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 explored 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 –  in 2023, the New York Times reported that food motifs are “the new florals” in fashion. Food & Fashion was an exciting and timely exhibition that included over 80 garments and accessories by designers including Chanel, Moschino, and Stella McCartney. It was a multifaceted look at how intertwined these genres are and what they can express about our culture and society.

Food & Fashion was 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

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.
Past Event

Opening Reception

Past Event

Food & Fashion Family Program

This event was an afternoon of intergenerational activities: an exhibition tour, games, and a creative dye workshop! Parents and children had the opportunity to learn more about how food and fashion influence each other as they experiment with shapes, colors, and textiles.
Past Event

Food & Fashion Symposium

The Food & Fashion Symposium featured preeminent food and fashion scholars, as well as designers, chefs, and artists. Topics included 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.
Past Event

Food & Fashion According to The Taste Curators

The Taste Curators Abbey Cook and Lish Steiling discussed the exhibition Food & Fashion with co-curators Melissa Marra-Alvarez and Elizabeth Way. The evening focused on the coincidences between fashion and food and included tasting dishes inspired by objects featured in the exhibition.

Dive Deeper with a Special Audio Feature

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

Food & Fashion was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT and The Coby Foundation. This project was 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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