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Past Exhibitions 2009-10

American Beauty
Eco-Fashion: Going Green
Fashion and Politics
Metal Transfigured: FIT Art and Design Faculty Exhibition 2009
Night & Day
Scandal Sandals and Lady Slippers: A History of Delman Shoes

Eco fashion Eco-Fashion: Going Green
May 26 - November 13, 2010

Eco-Fashion: Going Green explored the evolution of the fashion industry's multifaceted and complex relationship with the environment. By examining the past two centuries of fashions, good and bad, environmental and ethical practices, Eco-Fashion: Going Green provided historical context for today's eco-fashion movement.

Presented chronologically and featuring more than 100 garments, accessories, and textiles, the exhibition used contemporary methods for "going green" as a framework to study the past. The objects displayed each touch upon at least one of six major themes: the re-purposing and recycling of materials, fiber origins, textile dyeing and production, quality of craftsmanship, labor practices, and the treatment of animals. Curated by Jennifer Farley and Colleen Hill, the exhibition featured some of the finest examples of 21st-century sustainable fashions by current, cutting-edge labels, including Alabama Chanin, Ciel, Edun, FIN, and NOIR.

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FIN, marble print dress in organic bamboo satin. Fall 2010, Norway. Gift of Per Sivertsen of FIN. Photograph by Eileen Costa MFIT 2010
delman shoe
delman shoes
Scandal Sandals & Lady Slippers: A History of Delman Shoes
March 9 April 3, 2010

Scandal Sandals & Lady Slippers: A History of Delman Shoes featured a vibrant and detailed selection of the glamorous, innovative, and classic styles that made Delman Shoes a leader in women's footwear. This first exhibition devoted to the history of the brand explored and revealed the company's renowned style, advertising, and craftsmanship. Delman shoes were worn by many movie stars and distinguished women of society, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlene Dietrich.

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Black silk faille day shoe, circa 1937, USA. Lent by Nina Footwear Corp.
Red satin
peep-toe cocktail shoes, 1954, USA. Gift of Mrs. Janet Chatfield-Taylor Braguin. Photographs by Eileen Costa
Night and Day poster Night & Day
December 3, 2009 - May 11, 2010

Night & Day examined how the rules that dictate appropriate dress for women have changed over the past 250 years. More than 100 day and evening garments, textiles, and accessories were displayed in chronological order, illustrating the conventions for appropriate dress for a particular time of day, activity, or occasion and how these conventions continually change. The exhibition included work by designers such as Christian Dior, Charles James, Yves Saint Laurent, and Olivier Theyskens for Rochas.

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More information about this exhibition here.
Rochas (Olivier Theyskens), evening dress, black Chantilly lace, black and silver cellophane, Spring 2004, France, gift of Maison Rochas.
Metal Exhibition Image Metal Transfigured: FIT Art and Design Faculty Exhibition 2009
November 14 - December 12, 2009

The exhibition Metal showcased work by FIT faculty from more than 10 different departments within the School of Art and Design. Based on the theme of metal, works include fabric, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture, and works on paper.

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"Homage to Irving Penn, No.1" - Black and white silver gelatin print - 20"x24" - Terry Falk, faculty, Photography Department
Yeohlee dress for American Beauty American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion
November 6, 2009 - April 10, 2010

Fashion designed and made in the United States over the past one-hundred years has attained worldwide influence due in large part to the creation and popularization of sportswear, denim, and mass marketing. Yet, America has also produced artistic and innovative clothing that utilized the craft of dressmaking. American Beauty examined the relationship between the philosophy of beauty and the technical craft of dressmaking in the United States. The exhibition featured approximately 80 garments by a highly selective group of American fashion designers, many of whom are all but unknown, such as Elizabeth Hawes, Bonnie Cashin, and Charles Kleibacker. Their work was exhibited alongside that of more celebrated creators: Halston, Claire McCardell, and Charles James, as well as present-day designers, such as Isabel Toledo, Ralph Rucci, Yeohlee, and the Mulleavy sisters, who work under the Rodarte label.

More information about this exhibition here.
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Yeohlee, White Teflon Egyptian Cotton Harness Dress, Spring 2007. Lent by Yeohlee. Photograph: William Palmer.
Fashion and Politics Fashion & Politics
July 7 through November 7, 2009

Featuring over one hundred costumes, textiles and accessories, Fashion & Politics examined the rich history of politics in fashion. The exhibition's introductory gallery explored the theme of American nationalism and features a woman's costume, circa 1889, printed with an American flag motif, as well as Catherine Malandrino's iconic Flag Dress, worn by numerous celebrities and socialites to express patriotism after 9/11, and then again in response to the 2008 elections. Also featured was an "IKE" dress from the 1956 Eisenhower Campaign, a "NIXON" paper dress, and memorabilia from the historic 2008 presidential elections.

More on the exhibition

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American Flag costume, printed cotton, circa 1889, USA, gift of Stephen de Pietri. Photograph by Irving Solero.