Exhibit: Cross Colours: Black Fashion in the 20th Century

What: Cross Colours: Black Fashion in the 20th Century
Where: California African-American Museum
When: September 27, 2019 – March 1 2020

“Cross Colours: Black Fashion in the 20th Century showcases vintage textiles, media footage, and rare ephemera that illuminate how Cross Colours has permeated popular culture and how fashion can be used to tell history anew.”

Learn More:


Summer Exhibitions

Taking some time off this summer? Traveling? Here are some museum fashion and textile exhibitions throughout the US these next few months.

Heading to NYC? Be sure to check out The Met’s Camp: Notes on Fashion “which examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion.” This show runs through September 8. The Museum at FIT is exhibiting Minimalism/Maximalism through November 16. The show is “devoted to the historical interplay of minimalist and maximalist aesthetics as expressed through high fashion.”

Is a trip to Los Angeles in your summer plans? Two shows of interest are at the FIDM Museum. BA in Design is a student exhibition running through the end of June. Starting in mid-August, catch the Art of Television Costume Design. Over at LACMA, check out Power of Pattern, an exhibition of Asian ikat robes and panels until August 11.

If you’ll be traveling through the Midwest, take a detour to Kent State University in Ohio. Two exhibitions are up this summer. Focus: Fiber 2019 is juried exhibition of contemporary fiber art and Fashion Meets the Body highlights work from the University’s faculty.

Or stop over in Chicago to see Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus at the Art Institute of Chicago, opening at the beginning of August. MCA has two shows of interest: Jessica Campbell’s textile works (through July) and Virgil Abloh’s fashion (through September).

If you’re coming to my city, Philly, there are a few fashion treats awaiting you. Souls Grown Deep, to September, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an exhibition of Southern African American textiles and artwork. The Fabric Workshop has Sonya Clark on display through August and Bill Viola through October.

Head south and view both Asian textiles and Dior at the Dallas Museum of Art. Sheila Hicks is exhibiting at The Bass in Miami. Atlanta has two shows for textiles lovers: Hand to Hand showcases southern craft until August 4 and SCAD FASH has Mary Katrantzou on view until July 28.

Know of fashion, textile, or costume exhibitions in your neck of the woods? Share with us!

Costume Institute Exhibition + Gala

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ Costume Institute’s 2019 exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion opens May 9 and runs through September 8. The exhibit showcases hundreds of objects from the seventeenth century through today. Just what is camp? Watch the Met’s video on the exhibition to find out.

The exhibition theme is framed around Susan Sontag’s essay Notes on Camp (1964). You can freely download the essay from Monoskop. Sontag includes clothing as a large part of camp, “emphasizing texture, sensuous surface, and style at the expense of content.”  Observer reviewed the exhibit and highlights some of the campiest of costumes included.

Of course, you can also see how celebrities interpreted the camp theme at last night’s Gala. Vogue and CNN have plenty of photos from the red carpet. Find out what camp means to Billy Porter.

Follow the hashtag #MetCamp and get a copy of the catalog for your library!


Exhibit: Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women

Day ensemble worn by Nathalie L. Klaus, 1972, Cotton voile, V.88.237.12a,b, Hanae Mori, Courtesy Jay Paul/Richmond magazine

What: Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women

Where: Valentine Museum, Richmond VA

When: Apr 26, 2018 – Jan 27, 2019

“The fashion industry in all its forms was one of the first industries to offer Richmond women of diverse backgrounds and colors an accepted professional path with prospects for personal agency. Communal participation is central to the success of the fashion industry. Through word of mouth, one woman’s social network can become another’s client base. At the same time, many of the Richmond women working in fashion have used their professional connections and successes to bring attention to the city and its industries.

In a superb display of high fashion and low from the 19th century to the present day, Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women will examine the role of fashion in the professional, creative and social advancement of women in Richmond, Virginia.”

(content from exhibit website)

Exhibition: William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016

What: William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016 Exhibition

When: Sep 23 2017-Jun 3 2018

Where: Mint Museum UPTOWN, Charlotte NC

“North Carolina native William Ivey Long is one of the most renowned theatrical costume designers working today. This exhibition, organized by The Mint Museum, explores Long’s most recent work, from 2007 to today. It features the theatrical productions The Lost Colony (redesigned 2007–2008), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013), Little Dancer (2014), and On the Twentieth Century (2015), as well as the television specials Grease Live! (2016), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (2016). Focusing on Long’s process, it features sketches, swatches, mood boards, and other preparatory materials in addition to the costumes themselves.”

ICYMI: Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons

The Costume Institute’s Spring exhibition “Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”  is ending soon on September 4, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Björk photographed by Inez and Vinoodh and styled by Mel Ottenberg in Comme des Garçons for the cover of T’s Spring 2015 Women’s Fashion issue.

In case you missed it  (ICYMI), here are some Rei/CdG  is a selected list of resources and articles I thought our group would find interesting to share with students and researchers:

VOGUE.COM released 2,537 archival 1990s images from 20 Comme des Garçons runway shows starting with the Spring 1991 collection. Read more about it here. Link to view all the Comme des Garçons images here.

Objects in the Costume Institute Collection (if anyone else has CdG pieces in their collection, please share in the comment section below).

Rare images from the lookbook & ephemera collection in the Costume Institute Library on VOGUE.COM

A Conservator’s View of “Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” 

6 Life Lessons from Rei Kawakubo by Lynn Yaeger

7 Key Themes in Rei Kawakubo’s Career by Alexander Fury 

Matthew Schneier’s interview with Rei Kawakubo for the NY Times

Roberta Smith’s review of the exhibition for the NY Times

Berg Fashion Library & Fashion Photography Archive (for those who have these subscriptions)

A list of books selected by our curatorial staff that we have on reserve at the Costume Institute Library for our docents:

At the end of the exhibition, we also compile all the press and related news articles related to the Spring show that is cataloged and shared with researchers as well.

And just for fun…..

Anthony Rucio’s 2017 Met Gala Rei Kawakbuo Inspiration for Dogs 

Rei Kawakubo’s Funny, Topsy-Turvy Fashion 



Coded_Couture Exhibition

Nowhere, Ying Gao

What: Coded_Couture Exhibition

Where: Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

When: 6/29/2017 – 8/14/2017

CODED_COUTURE looks at the intersection of fashion and technology, using computer coding as the ultimate design tool for customizing clothing and accessories. The clothing in this exhibition can act as a lie detector, shift according to the viewer’s gaze and interact with social media such as Twitter.

CODED_COUTURE features the work of 10 international artist-designers whose inventive techniques are rooted in new technology.