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Exhibitions

1857 full length pink dress with tiers of fringe-trimmed taffeta, corset bodice and belled sleeves
Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color
Special Exhibitions Gallery
September 7, 2018 – January 5, 2019 

Pink is popularly associated with little girls, ballerinas, Barbie dolls, and all things feminine. Yet the symbolism and significance of pink have varied greatly across time and space. The stereotype of pink-for-girls versus blue-for-boys may be ubiquitous today, but it only gained traction in the mid-twentieth century. In the eighteenth century, when Madame de Pompadour helped make pink fashionable at the French court, it was perfectly appropriate for a man to wear a pink suit, just as a woman might wear a pink dress. In cultures such as India, men never stopped wearing pink.

Yet anyone studying pink comes up against “the color’s inherent ambivalence.” One of “the most divisive of colors,” pink provokes strong feelings of both “attraction and repulsion.”  “Please sisters, back away from the pink,” wrote one journalist, responding to the pink pussy hats worn at the Women’s March. Some people think pink is pretty, sweet, and romantic, while others associate it with childish frivolity or flamboyant vulgarity. In recent years, however, pink has increasingly has been interpreted as cool, androgynous, and political. 

Curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color explores the changing significance of the color pink over the past three centuries. 

Read more about Pink.

Image: Afternoon dress, pink silk taffeta, 1857, USA, museum purchase.

arms and hands reflective of different races embracing each other
Expressions of Civility
Gallery FIT & Other Locations
November 19, 2018 – January 26, 2019 

Expressions of Civility is the annual Fashion Institute of Technology faculty/staff exhibition. This year, for the first time ever, the faculty/staff show will include student work. The theme was chosen in order to support and expand upon President Dr. Joyce F. Brown’s campus-wide initiative on civility, which culminated in October with Civility Week. All of the work featured in this multimedia exhibit will revolve around
this meditation on civility:


What does it mean to be civil in a world that is increasingly coarse and unkind? In an era during which personal attacks and inflammatory positions have superseded dialogue and debate, how do we seek to understand that which separates us? How do we build connections that increase empathy, inclusivity, knowledge, and community? Civility, and the ability to reconcile our differences for the greater good, are at the very root of a democratic society. Civility encourages forward movement, it moves us past our points of conflict, it fuels progress. Ultimately, it's the only thing that ever has.


Other dates/locations for the exhibit include:
November 14th, 2018 - October 2019: Lynn and Carl Goldstein Gallery, Feldman Center, Ninth Floor (Faculty/Staff Work)
November 19th, 2018 - March 31, 2019: Gladys Marcus Library, Fifth and Six Floors (Student Work)

Image: Courtesy of Ni Ouyang.

1857 full length pink dress with tiers of fringe-trimmed taffeta, corset bodice and belled sleeves
Fabric In Fashion
Fashion & Textile History Gallery
December 4, 2018 – May 4, 2019 

Fabric In Fashion explores the role played by textiles in forming the silhouette in Western fashion over the last 250 years. The examination of textiles is often separated from that of the fashionable silhouette, yet historically, textiles were as important as the cut of clothing in keeping up with current fashion. This exhibition delves into the mechanics of textiles, looking at how fibers and weaves build the materiality of fashion. It will also explore the cultural influence of fabric. The Western world’s demand for fashionable textiles of silk, cotton, wool, and synthetics has had enormous repercussions across the globe.

Fabric In Fashion highlights both clothing and flat textiles from the museum’s permanent collection, examining how the physical properties of specific fabrics determine the way a piece of clothing interacts with the body, as well as how the design and cultural associations of textiles reveal the social motivations that drive fashion forward. The exhibition is organized by Elizabeth Way, assistant curator of costume.

Read more about Fabric In Fashion.

Image: Traina-Norell, “Indian sari” silk brocade dress, circa 1955, gift of Mildred Morton.
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