Retrospective Exhibition at The Museum at FIT

Inspiration has always been a key factor when it comes to Fashion. Although looking forward has always been important within the industry, taking a retrospective look back has proven to to be quite successful for Fashion Designers.

New York City holds many gems but when it comes to fashion and exhibits there is no other like the FIT Museum located in midtown Manhattan. If you are currently residing in the New York area or are planning a visit to the Big Apple between now and November, don’t miss this exciting array of fashion on display now. 

This exhibition is a must see for any Fashionista that has an appreciation for textiles and the history of fashion. If you are looking to broaden your views on how certain styles and trends impacted vintage to modern designers this event is a must see. It’s quite a lesson of transformation and evolution that includes ancient Greece, Egypt, Byzantium to periods prior to the 18th century to present. Some of the most interesting pieces and silhouettes are revisited in this exhibit. For example the metal hooped caged crinolines from the 19th century, the lady like 50’s dress by Anne Fogarty, and the simplicity of the empire waisted dresses by Norman Norell in the 60’s. This presentation shows the viewer how significant past decades have been to designers throughout the years and how this has impacted their point of view in their craft. Some design pieces that were brilliantly showcased were by Balmain, Christian Dior, Carolina Herrera,  Anna Sui, Nicholas Ghesquiere and Alexander McQueen just to name a few. The museum  juxtaposed these designs to give the public a keen sense of how the past has influenced more modern times. It shows how designers have taken a page from past era’s and used that to translate this into wearable pieces today.

Fashion readers I invite you to visit this exhibit which by the way is completely free of charge. If you are unable to attend then take a look at the photos below which show just a few of the highlights from this one of kind display at the FIT Museum

RetroSpective is organized by Jennifer Farley, with textiles by Lynn Weidner and accessories by Colleen Hill. All objects in the exhibition are from The Museum at FIT’s collection. This exhibition is open to the public from now to November 16, 2013. 

Left to right: Robe à l’anglaise, silk damask, circa 1765, England, museum purchase; Balmain, evening dress, taffeta, velvet, silver buttons, circa 1951, France, gift of Mrs. F. Leval; Robe de style, silk taffeta, multicolor ribbons, circa 1923, USA or France, museum purchase; Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, dress, multicolor satin ribbon, wire, spring 2009, Spain, gift of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.

Left to right: Man’s coat and vest, blue wool, polychrome floral embroidery, linen, circa 1790, USA, museum purchase; Walter Van Beirendonck, man’s ensemble, raffia, organdy, orange cotton, multicolor embroidery, Relics of the Future collection, summer 2006, Belgium, gift of Walter Van Beirendonck.

Left to right: Norman Norell, “Josephine” evening dress, red wool crepe, satin, 1962, USA, gift of Claudia Halley; Evening dress, white silk tricot, pink fringe and cord, circa 1810, England, museum purchase.

Left to right: Two-piece dress, plaid silk taffeta, black velvet, circa 1860, USA, museum purchase; Cage crinoline, woven cotton tape, metal hooks, wire, circa 1865, USA, gift of Elizabeth Haynes; Anne Fogarty, cocktail dress, green silk satin and taffeta, 1950-1954, USA, gift of Berta Katz; Yoshiki Hishinuma, evening dress, white and fuchsia polyester, cage crinoline with nylon, fall 1996, Japan, gift of Yoshiki Hishinuma; Thom Browne, ensemble, printed Madras polyester faille, cotton, multicolor plaid cotton hoops, leather, spring 2013, USA, gift of Thom Browne.

Left to right: Anna Sui, ensemble, floral embroidered shot silk taffeta, velvet, ribbon, white cord, beaded washed denim, 1999-2000, USA, gift of Anna Sui; Carolina Herrera, evening dress, black velvet, white polka dot silk taffeta, fall 1988, USA, gift of Carolina Herrera, Ltd.; Elsa Schiaparelli, evening dress, shot silk taffeta, circa 1939, France, courtesy of Mrs. Michael Blankfort.

Left to right: Lenief, evening dress, red silk satin, bugle beads, 1925, France, gift from The Dorothea Stephens Wiman Collection; Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, dress, black gauze, spring 1961, France, gift of Beatrice L. Eytan; Norman Norell, evening dress, black wool crepe, rhinestones, circa 1965, USA, gift of Lauren Bacall; Carolyne Roehm, dress, wool crepe, 1988, USA, gift of Carolyne Roehm, Inc.; Rifat Ozbek, dress, navy blue wool jersey, circa 1986, England, gift of Janet Waring.

Left to right: Harry Gordon, Poster dress, non-woven printed cellulose, 1968, England, gift of Estelle Ellis; Sarah Caplan for MPH, Lightning paper poster dress, non-woven Tyvek, 1999, USA, gift of MPH.

Left to right: Mike Bidlo, suit, tweed, paint, 1982, USA, gift of Mike Bidlo; Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga, dress, printed canvas, striped knit, fall 2004, France,  gift of Balenciaga; Stephen Sprouse, man’s leggings, printed spandex, 1985, USA, gift of Stephen Sprouse, Inc.

Elsa Schiaparelli, evening dress, black and bronze shot silk taffeta, circa 1939, France, courtesy of Mrs. Michael Blankfort.

Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Haute Couture, evening dress, painted silk chiffon, Fall/Winter 1999, France, gift of Susan Gutfreund.

Special thanks to the members of the FIT Museum for providing One Style at a Time with all the photographs in this post. 


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