The MOMA – Is Fashion Modern Exhibit

As I mentioned in my last post, last week I visited New York with Uni, a trip that mainly consisted of shopping and sightseeing. However there were lots of recommended educational visits too, my favourite of which was The MOMA. The Museum of Modern Art is located in Midtown Manhattan, which was about a 30 minute walk from our hotel, directly down 5th Avenue allowing us to explore the gorgeous shops on the way.  The MOMA was established in 1929, and is held in very high regard in the modern art world due to the influence it’s had over the years. I’ve mentioned before I’ve never really understood art, even referring to ‘Starry Night’ (a painting I actually got to see in real life!!) as a pretty painting of a night sky, however I really enjoyed my visit to The MOMA, and especially was captivated by Paola Antonelli and Michelle Millar Fisher’s ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ exhibition.

The official MOMA website describes the exhibition as one that ‘explores the present, past—and sometimes the future—of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today’ and that it is ‘driven first and foremost by objects, not designers, the exhibition considers the many relationships between fashion and functionality, culture, aesthetics, politics, labor, identity, economy, and technology.’ The exhibition was beautiful to wander around, with lots of interesting, and thought provoking pieces – below are some of my favourites.

Above : Little Black Dress (Christian Dior, 1950), Dress meets body ensemble (Comme des garçons, 1997), Bum Bags (Vivienne Westwood x Louis Vuitton, 1996, Spark Pretty MTV. 1990’s)

Above : Little Black Dresses (Thierry Mugler, 1981, Versace, 1994), Elton John’s Stage Platforms (Unknown designer, 1974), A-POC Queen Textile (Issey Miyake)

Above : Jumpsuit (Richard Malone, 2017) Gold Jumpsuit (Stephen Burrows, 1974), Red Coats (left: Moncler, right: Norma Kamali)

Above: Balaclavas (Purchased), Capri Pants (both Sonja de Lennart, 1940s) Cuban Guayabera (left: Ryohei Kawanishi 2016, right: Ramón Puig)

Above: Kente Cloth (left: Julie “Chez Julie” Norteye 1960s, right: Nana Keaku Duah) Cheongsam (unknown designer, 1930s) Brenton Shirt (left: Orcival, 1960s, right: Unmade)

Above: Sports Jerseys (left to right: Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls basketball jersey, Black Ferns women’s rugby national team jersey, Colin Kaepernick’s San Francisco 49ers American Football Jersey, Pelé’s 1958 FIFA World Cup Brazilian national soccer team jersey), Tracksuit (remake of Bruce Lee’s Longstreet tracksuit, 1971-72), Air Force 1’s (Nike, 1980’s)

Overall I think the exhibition is a good way of displaying staple fashion items from different cultures, and when I was looking round I realised these staples have been around for years and years whilst still remaining popular – proving that fashion will always be modern.

I couldn’t do a post about The MOMA without including some pieces of art that I also adored. I can’t remember who painted half these paintings (Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock aside!), but they were artistic pieces that both inspired me and left me in awe, whilst also giving me inspiration for my upcoming summative brief on the trend story ‘applied art’.

I definitely enjoyed my visit to The MOMA, and would recommend the ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ exhibition to anyone whose interested in fashion, which runs up until January 28th. I think everyone leaves with different interpretations of the exhibit, which makes it an excellent talking point and overall interesting visit. And if you’re like me and had no real interest in art, I promise seeing that painting of a pretty night sky in person will change your mind!

Until next time,

Beth x

All images are my own

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