Tag Archive | Items is Fashion Modern

Eye On Design: Unisex Jumpsuit By Rudi Gernreich

Unisex Jumpsuit
All Photos By Gail

In 1970, Life magazine invited Rudi Gernreich (1922 – 1985) to envision what people would wear a decade in the future. He extended his prediction to the year 2000, illustrating men and women in matching ensembles with heads either shaved or wigged. Unlike other contemporaneous unisex styles, Gernreich’s designs did not use menswear as a baseline for women’s garments. “Women will wear pants and men will wear skits interchangeably,” he predicted. “The aesthetics of fashion are going to involve the body itself. We will train the body to grown beautifully rather than cover it to produce beauty.”

Unisex Jumpsuit Magazine Ad

Gernreich brought his concept to life for the U.S. Pavillion’s Art and Technology Program at Expo ’70, a memorable World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. He eliminated stylistic markers of gender on his models. “Our notion of masculine and feminine are being challenged as never before.” he asserted. “The basic masculine – feminine appeal is in people, not in clothes.” These sentiments are echoed today, as fashion continues to shift its understanding of gender as fluid.

Unisex Jumpsuits with Boots Installation View
Unisex Jumpsuits with White Boots, Installation View

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara, A-POC Queen

APOC Queen
All Photos By Gail

Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara’s A-POC Queen (1997) is a textile generated from a single thread by a computer-programmed industrial knitting machine. The resulting openwork knit tube bears a repeating pattern of woven  seams that create a patchwork of shapes whose outlines suggest dresses, shirts, socks, gloves and hats. The customer can cut along the seams without destroying the tubular structure of each individual item, and virtually no material is wasted in the process of creating — without needle or thread — a complete monochromatic outfit from this single swath of cloth.

APOC Queen Detail

For Miyake, the A-POC technique is an extension of the technological advances begun during the Industrial Revolution, which ultimately made ready-to-wear clothing possible. While automation has made fashion more accessible in some respects, it has also fostered overconsumption and waste. A-POC, an acronym for “A Piece of Cloth,” is also a play on the word epoch, a call to all to look to the next century with a sense of responsibility. “Will fashion be able to afford to keep the same old methodology?” asks Miyake. “I have endeavored to experiment to make fundamental changes to the system of making clothes.”

APOC Queen

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Platform Boots Worn By Elton John

EJ Boots
All Photos By Gail

In the 1930s, companies like Delman and Ferragamo popularized chunky sandals and shoes. The trend continued during and immediately after World War II in shoes produced in materials that were not restricted by rationing, such as cork, woven straw, and wood. British brand Biba proposed platform sandals for women that emphasized the individualistic, expressive flare characteristic of that decade’s fashion accessories — an attitude that men confidently adopted as well. Inventive and sometimes flamboyant, platform shoes were favored by musicians in the late twentieth century. In the 1970s especially, lavish platform boots in bright, metallic, or shiny materials intensified the glamorous look of male pop and rock stars including David Bowie and Elton John, for whom these metallic silver and red leather boots bearing his initials were made (by an unknown designer) in 1974.

EJ Boots

Club Kids wore multicolored platform shoes to raves in the 1990s, and pop sensations the Spice Girls made them fashionable, especially for young women. In the twenty-first century, platform shoes have reached new heights in the work of designers such as Alexander McQueen and Noritaka Tatehana.

EJ Boots

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Burkini By Aheda Zanetti

Burkini
All Photos By Gail

The Burkini is an amalgamation of two different garments: the Burqa, a garment covering the face and body worn by Muslim women, and the two-piece Bikini bathing suit. Australian designer Aheda Zanetti designed the Burkini — trademarking it as the Burqini — in the early 2000’s to help her niece participate in school sports and beach culture, while adhering to Islamic modesty tenets. The ensemble combines loose leggings and a roomy tunic top with an attached, close-fitting head covering; colored stripes or transfers decorate the bust to further camouflage the body’s shape. The Burkini has proved popular not only with Muslim women but also with women from other cultural and religious backgrounds who feel disenchanted by other forms of swimwear, are concerned with modesty from other perspectives, or who wear it as a precaution against sun exposure.

Burkini Headpiece Detail
Burkini Headpiece Detail

Burkini Installation View

The Burkini has bean a lightning rod for larger tensions between Islamic and Western cultures. Since August 2016, following a terrorist attack in Nice, for example, some cities in southern France banned the garment on public beaches.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: MacAndreas Tartan Mini Kilt with Sporran and Safety-Pin Mouthpiece By Vivienne Westwood

Westwood Kilt
All Photos By Gail

Pioneering designer Vivienne Westwood’s seminal 1993/94 Anglomania collection enshrined the kilt in high fashion. It was worn on the runway by Kate Moss, who sported the look shown here, and by Naomi Campbell, who famously fell while wearing the Super Elevation Gillie platforms. The kilt evolved from a single long piece of durable, harsh twill in muted colors that Scottish Highland men wrapped around the lower body, belted, and the passed over one shoulder.

Safety Pin Mouthpiece
Safety Pin Mouthpiece – Punk Rock!

Beginning in the late seventeenth century, pleats were sown into the back the skirt, loops were added for ease of belting, and the top length formed an autonomous garment. For Highland clans , the kilt symbolized familial, military and geographic loyalties. Following a series of incursions known as the Jacobite Uprisings, the garment was banned by English law in 1746, and its use declined precipitously. The kilt was revived by nineteenth-century elites, who invented new traditions around its use.

Kilt Sporran Detail
Kilt Sporran Detail

Worn by the military until the mid-twentieth century, the kilt became a nostalgic symbol for Scottish nationals in diaspora, and it is a common element of girls’ private school uniforms and ceremonial wedding attire. Punks subversively paired it with hoodies and graphic T-shirts

Photographed at part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern? on Through January 28th, 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.