New York - Just opened at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology, the exhibit “Fabric in Fashion” demonstrates the journey from fiber to fabric to fashionable garment through a collection of garments, film footage and flat fabric swatches.
Curated by Elizabeth Way and celebrating two and a half centuries of innovation, the show is divided into four sections: silk, wool, cotton and synthetic, covering also specific specializations such as knit, matelassé, and lurex.
From court dress to Alexander Wang, the examples on display are varied but focus not only on their materiality but on the cultural and socioeconomic circumstances of their time. Colonization, slavery, the environment, and East meets West are themes that ripple throughout.
Some of the designers on show are Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Mariano Fortuny, Balenciaga, Yoskiki Hishinuma, Claire McCardell, Chado Ralph Rucci, Azzedine Alaia, Missoni, Mila Schön, Issey Miyake, Guy Laroche, Oscar de la Renta, and winner of the prestigious 2017-18 International Woolmark Prize for womenswear, Bodice, which uses wool incorporating traditional Indian techniques, natural dyes, and recycled yarns.
The exhibit continues until January 4, 2019.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.