New York Street Fashion Through the Years

Left: Fifth Avenue, midtown, 1964. (Photograph by Joel Meyerowitz.) Center: Skaters at the Roxy Roller Disco, 1980. (Photograph by Allan Tannenbaum.) Right: Easter Sunday, Harlem, 1949. (Photograph by Jerome Liebling.) Courtesy, New York Magazine

Left: Fifth Avenue, midtown, 1964. (Photograph by Joel Meyerowitz.) Center: Skaters at the Roxy Roller Disco, 1980. (Photograph by Allan Tannenbaum.) Right: Easter Sunday, Harlem, 1949. (Photograph by Jerome Liebling.) Courtesy, New York Magazine

When I was in New York last Saturday visiting the Met, I was aware (as I always am) of the everyday street stylists who use the city sidewalks as their runways. It has been that way through the years – everyone stepping out their doors to see and be seen.

Amy Larocco’s New York Magazine feature, What We Wore, captures New York City’s fashion through the decades. Her sentiments spoke deeply to me – they are the reason for this blog: “Clothes are also memories. A dress can be every bit as evocative as scent, bound up in our nostalgia for the time we arrived in New York without a winter coat or when the velvet rope parted somewhere, leading the way to the Michael Todd Room at the Palladium, the opening of a Broadway show, the job of one’s life. Miniskirts are the madeleine for many women who came of age in the 1960s. And a North Face puffer jacket can bring 1996 right back to life. All it takes is the width of a tie or the brim of a hat and a whole world is conjured, our own and the city’s: its moods, its tastes, its attitudes and ideals.

 

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Technology Advances Fashion

The Yves Saint Laurent "Sardine" dress from the 1983 couture show that took 1,500 hours to complete

The Yves Saint Laurent “Sardine” dress from the 1983 couture show that took 1,500 hours to complete

I use so many processes in my work – some that involve the hand and some that involve the machine. For me, mixing the hand and the machine give the best results. I don’t think the hand or the machine have any use or value on their own. What matters is the form in relationship with the idea.” ~ Miuccia Prada 

In a way, the hand is being lost today. It’s important to me that a piece of clothing always feels like it has been touched by the hand at some point, even if there’s a lot of machine work involved.” ~ Sarah Burton

With just a week before it closed, I explored the exhibit at the Met: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” I was extra lucky to experience it with costume designer and new friend, Katherine Winter, who has shared her story on TFIO. To see it through Katherine’s eyes, with her love of fabric and texture and construction, made this experience even more meaningful for me. Continue reading

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