MoMA's "Is Fashion Modern?" Examines History's Most Quintessential Clothing Items 

Is Fashion Modern?, a new exhibit at MoMA organized by Senior Curator Paola Antonelli and her all-female team of curators, is as much a celebration of fashion and design as it is an extensive history lesson. Leaving no rock unturned, the show investigates many of the everyday fashion items that make up our wardrobes, taking a historical, cultural, or even political lens to each one. Fashion can often feel innovative, but how far do some of these concepts stem back? How are modern designers reinterpreting these items by incorporating new techniques and technologies to progress the field further? 

Many of these questions are contrasted and explored with examples from present and past, demonstrating how some trends have dramatically shifted while others remain. With a dedicated concentration to both backstory, technical detail and culture, it’s easy to say that Is Fashion Modern? is a worthy visit for artists, designers and history buffs alike.

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The entrance of the show is decorated with the different cultural fashion items examined within the exhibition.
“Le Smoking”
“Le Smoking” is a women’s tuxedo designed by Yves Saint Laurent in 1967, worn famously by singer Francoise Hardy. It was one of the first suits for women considered as evening couture and was disregarded by many at the time it was designed.
Little Black Dresses
“Is Fashion Modern?” featured a physical timeline of ‘little black dresses’, tracking its evolution from the early 20st century to today. According to MoMA, the concept of the little black dress originated in 1926 when Vogue featured a sketch of a crepe-de-chine dress by Coco Chanel with the caption “The Chanel ‘Ford’—the frock that all the world will wear,” a reference to Ford’s quote about his Model T Car (“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black”).
The dress on the left, designed in 2013 by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg of Nervous System, is completely 3D printed out of laser-sintered nylon.
“Little Black (Death)”
The end of the little black dress timeline is this “Little Black (Death) Dress” designed by Pia Interlandi. The dress, created for the grave, uses a fabric that is responsive to body heat that is meant to highlight the hands of grieving loved ones with a surreal glow.
Two wonders of the twentieth century: briefs and the Wonderbra. The brief was invented in 1935 was one of the first of its kind to feature a Y-front opening, making it “hygienic and modern”. Decades later, Calvin Klein would make his name synonymous with the everyday item with his Times Square ad campaign of Olympian pole-vaulter Tom Hintnaus wearing his “Calvins”.
Margiela tabi Boot
Maison Martin Margiela’s now famous tabi boot was on display, a piece of footwear inspired by the classic split-toe Japanese tabi sock. He apparently “wanted to create an ‘invisible’ shoe, the illusion of a bare foot walking on a high, chunky heel”.

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Source: core77

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