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Calendar of Events

Fashion Culture programs are organized by The Museum at FIT to provide new perspectives on the culture of fashion.
Programs are free unless otherwise indicated. Reservations are required for all events, as space is limited. 
Join the conversation online using #FashionCulture

You may also register by phone: 212 217.4585 or via email: [email protected]
If you require accommodations due to a disability please contact [email protected] to discuss your needs. 
The request should be provided with enough time to reasonably setup the accommodation.  
 
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Events

Cover of Dapper Dan Made in Harlem A Memoir by Daniel R. Day features Dappe Dan posing in window
Photo: Courtesy of Penguin Random House.                          
Dapper Dan in conversation with Valerie Steele

Thursday, February 13 | 6 pm 
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

With his now-legendary store on 125th Street in Harlem, Dapper Dan pioneered high-end streetwear in the 1980s, remixing classic luxury-brand logos into his own innovative, glamorous designs. In this book, Dapper Dan tells his full story for the first time. Book signing to follow the presentation.

Register
Cover of Dressing Barbie features a white Barbie doll in a colorful floral sleeveless dress
Photo: Courtesy of HarperCollins.                                                
                                                       
Dressing Barbie

Carol Spencer

Tuesday, February 25 | 7 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

In this book presentation, Carol Spencer will share the history of the Barbie doll, and how it evolved to become an American icon. Spencer held a design position at Mattel during a time when technology and marketing changed rapidly. She will discuss her designs for Barbie spanning four decades. Book signing to follow the presentation.

Register

brown and beige evening gown
Photo: Balmain, brown and beige net evening gown, circa 1956. The Museum at FIT, 84.125.5. Gift of Mrs. F. Leval.
Pioneering African American Ballerinas

Aesha Ash, Debra Austin, Virginia Johnson, Lydia Abarca Mitchell, and Silas Farley, moderator

Thursday, February 27 | 7 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Join four pioneering African American ballerinas as they discuss their groundbreaking careers and their paths to national and international stardom. The panel includes: Virginia Johnson, prima ballerina and current director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH); Lydia Abarca, first prima ballerina of DTH; Debra Austin, first ever African American ballerina with New York City Ballet (NYCB) and principal ballerina with the Pennsylvania Ballet; and Aesha Ash, former ballerina with NYCB.

Register
Cover of The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story
Photo: Courtesy Rizzoli                                                               
The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story

Amy Fine Collins

Wednesday, March 4 | 6 pm 
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Join journalist and author Amy Fine Collins as she presents her latest book, The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story. Fine Collins will discuss how the “Best-Dressed List” is reflective of current society. Organized in collaboration with FIT’s School of Graduate Studies, this is a tie-in to the exhibition Eleanor Lambert: Empress of Seventh Avenue. Book signing to follow the presentation.

Register
Emma McClendon
Photo: Emma McClendon                                                         
Suits, Power, and Gender

Chloe Chapin and Emma McClendon

Tuesday, March 10 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Join Power Mode curator Emma McClendon for a discussion with Harvard scholar Chloe Chapin about the suit, gender, and “power dressing.” Drawing on the recent resurgence of the suit in fashion, they will consider the history and endurance of this enigmatic ensemble. A book signing will follow the event.

Register
Headshot of Korina Emmerich in white sleeveless top
Photo: Korina Emmerich photographed by Jonathan Nesteruk.                 

       
Jeffrey Gibson and Korina Emmerich in Conversation

Tuesday, March 17 | 6 pm 
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Jeffrey Gibson and Korina Emmerich will discuss Native American fashion design. Gibson is an award-winning Choctaw-Cherokee artist, whose work combines traditional Native American elements with contemporary references. Emmerich is the founder of EMME, a fashion brand, which reflects her indigenous heritage stemming from the Coast Salish territory, Puyallup tribe.

Register
Streetstyle photo of Prabal Gurung wearing blue, white, and yellow sweatshirt under a purple puffer coat with blue fur trim on hood
Photo: Prabal Gurung photographed by JoannaTotolici.             
                                     
Prabal Gurung in Conversation with Valerie Steele

Wednesday, March 18 | 1 pm 
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Fashion designer Prabal Gurung and MFIT Director Valerie Steele will discuss his innovative and international career. With over 80 percent of his collections made in New York, Gurung is committed to sustaining domestic employment, income, and production. His family’s Shikshya Foundation Nepal provides education to children to impact his country’s future.

Register
grayscale headshot of Theresa Ruth Howard
Photo: Coutesy of Theresa Ruth Howard.                                   
Blacks in Ballet: The Shadow World

Theresa Ruth Howard

Thursday, March 19 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Join Theresa Ruth Howard for an enlightening lecture documenting the history of Blacks in ballet. A former ballerina, Howard is now a writer, lecturer, and consultant. She is also the founder and curator of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet.org), a website filled with the biographies of nearly 500 dancers of color.

Register
still image form film Red Shoes
Photo: Image courtesy of Park Circus/MGM Studios.                              
The Red Shoes (1948) Film Screening

Wednesday, March 25 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Lauded as the greatest ballet movie ever made, The Red Shoes (1948) is a compelling story of a young ballerina who must choose between her career and love. The film is enriched with extraordinary dance sequences and opulent cinematography.

Register

Headshot of Robin Givhan in yellow sweater
Robin Givhan photographed by Helayne Seidman.                        
Fashion and Political Power

Robin Givhan

Thursday, April 2 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Robin Givhan will discuss the current relationship between fashion, politics, and power. Drawing on her experience as fashion critic for The Washington Post, Givhan will address such potent sartorial symbols as the MAGA hat, the Pussyhat, and the white suit.

