Fashion is far from a simple article of clothing; it is an art form that mirrors society. Yes, trends come and go and a year from now you might not be craving that choker crop top. But, there are pieces that have earned longevity and the “iconic” badge.
Garments and styles have impacted society, politics, culture, you name it. To celebrate these historical clothes, the Modern Museum of Art opened its second fashion exhibit called Items: Is Fashion Modern? last week – the first being Bruce Rudofsky’s 1944 Are Clothes Modern.
Arranged by Paola Antonelli, the museum’s Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design, and Michelle Millar Fisher, Curatorial Assistant, the exhibit features 111 pieces that have impacted society. From the iconic Little Black Dress, Levi’s 501s, and the Breton shirt to the more traditional sari, kippah, and pearl necklace, the exhibit explores the Western and Eastern clothing that had, and continues to have power. As stated in the exhibition catalogue, it is a reflection of the “many relationships between fashion and functionality, culture, aesthetics, politics, labor, identity, economy, and technology.”
All of the pieces are divided into three categories: stereotype, archetype, and prototype and are accompanied by historical context to help viewers get a better understanding of the climate in which the item gained momentum. Think postwar Vogue posters, sunscreen, and YSL’s Touché Eclat.
The exhibition will go through January 28th, 2018.