There are clothes made for walking. There are clothes perfectly fit for flamboyant Fashion Weeks. And there are pieces of clothing made for survival in the most inhospitable environments on the planet—and off of it. The exhibition “Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme” at Museum of Fashion Institute of Technology includes approximately 70 ensembles and accessories that make the perfect connection between utilitarian clothes and the fashionable versions of them seen on the catwalks. (Up: Photograph by John Cowan, 1964 © The John Cowan Archive)
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) presents Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme (September 15, 2017 – January 6, 2018); fitnyc.edu.
Of course that interest in the exterior world could be traced down, in the old fashion history files. “Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme” illustrates the ways in which select items of clothing made for survival on such journeys of discovery eventually become modern wardrobe mainstays. As in…
- The parka, for example, was invented by indigenous Arctic peoples; then it was appropriated by explorers. Eventually, the parka was redesigned for sports and the military, before finally finding its way into leading fashion magazines (Joseph Altuzarra or Tommy Hilfiger).
Sacai, ensemble, fall/winter 2009, Japan. Gift of Sacai, courtesy of The News Inc. // Waste Basket Boutique by Mars of Asheville, dresses, circa 1966, USA. Gift of Ruth Ford and Mrs. D. J. White. Coat, 1966, USA. Gift of Montgomery Ward. © The Museum at FIT
- The “puffer” coats—perfected for mountain climbing— has here opulent, high-fashion versions created strictly for show (“puffer” jackets by Junya Watanabe, and Gemna Dvesalia for Balenciaga).
Yohji Yamamoto, ensemble, fall/winter 2000, Japan // Tommy Hilfiger, man’s ensemble, 1999, USA. Gift of Tommy Hilfiger USA// Junya Watanabe, coat, fall/winter 2014, Japan. © The Museum at FIT Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons, ensemble, fall/winter 2004, Japan. © The Museum at FIT
- Safari clothing were first used in Serengeti area, then the women’s safari suit appeared at Yves Saint Laurent.
Yves Saint Laurent, safari tunic, 1968, France. Gift of Mary Russell. © The Museum at FIT
- Scuba and surf outfits, transformed, could be found in menswear by Junko Koshino, Versace, and Thom Browne, as well as women’s fashions by Donna Karan, Junya Watanabe, and Ohne Titel. Karl Lagerfeld’s sequined jacket for Chanel evokes the look and lines of this diving material.
Alexander McQueen, dress, spring/summer 2010, England. Collection of the Honorable Daphne Guinness // Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, jacket, spring/summer 1991, France. © The Museum at FIT
- Outifts for lunar landscape. The futuristic, astral moon setting is enlivened with an array of bright and light 1960s fashions by Parisian couturiers, such as Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges, and Paco Rabanne, and American designers, such as Betsey Johnson for Paraphernalia.
Pierre Cardin, Cosmocorps collection, 1967 Photograph by Yoshi Takata / DR Copyright Archives Pierre Cardin
PLUS: “Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme” is also the title of the exhibition’s companion book, to be published by Thames & Hudson. This is the first collaboration between this illustrious publishing house and The Museum at FIT.
Photography: courtesy of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT)
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