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Past Exhibitions 2013-14

the title Chroma in rainbow effect on black background
CHROMA:  Master of Fine Arts in Illustration
Visual Thesis Exhibition

Gallery FIT
June 7 - July 5, 2014

On display in CHROMA were concrete expressions of the individual talents of the 2014 graduating class that offer a window on the expanding multi-media environment in which these emerging artists will work in the 21st century.  E-books, animation, set designs, graphic novels all serve the stories they seek to tell: a Trinidadian folk tale, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, stories that explore gender and race, and stories about amusement parks, cats and even a dog who goes to Hollywood. Through the talent of these students, and the skills they have mastered in the program, very diverse and often personal stories came vibrantly to life.


Art and Design Graduating Student exhibition poster
Art & Design Graduating Student Exhibition 2014
Gallery FIT and elsewhere
May 7 - 22, 2014

This show presented the work of more than 800 students receiving AAS and BFA degrees from the School of Art & Design and was on view throughout the main floors of the Marvin Feldman Center, the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, the Shirley Goodman Resource Center, and the John E. Reeves Great Hall.

The exhibition featured work in seventeen areas of study - Accessories Design, Advertising Design, Communication Design, Computer Animation & Interactive Media, Fabric Styling, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Packaging Design, Photography, Textile/Surface Design, Toy Design, and Visual Presentation & Exhibition Design.

The art selected was the culmination of each students unique experience in the Fashion Institute of Technology's diverse, challenging, and demanding undergraduate Art & Design programs. Featuring juried, award winning, and thesis projects, this presentation is the manifestation of several years of research, experimentation, critical thinking, and artistic proficiency.

The Graduating Student Exhibition advances the Colleges applied philosophy that integrates practice in industry with theory and teaching inside the studio.



strapless camouflage evening dress with large orange plastic zippers as straps
Camouflage print silk dress, 2002.15.1, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Spring 2001, France, Museum Purchase.

Fashion & Textile History Gallery
December 3, 2013 - April 30, 2014
Online Exhibition

Trend-ology examined the vast array of sources from which fashion trends have developed over the past 250 years. Trends have emerged from high fashion runways and urban street style, but they have also derived from art, music, novels, and socio-political movements. Particular trends change every season, but the phenomenon of the trend has come to define the modern fashion system itself.

The word trend first arose as an economic term, used to describe shifts in financial markets. Today, trend appears on the cover of almost every fashion magazine each month, and seemingly anything can be said to be trending on Twitter and other social media websites. Trend-forecasting companies such as WGSN have made researching and predicting trends a profitable business, and are now integral to the fashion industry. Yet as we move further into the 21st century, specific trends seem increasingly hard to define. The advent of fast-fashion, the internet, and social media have created a global environment where fashion trends emerge and disseminate in faster and more complex ways than ever before. By looking back at the multifaceted and dynamic history of trends, Trend-ology aimed to help visitors gain insight into the current state of the trend cycle.



(Left) Men's tuxedo in black wool with matching pants and coordinatind white silk formal scarf with fringe. (Right) floor length evening dress in powder blue silk twill with gold metallic wavy, horizontal sawtooth stripes
Wood Carlson Co., tailcoat, black wool, 1935, USA, gift of Kay Kerr Uebel, 89.65.9.
Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s

Special Exhibitions Gallery
February 7 - April 19, 2014
Online Exhibition

Despite a dire financial and political environment, the 1930s was a period of great stylistic achievement and technical innovation in design. In contrast to the preceding Edwardian era - in which stiff, structured clothes dominated high fashion 1930s garments were softer, minimally ornamented, elegantly proportioned, and reflected the streamlined art moderne aesthetic. Presenting both men's and women's fashions, Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s celebrated some of the most innovative and beautifully designed clothing made in the twentieth century.

