Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fashion Love & War

The Museum at FIT has recently opened it's latest exhibit - Love and War: The Weaponized Woman

Joan of Arc is an unlikely fashion icon, but designers today are increasingly channeling the spirit of warrior women. Love and War: The Weaponized Woman, a visually stunning and intellectually daring exhibition takes an unprecedented look at the influence of armor and other military styles on fashion. But it’s not all chain mail and camouflage. As designers seek to express sensuality, as well as power, they also reference lingerie.

“If lingerie is like soft skin, armor is a hard exoskeleton,” said Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT. “Lingerie symbolizes nakedness, intimacy and seduction, while armor is associated with authority, protection and discipline.” Different designers have, of course, focused on different aspects of this theme. Jean Paul Gaultier designed a camouflage ballgown for the haute couture, while Thierry Mugler envisioned sexy robots with hard, metallic bodies. The British design team Boudicca creates styles that evoke transgressive warrior women, and Junya Watanabe channels chic soldier boys. Both Narciso Rodriquez and Alexander McQueen have juxtaposed silk with chain mail. The list goes on…

The exhibition is organized by Dr. Valerie Steele; Patricia Mears, research curator; Fred Dennis, associate curator of costume; and Clare Sauro, assistant curator of accessories.

Love and War: The Weaponized Woman runs from September 9, 2006 through December 16, 2006.

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