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Comme des Garçons (Rei Kawakubo)
Pleather, faux fur, rubber, and synthetic ensemble
Fall 2016, Japan
Museum purchase, 2017.52.1
Rei Kawakubo’s famous “18th-Century Punk” collection utilized the shapes and colors of pre-Revolutionary French fashion to convey a message of transgressive female power. The wide paniers on the 1750 dress are here transposed into broad shoulders and wide, ruffled sleeves.
Chromat (Becca McCharen-Tran)
Black spandex and plastic boning
Spring 2015, USA
Museum purchase, 2017.53.1
This ensemble was worn by model Denise Bidot during Chromat’s spring 2015 runway show. Chromat holds some of the most diverse runway presentations in fashion, with models who range across size, race, age, and gender identity. The label is known for its architectural athletic wear and directional cage pieces that play on the construction of historical undergarments, such as the bustle and crinoline.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Fall 2010, France
Museum purchase, 2017.61.1
Jean Paul Gaultier was a pioneer of underwear as outerwear, adapting foundation wear into erotic ready-to-wear. This bustier is a prime example. Shown in 2010, it recalls the famous cone bra costumes he designed for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990.
Oscar de la Renta
Black and white wool tweed, ostrich feathers, beads, and rhinestones
Gift of Elizabeth Graham Weymouth, 2017.67.1
Oscar de la Renta’s cocktail dress exemplifies how the “ragged” appearance of unraveled fabric has become fully incorporated into high fashion. The artful disarray of the dense fringe at the skirt’s hem — created from strands of unwoven wool tweed — is countered by the conventional opulence of the beads, rhinestones, and ostrich feathers.