Register
back of nude model sitting on couch
Photo: Juergen Teller’s Nackt auf Sigmund Freuds Couch (Naked on Sigmund Freud’s Couch) (2006)
Fashion Victims: Dressing Up the Death Drive

Patricia Gherovici and Jamieson Webster

Thursday, April 16 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

If looks can kill, who is the victim in fashion? Scholars Patricia Gherovici and Jamieson Webster will engage in psychoanalytic readings of fashion. They will analyze fashion impulses from the phallic charm of Gucci to the suicide of Alexander McQueen, from the invention of new fads to fashion as art or creation as understood in the Lacanian notion of sinthome.

Register
smiling Grazia d’Annunzio at the Paris, Capital of Fashion symposium at The Museum at FIT
Photo: Grazia d’Annunzio at the Paris, Capital of Fashion symposium at The Museum at FIT.
Stefano Tonchi and Grazia D’Annunzio in Conversation About Power in Fashion

Tuesday, Apri 21 | 6 pm 
Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Theater
Marvin Feldman Center, Second Floor

Join Stefano Tonchi, former editor-in-chief of W Magazine, and formerly deputy director of Vogue Italia Grazia d’Annunzio as they discuss the power of military uniforms and their influence on high fashion. Tonchi is co-author of the book Uniform: Order and Disorder.

Register
headshot of Erika Massaquoi wearing an African print halter top
Photo: Erika Massaquoi photographed by Dorothée Brand.
Creative Entrepreneurship: How to Build an Ethical Impact Brand

Erika Massaquoi

Thursday, April 23 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Join designer and curator Erika Dalya Massaquoi, PhD, for a discussion of how she built a fashion brand,The OULA Company, that reflects the ethical motivations that are important to contemporary consumers. Massaquoi will discuss economic development, sustainability, and black fashion activism.

Register
book cover of Dress Your Best Life features Dawnn standing in front of rack of colorful clothes
Photo: Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company.                            
Dress Your Best Life

Dawnn Karen

Tuesday, May 5 | 6 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

The author is an adjunct faculty member at the Fashion Institute of Technology who has been dubbed “the dress doctor” by The New York Times. In the book, Karen breaks down the psychology behind fashion for readers ready to harness its potential. A book signing will follow the event.

Register
 

Symposium

Ballerina sitting in graceful pose in a gold and white tulle ensemble
Photo: Lauren Lovette (NYCB), Behnaz Sarafpour dress, 2003. Photograph by Isabel Magowan.

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Ballerina Symposium

Friday, March 6, 10 am - 5 pm
Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Theater
Marvin Feldman Center, Second Floor

Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse will be The Museum at FIT’s 23rd academic symposium.The one-day event will explore the ways in which twentieth-century ballerinas and their glamorous, romantic costumes profoundly inspired modern fashion.

Speakers will include Lynn Garafola, professor emeritus of Columbia University; Laura Jacobs, dance and fashion critic; Jane Pritchard, curator of dance at the Victoria and Albert Museum; and Patricia Mears, deputy director of MFIT and curator of Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse.

Admission to the symposium is free.

Learn more



Talk & Tours

neon pink hat with cat-like ears
Photo: “Pussyhat,” 2017, gift of Colleen Hill.                                
Power Mode: The Force of Fashion


Wednesday, February 19, 11 am - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, April 8, 11 am
Monday, April 27, 6 pm

Fashion & Textile History Gallery

Power Mode: The Force of Fashion will explore the role fashion plays in establishing, reinforcing, and challenging power dynamics within society. It will concentrate on five categories: military, suits, status, rebellion, and sex.

Talk and Tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are required.

Register
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, evening dress, spring/summer, 2014, Spain.
Photo: Christian Dior gown, 1947. Photograph by Louise Dahl-Wolfe. The Museum at FIT.
Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse

Wednesday, March 11, 11 am - SOLD OUT
Monday, March 23, 6 pm - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, April 15, 11 am

Fashion & Textile History Gallery

Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse will illustrate the influence of classical ballet and ballerinas on high fashion from the early 1930s to the late 1970s.The exhibition will feature fashion ranging from Parisian couture to American ready-to-wear.

Talk and Tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are required.

Register
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, evening dress, spring/summer, 2014, Spain.
Photo: Traina-Norell, dress, c. 1947.                                           
Eleanor Lambert: Empress of Seventh Avenue

Monday, March 16, 6 pm - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, March 25, 11 am - SOLD OUT

Fashion & Textile History Gallery

Eleanor Lambert: Empress of Seventh Avenue explores the transformative achievements of the “original fashion publicist.” Lambert’s tireless advocacy for American designers brought global recognition to New York as an international fashion capital.

Talk and Tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are required.


 

Family Activities

man's ensemble; grey wool short suit, jacket, shorts, tie, white cotton shirt, pocket square, silver tie bar, black leather wingtip boots and grey socks
Photo: Thom Browne, man’s suit and bag, 2018, USA, gift of Thom Browne. 2019.5.1
Exploring Power Mode


Friday, May 1 | 3:30 pm

Fashion & Textile History Gallery

Join The Museum at FIT for an exploration of the world of identity, behavior, and physicality through fashion. Families are invited to a tour of Power Mode: The Force of Fashion, followed by a hands-on fashion activity. Suggested ages are 5 to 12 years old.

The group will meet in the lobby of MFIT.

Register
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