery is devoted to a study of the relationship between emancipation, modesty, introversion, and rebellion, which paradoxically share many common fashion traits. Introduced by the hoodie and the turtleneck, the section includes items as diverse as leather pants, the slip dress, the bikini, the hijab, and kente. Following is a section devoted to items whose foremost function is to deliver a message, whether explicitly—as in a graphic T-shirt, a tattoo, and a bandanna—or implicitly, as in a Birkin bag or a diamond engagement ring.
A section dedicated to the myriad ways fashion and athleticism have intersected over the past century includes sports jerseys, streetwear staples like the polo shirt, classics like Converse All Stars. From there, the exhibition flows into a section dedicated to everyday uniforms, featuring such humble masterpieces as the Breton shirt and Levi’s 501s, professional attire such as the pencil skirt and loafers, and applications of the multipurpose Dutch wax.
Finally, the exhibition’s conclusion interrogates the concept of power with, among others, a selection of suits, Donna Karan’s Seven Easy Pieces, stilettos, and the pearl necklace.
As part of the exhibition, some designers, artists, scientists, engineers, and manufacturers have been invited to respond to some of these “indispensable items” with pioneering materials, approaches, and design revisions—extending this conversation into the near and distant future, and connecting the history of these garments with their present recombination and use. These prototype designers include both emerging and established figures in the fields of fashion, design, science, and technology.
Items: Is Fashion Modern?
until January, 28th 2018
MoMa – Museum of Modern Art
11 West, 53 Street
Have a look at:
Opening Picture: Head wrap interpreted for Items: Is Fashion Modern? by Omar Victor Diop
Picture 1: Dress by Thierry Mugler, 1981
Picture 2: Pencil skirt interpreted for Items: Is Fashion Modern? by Bobby Doherty
Picture 3: Suit and tie interpreted for Items: Is Fashion? Modern by Kristin-Lee Moolman and IB Kamara
Picture 4: White t-shirt and Y-3 interpreted for Items: Is Fashion Modern? by Kristin-Lee Moolman and IB Kamara
Picture 5: New Era 59FIFTY style New York Yankee Scarlet fitted cap, 1996
Picture 6: White T-shirt
Picture 7: Levi Strauss & Co. waist overalls, 1890
Picture 8: One-Star Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket, late 1950’s