Exhibition

Dec 03 - Apr 30

2013
The Museum at FIT
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
New York, 10001-5992.
USA
  • (left) Oscar de la Renta, caftan, multi colored caftan with beaded trim, c. 1963, USA, gift of Diana Vreeland. (right) Emilio Pucci, dress, printed silk jersey, c. 1970, Italy, Gift of Robert Wells in Memory of Lisa Kirk.

  • Chanel (Karl Lagerfeld), suit, pink wool and synthetic blend, white cotton, spring 1994, France, gift of Chanel Inc. Chanel (Karl Lagerfeld), necklace, gold plated metal, fall 1991, France, Gift of Depuis 1924.

  • (left) Christian Dior, evening dress, red machine lace, red and white tulle, c. 1950, France, gift of Nancy White, (right) Anne Fogarty, dress, red silk, c. 1954, USA, unknown origin.

Gallery

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Trend-ology exhibition at the The Museum at FIT

Fashion would be nothing without trends. They form part of its DNA and they are responsible for its continuous reinvention season after season. But although many of us are familiarized with the trend paraphernalia, even watching closely the latest fashion shows or spotting in the streets the tendencies of the moment, we are hardly aware of the way trends originate. Trends reflect the zeitgeist in an astonishing way and have various sociological connotations that are not always easy to spot. That´s why trend analysis is one of the most difficult and sought after practices since it requires intuition and a deeper knowledge not only of fashion, but also of politics, art, mass media, technology and the broader socio-cultural context of each case. After all, where would the mini skirt or the bikini trend stand without taking into consideration the historical context in which they appeared? Even bearing all these in mind, the origin of some trends still remains unsolved, making them an ongoing enigma for the fashion-aware crowd. Fashion never goes out of trends, in the same way that it never goes out of style, and that’s why, from bloggers and coolhunters to stylists and journalists, we will always be on the lookout for the next big trend.

In a celebration of the prominent role of trends in fashion, The Museum at FIT presents Trend-ology, a new exhibition that examines the sources from which fashion trends have emerged over the past 250 years. Featuring approximately 100 objects from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition also highlights, as the organizers explain, industry developments that have had an impact on how trends emerged. The exhibition’s historical chronology begins with two 18th-century ensembles in vibrant shades of yellow, a trend color in the 18th century after having been negatively associated with “heretics”, and continues with the emergence of the couture house and the subsequent rise of the department store in the mid-19th century. It also features the Orientalism trend of the first decades of the 20th century, the birth of glamour in the 1930’s and The American Look in the 1940’s, Christian Dior’s New Look from 1947, Mary Quant’s daringly short mini-dresses from the 1960’s, the reemerging exoticism of the brightly colored Kaftans of Emilio Pucci and Oscar de la Renta, body-revealing jumpsuits from the disco era of the 1970’s, the conspicuous luxury of the 1980’s, represented by a dress from Christian Lacroix, and even the logo T-shirts and the rap inspired collection of Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel of the 1990’s.

Finally, the exhibition explores the rebirth of the minimalism in the 1990’s, with designers like Calvin Klein or Helmut Lang, the beginning of the “high-low” collaborations, including a “Rodarte for Target”, the “It bag” phenomenon of the 21st century, represented by a Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 bag designed in collaboration with Takashi Murakami, the emergence of the concept stores and the continuous resurrection of trends like leopard, tartan and camouflage, each time imbued with a new cultural resonance befitting the moment. The advent of fast fashion, the internet and social media have created a quick-paced global environment in which fashion trends emerge and spread in faster and more complex ways than ever before, point out the organizers of the exhibition. By looking back at the history of trends, Trend-ology will help viewers gain insight into the current state of the trend cycle.

Trend-ology is being organized by Emma McClendon and Ariele Elia. The exhibition will be on view from December 5, 2013, through April 30, 2014, in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery at The Museum at FIT.