The Museum at FIT is exploring the power of fashion in a new exhibition. Opening today, December 10, Power Mode: The Force of Fashion offers visitors a look into the many roles fashion can play in establishing, reinforcing, and challenging power dynamics within society.

"The force of fashion is symbolic. It is social. It is related to political position and economic status. It is also tied to military strength, sexual authority, rebellion, and protest. Power, in this sense, is part personal identity, part behavior, and part visual expression," reads an exhibition description on the museum's website.

Curated by associate curator of costume Emma McClendon, the exhibition is organized into five themes that illustrate the correlation between dressing and power. These themse are the influence of military uniforms, status dressing, suits, resistance and sex.

In taking a thematic approach, the exhibition does not divide clothing chronologically or by gender. Therefore, men’s and women’s clothing items are displayed side by side, as are pieces from as early as the 18th century with pieces from contemporary collections.

Over 50 items from FIT's permanent collection are displayed in Power Mode; many of these pieces have never before been on public view. Designers featured in the exhibition include Virgil Abloh for Off-White, Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Thom Browne, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Demna Gvasalia for Vetements, Maria Grazie Chiuri for Dior and Reebok by Pyer Moss.

 

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