Get ready for an interesting exhibit at MoMA, NY that will give you bread crumbs to explore the origins and future of objects of fashion. Items: Is Fashion Modern? examines wearables like Converse All Stars, the bucket hat, Speedo, the safari suit and other items you might take for granted. The museum insists the focus is design.
Driven first and foremost by objects, not designers, the exhibition considers the many relationships between fashion and functionality, culture, aesthetics, politics, labor, identity, economy, and technology.
Some wearable tech will be part of the showing including Fitbit, a Kinematics dress and a fiber optic slip dress by Richard Nicoll.
A post on MoMA’s blog explains this rare dive into fashion.
The exhibition title, Items: Is Fashion Modern?, reprises the question that titled architect and curator Bernard Rudofsky’s compelling yet relatively little-known 1944 exhibition Are Clothes Modern?, the only time MoMA has fully addressed this field of design.
In Are Clothes Modern? Rudofsky explored individual and collective relationships with mid-century clothing in the waning moments of WWII, when convention simply no longer cut it but old attitudes still, in many senses, prevailed: women still poured their bodies into uncompromising silhouettes and menswear still demanded superfluous pockets, buttons, cuffs, and collars. For the Items exhibition, Rudofsky’s question and broad approach provide a springboard (and a foil) from which to consider the ways in which fashion items are designed, manufactured, distributed, and worn today.
MoMA has created some fun around the work with their Checklist of all 111 items. You are sure to find something of interest—the Moon Boot is one of my top picks. This is going to be an exciting mix of design, materials and culture, like being at a party with a hacker, dancer, architect, revolutionary and anthropologist. The exhibit runs from Oct. 1st-Jan. 28th, so you have plenty of time to plan your outfit (kilts are on the Checklist).
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