Food & Fashion

Special Exhibitions GallerySeptember 13, 2023 - November 26, 2023
french fries purse and hot dog purse with fork and and american flag keychainsDelvaux, French fries and burger miniature leather bags, 2017, Belgium. Gift of Delvaux, 2019.87.1

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Both food and fashion are central to our daily lives. They speak to people’s most basic needs while also expressing our individual and cultural identities. The exhibition Food & Fashion explores how food themes and motifs are used to comment on critical topics from luxury, gender, and consumerism to sustainability, social activism, and body politics. Food has influenced fashion design from the eighteenth-century to today. So while the connection between the two genres is hardly new – think of woven pomegranates, embroidered ears of wheat, or fruit-trimmed hats – just this year, in 2023, the New York Times reported that food motifs are “the new florals” in fashion. Food & Fashion is an exciting and timely exhibition that includes over eighty garments and accessories by designers including Chanel, Moschino, and Stella McCartney. It is a multifaceted look at how intertwined these genres are and what they can express about our culture and society.

Food & Fashion is co-curated by Melissa Marra-Alvarez, curator of education and research, and Elizabeth Way, associate curator of costume at MFIT.

Read more about the exhibition via the press release (PDF).

Press, Related Events, and Additional Content

food and fashion book cover

Read the Publication

Food & Fashion is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated book of the same name. With its superb selection of images, and thought-provoking and engaging discussion, Food & Fashion appeals to fashion enthusiasts who have an overlapping interest in food and food studies, including scholars and students, those who enjoy the fashion of food, and all who appreciate the visual culture of food, fashion, and art.
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Related Events
Past Event

Food Culture Through the Lens of Fashion

The Museum at FIT's curator of education and research, Melissa Marra-Alvarez, and associate curator of costume, Elizabeth Way, spoke in conversation with food studies scholar Fabio Parasecoli about their most recent book, "Food & Fashion", which examines the influence of food culture through the lens of fashion over the last 250 years. A book signing followed. This event was organized in collaboration with the Museum of Food and Drink.

Food & Fashion Family Program

Join us for an afternoon of intergenerational activities: an exhibition tour, games, and a creative dye workshop! Parents and children will have the opportunity to learn more about how food and fashion influence each other as they experiment with shapes, colors, and textiles.

Food & Fashion Symposium

The Food & Fashion Symposium features preeminent food and fashion scholars, as well as designers, chefs, and artists, exploring how, for over two centuries, food culture has impacted fashion and vice versa. Topics include sustainability, the creative overlap between fashion and food within haute cuisine and through social media, how cultural identity and social justice are communicated through food and fashion, how body image and eating practices intersect with food and fashion, and how artists express the relationship between these two vital aspects of culture and society.

Food & Fashion According to The Taste Curators

The Taste Curators Abbey Cook and Lish Steiling will discuss the exhibition Food & Fashion with co-curators Melissa Marra-Alvarez and Elizabeth Way. The evening will focus on the coincidences between fashion and food and will include tasting dishes inspired by objects featured in the exhibition. Please note that walk-ins are not allowed for this event. Only those who have RSVP'd will be admitted.

Special Audio Feature

Dive deeper into some of the objects on display in Food & Fashion with curators Melissa Marra-Alvarez and Elizabeth Way.  
Listen to Special Audio Feature on Bloomberg Connects

Food & Fashion has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT and The Coby Foundation. This project is supported in part by the  National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit Additional support was provided by The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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