MoMA Explores the Fashion Items That Have Shaped the Century

A photograph from the Issey Miyake spring/summer 1999 collection. Photography by Yasuaki Yoshinaga/Courtesy of A-Poc Le Feu, 1999 Spring Summer Issey Miyake Paris Collection.

The little black dress, the polo shirt, the moon boot. Examples of these along with 100 other garments that have impacted the world over the last century appear in “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” October 1 to January 28 at the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown. In addition to this being the institution’s first exhibition devoted to the subject in 73 years, it also stands out because Paola Antonelli, senior curator, department of architecture and design, and director, research and development, organized it. “The impetus comes from my belief that a history of design is not complete without fashion,” Antonelli says. “It’s long overdue.” But its tardiness is made up with its comprehensiveness, loosely grouped into such categories as gender (think Wonderbra), technology (Gore-Tex), introversion (the hoodie), and the everyday (Levi’s 501s). Additionally, select designers have been invited to create 21st-century interpretations of classic pieces through photographs and prototypes.

Bobby Doherty’s conceptual photograph of the pencil skirt. Image by Bobby Doherty/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
An exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown includes Catherine Losing’s photographic interpretation of a dress from a 1997 Comme des Garçons collection. Photography by Catherine Losing/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Kristin-Lee Moolman and Ibrahim Kamara’s version of a Y-3 ensemble. Photography by Kristin-Lee Moolman & IB Kamara/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The 2014 Kinematics dress in laser-sintered nylon by Nervous System. Photography courtesy of Steve Marsel/The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Committee on Architecture and Design Funds.
Aran sweater interpreted for Items: Is Fashion Modern? by Catherine Losing. Image by Catherine Losing/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Head wrap interpreted for Items: Is Fashion Modern? by Omar Victor Diop. Image by Omar Victor Diop/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Salwar kameez and sari interpreted for Items: Is Fashion Modern? by Bobby Doherty. Image by Bobby Doherty/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mosaic in Piazza Armerina, Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily, 300–400 AD.


> See more from the September 2017 issue of Interior Design

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