John Paul Gaultier was among the createurs who helped make French fashion so exciting in the 1980s. The way he played with conventions of sex and gender, in particular, has had a profound influence on fashion. For example, rather than using coresetry to reinforce conventional ideals of beauty, Gaultier has always emphasized that many body types, genders and ages can be attractive. This Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress, featuring Gaultier’s signature cone bra top (made famous by Madonna) is from his 1984 Fall collection.
In recent years, Asian American designers, especially those of Chinese heritage, have emerged as a significant presence in New York’s fashion world, comparable to that of Jewish immigrants in the past. To be a member of the Chinese diaspora can be advantageous when much apparel is manufactured in China, and Chinese consumers are a growing force in the fashion world. In addition to his New York-based eponymous business, Alexander Wang was for a time a designer at Balenciaga in Paris. This sporty-chic Orange and Black cotton and synthetic-blend Mesh Knit Mini Dress is from Wang’s Spring 2015 collection.
Photographed as Part of The Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion, On View at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan Through January 4th, 2020.