Tag Archive | Museum at FIT

Eye On Design: Down Filled Evening Jacket by Charles James

Down Filled Evening Jacket
All Photos By Gail

In 1937, Anglo-American couturier Charles James created the first high-fashion, down-filled jacket; an early James masterpiece. James meticulously constructed this classically inspired garment around the human form, resulting in a jacket quite unlike the boxy version produced by Eddie Bauer.

Model Wearing the Jacket
Photo of Model Wearing the Jacket

Soft and pliable, it was also dramatically different from James‘ own best known work: gowns as rigid as the hats he designed. The James jacket reappeared in the fashion press decades later. It then gained cult status and also may have inspired a number of New York designers who began to make their versions of the down-filled parka during the 1970s.

Down Filled Evening Jacket

Down Filled Evening Jacket by Charles James was photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in July 2014 (Top Photo) and in the Museum at FIT as part of the Exhibit, Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme, which closed January 6th, 2018.

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Eye On Design: Karl Lagerfeld’s Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket

Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket
All Photos By Gail

The spring 1991 collection by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel was clearly inspired by surfing wet-suits. The Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket was one of several brightly-colored versions covered in shimmering sequins that glistened like wet neoprene, and the lines of black, grosgrain trim are similar to the seams of a wet-suit. Lagerfeld called this jacket “the city surfer” look and noted that it was “perfect for diving into the nightlife from Paris to Rome to London to New York.”

Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme which Runs Through at January 6, 2018 the Museum at FIT In Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Paco Rabanne Disc Dress Circa 1966

Paco Rabanne Dress 1966
All Photos By Gail

Paco Rabanne presented his first fashion collection in 1966. It was entitled 12 Dresses in Unwearable Materials and included garments made from links of plastic fastened with metal hoops. Rabanne had proven that fabric, needle and thread were not altogether necessary to clothing design, and he quickly gained fame for his defiance of tradition.

Paco Rabanne Dress 1966 Installation View

Ready-to-wear Dress Circa 1966: Silver and Black Plastic Discs, Metal Hoops. Photographed in the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Pink Thing of The Day: Happy Tank

Happy Tank Film Still
All Photos By Gail

A few weeks ago, we went over to  The Fashion Institute of Technology to check out the 2017 MFA in Illustration Visual Thesis Exhibition, which was entitled 13 Stories.  It is while visiting the exhibit that I discovered a cool Pink Thing created by FIT student and MFA candidate Necdet Yilmaz, who is a native of Turkey.  Necdet’s visual thesis, Happy Tank, is a story about a little machine built for war that doesn’t want to fight. Happy Tank must be sent to war, but refuses to fire at a large building where a child is seen crying. For disobeying the order, Happy Tank is decommissioned and melted down. The story concludes with Happy Tank being recycled and used to construct a playground years after the war is over.

Happy Tank Film Still

Screen Shots from Happy Tank Animated Film (Above and Below)

Happy Tank Film Still

Necdet explains that this project “is related to my written thesis, War Themed Childrn’s Books and Propaganda. In wars, children are often affected and exploited as a propaganda tool. However, my project is in opposition to what I researched in my thesis. Personally, I am inspired to create these piece because of my background. My home country, Turkey, is located near the Middle East where there is constant war. This instability affects people in the region, like myself, economically, socially and psychologically.

Happy Tank Book

“This body of work is executed in three different mediums: animation, print in the form of a children’s book and toy design. Using 3D software and animation for the first time while I was creating this work was an exciting challenge for me. I learned a lot about myself while discovering the intricacies of unfamiliar technologies. In particular, especially, when I created the animation I learned how designing three-dimensional characters, objects and environments, using different camera angles, lighting and sound in combination enhanced my creative skill.”

Given our political climate today, Happy Tank could be considered more relevant now than ever. You can see more projects by Necdet at his website, located at This Link.

Photographed in the Museum at FIT, Located on Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, as Part of the 13 Stories Exhibit, which is now Closed.

Happy Tank

Eye on Design: The Tree Evening Dress and The Petal Stole By Charles James

Tree Evening Dress
All Photos By Gail

With its petal-like stole, this evening gown, The Tree (1955),  transforms the wearer into a flower, giving her a sensual elegance. Couturier Charles James (1906 – 1978) often envisioned his clients as exotic flowers and he believed that fashion should arouse the mating instinct. Ooh!

Tree Evening Dress

Psychologist Nancy Etcoff writes, “Flowers are alluring landing strips for pollinating insects: They are the plant worlds sex objects.” Think about that next time you see  a flower.

Charles James 1946 By Irving Penn
Charles James, Photographed in 1946, By Irving Penn

Tree Evening Dress

Photographed as part of the Force of Nature Exhibit, on Through November 18th, 2017 at at The Museum at FIT, Located at the Southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street, in NYC.

Eye On Design Presents: Paco Rabanne Gold Metal Handbag Circa 1966

Paco Rabanne Gold Metal Handbag
Photo By Gail

Paco Rabanne was first known as an accessories designer and his work was regularly featured in the pages of magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. This bag was likely made after the designer has started his clothing line. It shows how his idea of “futuristic armor” was translated into an eye-catching accessory

Photographed in the Museum at FIT

Eye On Design: YSL Color Block Couture Dress Circa 1965

YSL Couture Color Block Dress
Photos By Gail

Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 1965 collection was inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. While it became one of Saint Laurent’s most famous collections, other designers had introduced similar designs before him. The Montreal Gazette claimed that color-blocked dresses by Michele Roiser had inspired Saint Laurent to “add a few black lines” to his own creations. View some of the collections here: https://teranicouture.com/collection/evening-dresses-2016-and-2017

Installation View

YSL dress seen here with a color block design by Lousi Feraud (circa 1967) on the left.

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