There is no evidence of a “gay gene” for fashion…
But fashion and style have placed an important role within the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer community –
and LGBTQ people have played an equally important role in the fashion system – as designers, stylists, and trendsetters.
Discover why when The Museum at FIT launches its ground-breaking new exhibition, A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.
Featuring 100 ensembles, worn or designed by fashion icons from Marlene Dietrich and Andy Warhol to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, this will be the first major museum exhibition to explore the “gayness” or “queerness” of fashion, and the reasons why gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people have contributed so significantly to the history of fashion.
The exhibition will be on display from September 13, 2013 through January 4, 2014.
The Museum at FIT is located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street in New York City – and is free to the public.
The Museum at FIT will also be organizing a variety of free public programs, including a symposium on November 8-9, 2013, featuring scholars, designers, and other fashion professionals.
As part of its diversity outreach, The Museum at FIT is also creating an educational website suitable for use in high school and college classrooms.
And there will be an exhibition catalog published by Yale University Press.
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The Museum at FIT is the only museum in New York City dedicated to the art of fashion. Founded in 1969 by the Fashion Institute of Technology, the museum is best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, which attract more than 100,000 visitors a year. The museum’s mission is to advance knowledge of fashion through exhibitions, publications, and public programs. The museum’s permanent collection now encompasses more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present, with particular strength in modern and contemporary fashion.
About the Curators
Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, where she has organized more than 20 exhibitions in the past ten years, including Daphne Guinness (2011); Japan Fashion Now (2010); Gothic: Dark Glamour (2008); Love & War: The Weaponized Woman (2006); London Fashion (2002), and The Corset (2000). She is also founding editor of the influential scholarly quarterly, Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. Dr. Steele is editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Scribners, 2005), and author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including Japan Fashion Now (Yale University Press, 2010) Isabel Toledo (Yale, 2009), Gothic: Dark Glamour (Yale, 2008), Ralph Rucci (Yale, 2006); The Corset: A Cultural History (Yale, 2001).
Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume, has worked at the Museum at FIT for more than 20 years. Contributing to or as co-curator of numerous exhibition such as: Halston: Absolute Modernism, China Chic: East Meets West, The Corset: Fashioning the Body, Belgian Fashion: Antwerp Style and London Fashion, and more recently Gothic: Dark Glamour and Japan Fashion Now. Prior to joining the Museum, Dennis worked with milliner Maeve Carr to design hats for Donna Karan and Maude Frizon, Ann Taylor, Lord & Taylor and Saks.
Valerie Steele in the media
World Class Exhibitions
American Beauty examined the relationship between the “philosophy of beauty” and the technical craft of dressmaking in the United States.
Shoe Obsession examined our culture’s ever-growing fascination with extravagant and fashionable shoes, as shoes have become the main fashion story, replacing the “It bag” as the most desirable accessory.
Gothic: Dark Glamour examined the gothic aesthetic as a varied and important theme in contemporary fashion.
Daphne Guinness examined how the style icon, who is not only a serious collector of couture but also a creative force in her own right, uses fashion to transform herself.
Risks and challenges
We have produced many well reviewed exhibitions. We adhere to a sensible production schedule, and have been researching and preparing for this exhibition for two years. We have built into our schedule additional time to accommodate possible delays in delivery of loaned clothing and accessories, or delays in exhibition construction.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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