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Special Events and Projects

Photo by Aaron Corbett.
Chanel and Her Rivals: Women and 20th-Century Fashion
October 15, 2015 | 5:30pm
Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens
Washington, DC

Valerie Steele will discuss women and 20th-century fashion, focusing on the great fashion designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Steele will discuss Chanel in the context of her profession, and compare her work to other female fashion designers of the 1920s and 1930s, such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet. This was the golden age of the couturière, when female designers dominated Paris fashion. Yet when Chanel came back into business in the 1950s, the world of fashion had changed, and she faced mostly male rivals, such as Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Jacques Fath. What is the situation of female fashion designers today? Have they regained parity with men?

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Fashion: Now and Then
October 22–24, 2015
Adrian G. Marcuse Library, LIM College
New York, NY

The Adrian G. Marcuse Library at LIM College will host its fifth annual conference, Fashion: Now & Then, from October 22-24, 2015. The conference will explore the past, present, and future uses of fashion information and the global reach of the fashion industry. Participants will be drawn from the fashion industry, libraries, archives, academic institutions, publishers, collectors, and museums to represent a full range of expertise. On Oct. 23, Mindy Meissen, MFIT assistant museum media manager, will present "Our Data, Ourselves: Fashion and Identity in the 21st-century Network."

For more information, visit the conference blog.

A Small Museum Goes Global
November 5, 2015 | 1:15pm
Museum Computer Network 2015 Conference
Minneapolis, MN

The theme of the 2015 Museum Computer Network conference is The Invisible Architectures of Connected Museums: Making Meaning with People, Collections, and Information. Tamsen Young, digital media manager of The Museum at FIT, will discuss the digital initiatives associated with MFIT's current exhibition, Global Fashion Capitals. These include an animated style map, a digital publication on global fashion bloggers, and use of online platforms such as Instagram, Google Maps, and Pinterest. This presentation will discuss the successes (and challenges) of bridging the onsite and online museum visitor experience.

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Initiatives in Art and Culture

Initiatives in Art & Culture | Trailblazers
November 13-14, 2015 | 8:00am - 6:30pm
New York, NY

The 2015 Trailblazers Fashion Conference focuses on those who fearlessly set out to transform that which had been deemed immutable—be it a garment, material, jewel, or method of production—into the new, the truly innovative. Three members of MFIT's curatorial team will be presenting about their curatorial work: Ariele Elia, Emma McClendon, and Elizabeth Way.

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The Valentine Costume & Textile Collection Mini-Symposium
November 15, 2015 | 1–3:30pm
The Valentine
Richmond, VA

Attendees of the mini-symposium will have an opportunity to visit the inaugural exhibition of the new Nathalie L. Klaus and Reynolds Family Galleries, Classical Allure: Richmond Style.

Colleen Hill, MFIT associate curator of accessories, will discuss her work on upcoming exhibition Fairy Tale Fashion, an exhibition using some of the most extraordinary, beautiful, and luxurious examples of fashion to illustrate more than a dozen fairy tales, including well-known tales such as “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Little Red Riding Hood.”

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NATCC conference 2015

Can Movement be a Conservation Goal?
November 20, 2015
2015 North American Textile Conservator's Conference (NATCC)
Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC

The theme of this year's NATCC conference is "Materials in Motion." Marjorie Jonas, MFIT assistant conservator, will present the paper "Can Movement be a Conservation Goal? Preserving the Essence of Automata in the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection" along with her fellow conservators Kathy Francis (Francis Textile Conservation LLC) and Jere Ryder (Guinness Collection at the Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ).

All talks will be held in the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre at FIT, but other workshops and tours will be scheduled around the city November 16-20. 

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Past Workshops

Cross-Pollination: Masterpieces of the Collections
Online event

This workshop was organized by The Museum at FIT in conjunction with Mexico’s Atelier Romo and the Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros (SAPS). Under the mentorship of artist Sebastian Romo and Tanya Melendez, MFIT’s curator of education, students from FIT and Atelier Romo interpreted MFIT’s costume collection and SAPS’ murals. Results are published via the link above.

Cross Pollination Eco Fashion
Cross-Pollination: Eco-Fashion
Online event

Students from FIT and the Mexican school CENTRO shared their skills, diverse perspectives and interpretations of the MFIT exhibition Eco-Fashion: Going Green.

In the summer of 2010, The Museum at FIT invited five students from each institution to investigate ecological sustainability in fashion and what that means to them. The two teams of students were then asked to work together to develop a joint project that would reflect their discoveries and conclusions...
This workshop was organized in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and Centro de diseño, cine y television. It was made possible in part through funding by the FIT Student-Faculty Corporation.

cross polination
Cross-Pollination: Fashion & Politics
Online event

Students from FIT and the Mexican school CENTRO shared their diverse skills and perspectives in order to help each other arrive at interpretations of the MFIT exhibition Fashion & Politics. The results of this online collaboration are published here on MFIT’s website. Organized in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.

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