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Fashion and Physique Symposium

Cover: Martin Margiela, tunic, 1997, Belgium. Photograph © MFIT.
Cover: Martin Margiela, tunic, 1997, Belgium. Photograph © MFIT.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Theater
Marvin Feldman Center, Second Floor

To watch recordings of this event, visit MFIT's YouTube channel and read our Twitter thread for highlights!

Fashion and Physique
 was the nineteenth fashion symposium to be organized by The Museum at FIT. Lectures and panels included topics such as the emergence of the plus-size fashion industry in the early twentieth century, the impact of popular culture on how we assess the female body, and fashion accessibility for the disabled in the technological age. With this symposium and the exhibition The Body: Fashion and Physique, MFIT hoped to foster a dialogue about how the fashion industry has contributed to the marginalization of certain body types, and to shed new light on the work of designers, models, and activists who challenge what constitutes the “ideal” fashion body.

Speakers included Project Runway co-host Tim Gunn; designers Christian Siriano, and Becca McCharen; author of The Fashioned Body Dr. Joanne Entwistle; co-founder of JAG Models Gary Dakin; founder of The Model Alliance Sara Ziff; and Aimee Mullins, who has transcended her own physical challenges to gain worldwide recognition as an Olympian, a model, and an actor.



Symposium Schedule

Download the brochure | SYMPOSIUM READING LIST
Friday, February 23, 2018
10 am-1 pm
Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT, Welcoming remarks
Dr. Valerie Steele, Introduction
Emma McClendon, “The Body: Fashion and Physique” | Video
Tim Gunn in conversation with Dr. Valerie Steele | Video
Kim Jenkins in conversation with Becca McCharen and Christian Siriano | Video
Sara Ziff in conversation with Lauren Chan, Gary Dakin, and Iskra Lawrence on modeling and body diversity | Video
Dr. Joanne Entwistle, “New Models of Diversity” | Video
Lunch break
Aimee Mullins in conversation with Lucy Jones and Grace Jun on inclusive design | Video
Lauren Downing Peters
, “Dressing Smart, Looking Slender: Stoutwear and the Discourse of Fitting In, 1915-1931” | Video
Reina Lewis
, “Modest Body Politics: Faith, Fashion, and Ethnicity” | Video
Julia Twigg
, “Dress, Embodiment, and the Performance of Age” | Video
Ben Barry
, “Fabulous Masculinities: Refashioning the Male Body” | Video

Fashion and Physique Symposium

The Body: Fashion and Physique, the spring 2018 MFIT Fashion Symposium, has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional funding has been provided by the FIT Student-Faculty Corporation.

Couture Council

State of the Arts NYSCA