Is Fashion Modern? The MoMa Knows
It’s no surprise that New York City has a profound influence on the culture of the modern world. As the past and present western epicenter for innovation in food, music, and design, it’s fitting that the premiere exhibit on fashion’s impact on the 20th and 21st centuries is currently being held at the city’s Museum of Modern Art.
Impact: Is Fashion Modern is a collection of the most transformative fashion pieces of our time. The exhibit explores the connection between history and design, while igniting a conversation around the many relationships between fashion, functionality, identity, labor, politics and technology. It is the MoMa’s first exhibition on clothing design since 1944, which occupies the entire sixth floor of the museum and includes over 100 items, interactive videos and slideshows.
The abundant and inclusive display takes each visitor on a linear journey through the evolution of fashion. From post-war undergarments to the iconic sports jersey, the exhibition is clear in its representation of the selected pieces as more than just lost artifacts of time. Each carefully curated item reflects a turning point in our history, as well as a manifestation of our ever-changing methods of self-expression. In true MoMa fashion, the exhibit puts the items in a blunt and uncomplicated light; luxury designer items are featured in the same manner as once pop-cult items like the Wonderbra or flip-flops. Designer pieces like Chanel’s 1920’s shift dress share a spotlight with cultural and religious items like the burkini and kippah.
Through the exhibit, curator Paola Antonelli gives us her answer to the question: “What garments changed the world?” The delight and challenge she offers every visitor, is to determine their own reasons why.
Visit the exhibit through Jan. 28, 2018
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, (212) 708-9400, moma.org.