Elegance in an Age of Crisis revealed the grand transformation that took place in women's and men's fashion. A synthesis of cutting-edge technology and the finest hand-craftsmanship was necessary to forge a truly modern aesthetic in clothing. Significant advances in dressmaking and tailoring techniques helped achieve truly modern clothing, one that allowed for movement and highlighted the natural, well-proportioned, and classically idealized body. Technical innovations in textile production transformed what was possible for designers: wider width fabrics, for example, gave dressmakers a means to rethink and refine draping techniques, while featherweight textiles lent garments new suppleness and flexibility. Even the look and feel of many sports clothes, such as swimwear, underwent profound change due to the creation of new synthetic materials.



black leather motorcycle jacket
Schott, Perfecto jacket, black leather, circa 1980, USA. Museum purchase, P89.29.1 Eileen Costa
Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket
Gallery FIT
March 4 - April 5, 2014
Online Exhibition

Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket examined high fashion interpretations of the black leather motorcycle jacket. Organized by graduate students in FIT's Fashion and Textile Studies program, the exhibition explored the many forms this utilitarian garment has taken, from countercultural wardrobe staple to avant-garde statement piece. The exhibition featured garments from labels such as Comme des Garcons, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rick Owens, and Gianni Versace, emphasizing the biker jacket's continuing influence on high fashion. 



lined drawing of frame
Big Data Telling Human Stories Through Numbers
FIT Media Club
Gallery FIT
January 25 - February 8, 2014

Big Data Telling Human Stories Through Numbers explored the world of data, information, and numbers through artistic vision. The works included were a response to the changing world of the Information Age that we are living in. Instead of using the power of information for political or business-oriented goals, designers and artists in this exhibition used results of their quantitative research to tell the their stories.

The Media Design Club at FIT (MDC) was established in 2009 by Prof. C. J. Yeh from the Communication Design Department. It brings together students interested in digital media together outside of the traditional classroom setting. Currently, MDC has over 200 members from Communication Design (AAS), Graphic Design (BFA), Advertising Design (BFA), Computer Graphics (BFA), and Illustration (AAS) programs. It is one of the most active student clubs at FIT.



black and white image of three man in black corsets with tulle skirts and boots staring into the camera with one man holding a leash to a pug
Butch Chanel, Wigstock, NYC, 1992. Photograph by Michael James O'Brien c.2013.
A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk
Special Exhibitions Gallery
September 13, 2013 - January 4, 2014
Online Exhibition
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Curated by Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, with exhibition design by award-winning architect Joel Sanders, the exhibition featured approximately 100 ensembles spanning more than a century of fashion. Organized in roughly chronological order, the exhibition explored the history of modern fashion through the lens of gay and lesbian life and culture, addressing subjects including androgyny, dandyism, idealizing and transgressive aesthetic styles, and the influence of subcultural and street styles, including drag, leather, and uniforms.

The exhibition was accompanied by a symposium (November 8-9, 2013) and a scholarly, multi-author book published by Yale University Press, as well as a free public lecture series, exhibition tours, and an educational website, with the goal of helping to foster a climate of inclusion for those who have often been marginalized due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gendered expression. A Queer History of Fashion won three significant awards: one for the exhibition, another for the website, and a third for the publication. Special thanks to the The Diversity Council of FIT and the Advisory Committee.


black and white illustration of Martin Luther King Jr and John F Kennedy Jr
Dreams Lived, Dreams Shattered:
MLK, JFK 50 years later

Work of MFA Illustration Students and Faculty
Gallery FIT
November 9 - December 7, 2013 

Students and faculty of the MFA in Illustration program at FIT visually reflected on the 50th anniversary of two seminal events in American History.



Evening dress in red nubby wool crepe with satin piping and waistband extending to back ties and empire bodice with deep scoop neck, short puff sleeves and long straightline trained skirt
Norman Norell, dress, red wool crepe and satin, 1962, USA, gift of Claudia Halley.

Fashion and Textile History Gallery
May 22 - November 16, 2013
Visit the exhibition page or the online exhibition for more. 

RetroSpective explored fashions relationship with its own history. The speed of the fashion cycle is faster than ever, and yet, in the constant drive for newness, the past is often used as a point of reference. Many contemporary designers embrace looking back at fashion history as a fundamental part of the design process. In doing so, they create inventive and modern re-interpretations of everything from crinolines to flapper dresses. As cutting-edge designer Yohji Yamamoto once said, Going to the future means you have to use your past.