FTC tours at ARLIS 2016 in Seattle – Your Vote Needed

U & FTC in Seattle City Logo Color*

Hi Folks,

A few weeks ago, you were asked to let the ARLIS 2016 conference planning committee know your interests by filling out a survey . I hope you took a few minutes to do that, but completing the form was private which did not give us as a group the opportunity to discuss the options for potential fashion, textile or costume related tours we would like considered. Here are a few suggestions that have been made:

Let us know how you feel about these options or add some new ones by filling out our short survey. I’ll share your responses here on the blog, and refer the standouts to the ARLIS conference committee.

Let your voice be heard so we can get some FTC action in Seattle!

*Seattle’s city logo

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Summer Exhibitions around New York City

One of the best ways to keep cool during a New York City summer is by spending an afternoon at a museum. Here are a few exhibitions that are going on this summer that relate to fashion, costume, and textiles.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

China: Through the Looking Glass*

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Exhibition Dates: May 7 – August 16, 2015

This exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.

From the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.

The exhibition features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are framed by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which to understand the richness of Chinese history.

*Image and exhibition information is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

Museum of Arts and Design

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin*

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Exhibition Dates: March 31 – August 30, 2015

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin will be the first museum exhibition to explore the work of renowned New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, who is widely regarded for his innovative approach to the familiar form of the mannequin. Having collaborated with luminaries such as Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Naggar, Andrée Putman, Kenny Scharf, Anna Sui, Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Christy Turlington, Pucci’s mannequins not only expand the parameters of this ubiquitous sculptural form, but reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades.

As Pucci was building his business in the 1970s, the notion of the “super model”—the living mannequin with a personality—emerged. Pucci captured this catalytic moment in his work, finding inspiration from sources as varied as Greek and Roman statues and the performance costumes of the New York Dolls. Pucci personified the previously anonymous form in new and challenging ways, creating visions of physical beauty that were more specific, empowered, and diverse than the fashion industry had previously allowed. More than commercial armatures or sculptural forms, his mannequins became agents of change in our attitudes to the body, to fashion, and to individual identity.

The Art of the Mannequin will include over 30 of Pucci’s most important mannequins, as well as an in-gallery recreation of his sculpture studio. Pucci’s master sculptor and longtime collaborator, Michael Evert, will be in residence during the exhibition’s run to give visitors a first-hand look at the creative process, from initial modeling in clay to the rendering of the fiberglass end-product. In conjunction with the installation of mannequins the renowned designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo will curate a selection of jewelry from MAD’s collection which will be installed on Ruben’s famous surrealist jewelry mannequins.

*Image and exhibition information is from the Museum of Arts and Design website.

Museum of the Moving Image

Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men*

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Exhibition Dates: March 14 – September 6, 2015

This new major exhibition explores the creative process behind Mad Men, one of the most acclaimed television series of all time, now launching its final seven episodes on AMC. Featuring large-scale sets including Don Draper’s office and the kitchen from the Draper’s Ossining home, more than 25 iconic costumes, props, video clips, advertising art, and personal notes and research material from series creator Matthew Weiner, the exhibition offers unique insight into the series’ origins, and how its exceptional storytelling and remarkable attention to period detail resulted in a vivid portrait of an era and the characters who lived through it. The Museum’s exhibition marks the first time objects relating to the production of Mad Men will be shown in public on this scale.

To avoid lines on weekend days, visitors are encouraged to arrive before 2:00 p.m.

*Image and exhibition information is from the Museum of the Moving Image website.

Exhibition: FASHION TIMELINE

What: FASHION TIMELINE exhibit

Where: Kent State University Museum, Kent, OH

When: June 29, 2012 – June 28, 2020

“The ‘Fashion Timeline’ showcases the Kent State University Museum’s world-class collection of historic fashions. Encompassing two centuries of fashion history, this exhibition is designed to show the evolution of styles and silhouettes while contextualizing the pieces with relevant political, technological and cultural developments.”

Click here to see photos on the items on display.

Click here to see the virtual timeline that accompanies the exhibit.

Summer Reading, Had Me Some Fun!

With the semester behind us all, it’s a good time to slowly catch up on various books that we’ve had our eye on. There are three recent titles* that have caught my eye that I hope to peruse this summer break:

hijacking

Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers by Teri Agins

Hollywood stars have always furthered fashion’s cause of seducing the masses into buying designers’ clothes by acting as living billboards. Now, red carpet celebrities are no longer content to just advertise and are putting their names on labels that reflect the image they―or their stylists―created.

Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean Combs, and a host of pop, sports, and reality―show stars of the moment are leveraging the power of their celebrity to become the face of their own fashion brands. And a few celebrities―like the Olsen Twins and Victoria Beckham―have gone all the way and reinvented themselves as bona fide designers.

