Being & Becoming
By Being, we are Becoming.
Image: Anna Jewel Schluterman
Statement SleevesLearn More
Statement Sleeves takes an original approach to the history of fashion. The selected garments date from the 18th century to the present, but they are not presented chronologically. They are instead organized by type. Following an introduction to basic sleeve shapes–from gigot to raglan–visitors will encounter the myriad ways in which designers have reinterpreted and remixed sleeves through variations in material, shape, embellishment, and even functionality. More than sixty styles, all from the museum's permanent collection, emphasize how sleeves hold the power to define a look–in both the past and present.
Image: Madame Grès, evening gown (detail), navy blue silk taffeta, circa 1980, France, gift of Mrs. Mildred Hilson, 82.234.3
Untying the Bow
Unassuming as they may seem, bows have played an indispensable role in securing garments
and accessories for centuries. Experience their allure in Untying the Bow, an exhibition curated by graduate students in FIT’s MA Fashion and Textiles Studies
program. Discover the ubiquitous influence of bows in our lives, transcending shoelaces
to become a subtle yet powerful element of personal style.
Untying the Bow is an exploration into the utility and symbolism of this pervasive element of clothing. This exhibition invites visitors to explore the rich history, symbolism, and enduring charm of bows in fashion. It unfolds in three thematic sections, beginning by tracing the bow’s origins and delving into its form and function for utilitarian purposes. The next theme is the bow's symbolism as a marker and subverter of status and gender. Finally, the exhibition examines how the symbolism of bows in fashion has evolved into abstract forms and patterns. Experiments with scale and technique allow bows to transcend their original form and become captivating motifs. Untying the Bow is a transformative journey, unraveling the hidden narratives and cultural expressions that have elevated the bow from a mere structural element to a timeless icon in fashion.
Image: Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, dress, white silk taffeta with hand-painted yellow dots, spring/summer 2014, Spain, gift of Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, 2014.44.1
Cross-Pollination: ¡Moda Hoy!
Image: Outfits designed by students from LASALLE College of the Arts (right) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (left) created during the Cross-Pollination Workshop: ¡Moda Hoy!
Africa's Fashion Diaspora
Examples include South African designer Sindiso Khumalo’s textile print inspired by American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, British designer Grace Wales Bonner’s tuxedo informed by the court of Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, and French designer Olivier Rousteing's collection for Balmain based on Black American cowboys. Through approximately 60 ensembles, textiles, and accessories, Africa's Fashion Diaspora illustrates how fashion designers have contributed to international dialogues to chronicle, evaluate, and expand modern ideas of Blackness.
Africa’s Fashion Diaspora is curated by MFIT associate curator Elizabeth Way.
Image: Sindiso Khumalo, printed cotton dress detail, Spring 2021, South Africa. The Museum at FIT, museum purchase, 2023.32.1
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MFIT on the Road
There’s no shame in living in the past