Sunday, March 13, 2022


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[L] Versace S/S 1994 | [M] Byron Lars coat dress, red wool crepe embroidered white damask, F/W 1993 | [R] Vivienne Westwood Fall 1996

As a 'Generation X'er,' mix tapes, a discman, slap bracelets and rollerblades are defining artifacts of my life as a 90s teenager. In the final generation before cell / smart phones, sartorial simplicity prevails in the form of overalls (with one--or both-- strap(s) down), tracksuits, spaghetti straps, slip dresses and cargo pants. Curator Colleen Hill's latest exhibit--Reinvention & Restlessness: Fashion in the Nineties--at the Museum at FIT considers the trends during "a time that was filled with hope for the future and yet fraught with anxiety...a decade that not only heralded the end of a century but also the end of a millennium" [Colleen Hill]. Keep reading for a look inside... 

Installation view

Against an uneventful backdrop designed by Kimberly Ackert--inspired by deconstructionism and minimalism--the main gallery features over 85 garments and accessories, across eight primary trends (4 each under Reinvention + Restlessness) that characterize the 1990s. Under Reinvention, we see minimalism, grunge, deconstruction and the avante-garde, and the revival of luxury. Retro-revivals, technology, environmentalism and reuse and the global wardrobe illustrate Restlessness.

Reinvention: Deconstruction and the Avant Garde

With familiar finds and lavish luxury, the exhibit's curation offers a good balance of items that canvas both catwalks and closets. While some designers continue to borrow from the past or react to the 'excess design' of the 80s, others take a fashion-forward approach, experimenting with technology to create novel or enviro-friendly garments. Visit the exhibit (free, though all visitors must wear face coverings) W-Th-F Noon to 8PM and Sat + Sun 10AM to 5PM until April 17. 

Installation view

Anna Sui ensemble S/S 1993 USA

[L] Gucci (Tom Ford) evening dress and belt F/W 1996 | [M] Givenchy Fall 1996 | [R] Christian Dior Fall 1997

[L] Hussein Chalayan "Airmail" dress (1999) | [M+R] Hussein Chalayan F/W 1999-2000

Installation view

Comme des Garçons Spring 1997

Moschino Couture! jacket 1992 Italy

My mini was excited to choose his own outfit for the museum visit :)

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