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Brief Published: 6 Oct 2017

MoMA Exhibits Items: Is Fashion Modern?

MoMA Items: Is Fashion Modern?

In its first fashion exhibition for more than 70 years, New York’s Museum of Modern Art presents Items: Is Fashion Modern?

Echoing the question posed in its 1944 exhibition Are Clothes Modern?, the thematic show explores the past, present and future of 111 garments and accessories – from the bandana to the backpack and the burkini – that have had a profound cultural impact over the past century.

Taking over the entire sixth floor, the pieces are contextualised with images and videos, with items often presented as their prototype, archetype and stereotype.

In an area devoted to changing ideals of body and silhouette, the exhibit explores the ‘little black dress’. Pieces include a 1920s silk-crepe evening gown by Chanel; a 1968 knee-length, silk-satin number by Givenchy; and Little Death – a cape-like dress created for the exhibition by Australian designer Pia Interlandi, crafted from wool crepe, silk-hemp satin and thermochromic ink.

Material technologies take centre stage in another section, where environmental concerns are expressed via items from US brands Patagonia and Gore-Tex, which promote repair and long wear. Meanwhile, American designer Liz Ciokajlo’s specially commissioned ‘grown’ MarsBoot, made from mushroom spores and mixed materials, looks to sustainable futures.

The exhibition runs until January 28, 2018.

For more on environmentally friendly innovations, see Sustainable 360, part of our New Fashion Landscape Industry Trend, as well as Nike’s New Super Material and Stepping Up Sustainability. For more on changing perceptions of body shapes, see State of Size, Progressive Fashion and Underwear – part of our Fashion Lifestyle Lift Industry Trend.