Teri Agins charts this strange new terrain with with and insight and an insider’s access to the fascinating struggles of the bold―type names and their jealousies, insecurities, and triumphs.

dress fashion

Dress, Fashion, and Technology: From Prehistory to the Present  by Phyllis G. Tortora

Technology has been an essential factor in the production of dress and the cultures of fashion throughout human history. Structured chronologically from prehistory to the present day, this is the first broad study of the complex relationship between dress and technology.

Over the course of human history, dress-making and fashion technology has changed beyond recognition: from needles and human hands in the ancient world to complex 20th-century textile production machines, it has now come to include the technologies that influence dress styles and the fashion industry, while fashion itself may drive aspects of technology. In the last century, new technologies such as the electronic media and high-tech manufacturing have helped not just to produce but to define fashion: the creation of automobiles prompted a decline in long skirts for women while the beginnings of space travel caused people to radically rethink the function of dress. In many ways, technology has itself created avant-garde and contemporary fashions.

Through an impressive range of international case studies, the book challenges the perception that fashion is unique to western dress and outlines the many ways in which dress and technology intersect. Dress, Fashion and Technology is ideal reading for students and scholars of fashion studies, textile history, anthropology and cultural studies.

fashioning the body

Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette edited by Denis Bruna

This unique survey offers fascinating insights into the convoluted transformations employed by both men and women to accommodate the fickle dictates of fashion. With high design, wit, and style, Fashioning the Body tracks the evolution of these sartorial devices—from panniers, crinolines, and push-up bras to chains, zippers, and clasps—concealed beneath outer layers in order to project idealized figures. Women’s corsets constricted waists; exaggerated buttocks and hips counterbalanced jutting bust lines; and chic, aerodynamic silhouettes compressed breasts and flattened bellies. Yet masculine fashion has been no stranger to these tortuous practices. Men flaunted their virility by artificially broadening their shoulders, applying padding to their chests, and slipping codpieces over their groins. With more than 200 beautiful illustrations—including reproductions of superb historic advertisements—Denis Bruna reveals the industry and art of these contrivances meant to entice and beguile as well as assert status and power. Contemporary haute-couture designers Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Christian Lacroix, and Vivienne Westwood are featured in this indiscreet tour of intimate fashion history. 

 *Descriptions came from Amazon.com.

Exhibition: New for Now: The Origin of Fashion Magazines

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What: New for Now: The Origin of Fashion Magazines

Where: The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

When: June 12 to September 27, 2015

“Before the advent of photography, fashion was mainly seen in prints. The often beautifully coloured designs showed one or several models wearing fashionable clothing, and included a short description. For that reason, these fashion prints in particular are considered the precursors to today’s fashion magazines.

The Rijksmuseum presents a major retrospective of its rich collection of costume and fashion prints for the first time. The change in women’s and men’s fashion from the year 1600 up to and including the first half of the 20th century, and the development of the fashion magazine into the fashion glossies we know today, can be seen in more than 300 prints. The exhibition was designed by designer and co-curator Christian Borstlap, in collaboration with fashion illustrators Piet Paris and Quentin Jones.”

Unique Gem in the City of Paris

museum shotFor those with summer travel plans to the fashionable city of Paris, I recommend checking out the Pierre Cardin Museum.

This past year I had the opportunity to travel to Paris and one of the things that I simply had to do was go to the Pierre Cardin Museum. I had just read about the opening in the most recent issue of WWD and was mesmerized by a space that honored Monsieur Cardin. He always intrigued me and to have the opportunity to see a variety of items he created over the span of his career was on the top of my to-do list for this trip.

The cost is a bit steep, but definitely worth it (25 euro). The pieces that are on display run the gamut from housewares to ready-to-wear, to couture.  I was the sole person in the museum and ended up having an impromptu tour from the woman that worked there.

Overall, the history held within the three-story museum is inspiring.

Repost – Dress Historiography: 500 Years of Fashion Books in the Courtauld

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June is Fashion Book Month!

This year, the Courtauld’s History of Dress department is celebrating its 50th anniversary. As part of our celebrations, we have collaborated with fashion curator Judith Clark of London College of Fashion to curate a small display Dress Historiography: 500 Years of Fashion Books in the Courtauld showcasing the different books that have shaped the study of dress history from 1598 to the mid-twentieth century.

To coincide with the display the History of Dress, students have declared June Fashion Book Month.  We will be sharing our thoughts about the publications on display on the Courtauld’s Documenting Fashion Blog, as well as thoughts on our favourite books and those most influential to our studies on Instagram.

We hope you will join us for our celebration of all things fashion history! See the display outside the Courtauld’s Book Library, read the blog at www.blog.courtauld.ac.uk/documentingfashion and follow us on Instagram @documentingfashion_courtauld