Fall weather is slowly creeping into NYC, which means fashionable ladies are thinking about layering-up, integrating heavier fabrics into their wardrobes, and maybe adding a tartan plaid to a traditionally muted seasonal color palette. From the look of it alone, one might assume that this voluminous design by designer Rei Kawakubo is from a fall line, but you would be mistaken. It was Kawakubo’s collection from Spring 2017 that featured enormous garments that engulf the body, such as this geometric Tartan Dress for her label, Comme de Garcons. Her designs have typically embraced abstraction and, more recently, a non-functional style. Since 2014, the designer’s collections have consisted of garments that bridge the gap between art and fashion, moving into uncharted territory.
Garments such as this A-line Baby Ruth Paper Dress (circa 1968) by Mars of Ashville (marketed under the name Wastebasket Boutique) became popular marketing tools for brands during the 1960s. The work of Pop artists like Andy Warhol was similarly turning everyday products into works of art. “Paper is the clue to the future,” declared Women’s Wear Daily in 1966.
Installation View with Michael Mott Target Minidress (1968)
See more examples of paper dresses from the sixties Here and Here!
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Minimalism/Maximalism, On View at the Museum at FIT Through November 16th, 2019.
These Summer Of Love-era sneakers were designed by artist Peter Max, who is best known for his trippy, colorful and psychedelic designs of the 1960s and ’70s. As craft became a form of cultural commentary, wearable art was used as a symbol of the counterculture’s personal and political allegiances.
These sneakers had an original sale price of $3.97, and can now be found on auction sites such as eBay selling for, on average, about $600 per pair. The back of the sneaker has a grinning red mouth across it, part of which can be seen in the above photo.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Minimalism / Maximalism, on Through November 16, 2019 at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan .
Exaggerated proportions and visual intricacy define this maximalist ensemble by Comme des Garçons. The elaborate coat and bodysuit, in various fabrics including cotton, wool, nylon, polyester and linen — and in assorted shades of pink, red and white, are part of the Spring 2018Multidimensional Graffiti collection, which appropriated the works 10 artists ranging from the 16th century to today.
Shown Here in Contrast to a Minimalist Design By Narciso Rodriguez (Left)
According to Women’s Wear Daily, the result was a mash-up of prints and textures that allied to “the possibilities inherent when wildly unlike visual perspective coexist.”
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Minimalism / Maximalism at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan Through November 16, 2019.
By the 20th century, wool suits and coats were indispensable, practical elements of fashionable daywear for women. Double-faced wool, used here by designer Mila Schön for her Blue Coat (1968) is woven almost as two separate textiles, joined by a set of interwoven yarns, creating a thick, structural, spongy fabric.
The textile’s density supports this A-line silhouette, while the wool’s pliability eases the inset of Pop Art circles. The hems were self-finished by opening the layers and stitching the edges to the inside.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fabric in Fashion, on View Through May 4th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
Kei Kagami is a Japanese architect and designer living in London whose conceptual, avant-garde designs have been referred to as Torture Couture for their integration of mechanical elements and contraptions. What’s closer to the truth is that they are, like the haute couture of a designer like Alexander McQueen, wearable works of art.
Anatomy, biology, ecology and futurism combine in his more surreal designs in which glass tubes, vials and magnifying glasses are used to break the traditional boundaries and tackle themes of transformation, and a garment’s interaction with the wearer. Using an eclectic mix of materials such as silk, lether, metaol, plastic an glass, Kagami’s conceptual pieces are always informed by his study of architecture.
The Anatomy1 Ensemble (2007) was originally featured in the Museum at FIT’s 2008 show, Gothic: Dark Glamour, but it can also currently be seen as part of Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT, on view through April 20th, 2019.
The Pink Dress that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the 1999 Academy Awards was designed by Ralph Lauren to recall Grace Kelly. Featured in Hal Rubenstein’s 100 Unforgettable Dresses, it testifies to the enduring appeal of a pretty pink dress that makes the wearer look like a princess.
Photographed as Part of The Exhibit, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, on Exhibit Through January 5th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT, Located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street in NYC.