Fashion Institute’s New Exhibit is About Body Politics

Courtesy: FIT

New from the museum at Fashion Institute of Technology: The Body: Fashion and Physique, is an exhibition opening this week that examines the complex history of the “ideal” body in fashion and considers the relationship between the fashion industry and body politics from the 18th century to the present. “Garments are supplemented with images from the popular press, fashion media, film, and other sources to demonstrate how the fashion industry has contributed to both the marginalization and celebration of certain body types within our culture.” When curator of the Museum at FIT, Emma McClendon, was asked about where our society is now in terms of the ‘idea body image,’ her response was deep and thought-provoking: “I think that increasingly there is no single ideal fashionable body. Most runway shows and magazines continue to feature primarily white, thin, young models, but the internet and social media have opened up the industry, giving bloggers and consumers a much more powerful voice to challenge normative body ideals and expand our notion of what a fashionable body is. Several young designers, including Becca McCharen-Tran of Chromat and Christian Siriano, are using their brands to promote a much more inclusive view of the fashionable body. I hope that other brands will join them so that we can continue to expand the fashion industry to make it much more inclusive.”

I am seeing this exhibit! I’m buying it!!

 

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Fairy Tale Fashion

Fairy Tale Fashion Exhibit at FIT

Fairy Tale Fashion Exhibit at FIT

One of the things I love to do whenever possible is take myself to fashion exhibitions at The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology); these opportunities provide me with endless inspiration. Yesterday, I caught the latest exhibition, Fairy Tale Fashion, so rich in beauty and imagination. As you enter, you literally walk through a forest of fairy tales and storytelling, with fashion-inspired couture to match. Well-known tales like Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, and The Wizard of Oz are represented as are designers Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Rodarte, Alexander McQueen, and Comme des Garçons. But the real treat are the lesser-known facts and surprises in the stories themselves.

We may not be aware consciously of the role that clothing plays in our storytelling, but everything taken from our lore becomes the foundation for fashion designers and the items with which we choose to fill our closets. Think of the red cape worn by Red Riding Hood, or Cinderellla’s ball gown, or Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, or the mermaid-style strapless dress from The Little Mermaid. I was captivated and transported in time and imagination. And I will live happily ever after. Thank you, FIT!

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