Friday, January 25, 2019


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Fabric in Fashion: [L] Bob Bugnand (1958-59) / [M] Jacques Griffe gold Lurex evening dress (1958) / [R] Christian Dior (1962) satin evening dress

Over the last 250 years, fabric in fashion evolves as a symbol of both style and status.  Definitions of class and social structure shift from emphasizing fibers and construction technique to scalability and brand recognition. Though fabric remains the foundation of fashion, its cultural significance unfolds with time. Fabric in Fashion--the latest exhibit at the Museum at FIT--analyzes the morphing role of textiles through history. Keep reading for a look inside...

Installation view: Fibers ([R] dress by Yoshiki Hishinuma)

Fibers begin the journey, outlining the recognition of fabrics as an indicator of luxury and social status. Separated into distinct sections--Silk, Cotton, Wool and Synthetics--the exhibit examines the mechanics and materiality of the four influential fabrics. China's Silk Road grants accessibility to silk and promotes notions of Eastern and European wealth as early as the 1200s. When cotton consumption rises in the 17th century, fashion quickly adapts. The Industrial Revolution marks a shift to large scale production and sub-par working conditions in cotton mills.  

Installation view: Weaves (L: Isabel Toledo evening dress)

The second half of the exhibit showcases knits and synthetics, increasing the durability and lowering the cost of chic clothing. Costume curator Elizabeth Way succeeds in presenting a targeted sartorial snap with relevant samples from the Museum's collection. Fabric in Fashion is on view until May 4th.

Installation view: Knits in High Fashion

Installation view: Wool

Dress made from a single woven textile (c. 1859)

Installation view: Cotton

Installation view: Wool

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