|Press Release||Opening Party|
The Fashion and Textile History Gallery
The empire of fashion seemed
stronger than ever in the 1950s, when designers and editors dictated
seasonal changes in silhouette, hemline, and color. (“Think pink! Banish the
beige!”) The great couturier Christian Dior died suddenly, but his throne
was soon occupied by Yves Saint Laurent. The 1950s were years of nuclear
anxiety, economic expansion, social conservatism, and the rise of American
popular culture. Yet even as bourgeois standards of propriety and good
taste” were expressed in fashion through girdles, hats, and gloves, young
people were developing fashions of their own.
By the 1960s, the empire had begun to break up into various style tribes. The coming of age of the postwar baby boom generation, together with a strong economy, led to the rise of an international youth culture. “Youthquake” styles were closely linked to popular music, especially in London, where young women first started wearing miniskirts, while men dressed like peacocks. Futuristic fashion was soon followed by stylish versions of hippie anti-fashion. Despite the rise of influential new designers and popular trends, the time had clearly passed when a single designer could dominate the look of a season or decade the way Dior once had with the New Look of 1947. Italy, Japan, and New York became new centers of fashion. Today, the vicissitudes of globalization and the development of new technologies for design and production (including the creation of new techno-textiles”) increasingly influence the future of fashion.
This exhibition was made possible in part through the generosity of Elle Magazine and Redken. Additional support was provided by the members of the Couture Council.
All photographs by Irving Solero, courtesy of the Museum at FIT, unless otherwise noted.
Website designed by Mai Vu.