Kathleen Bennett is executive assistant to Mary Baglivo, CEO of SaatchiNY & James Orsini , Director of Finance & Operations. In her downtime, she’s currently studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She recently attended FIT’s current His & Hers exhibition. Below are her thoughts on the work on display.
HIS & HERS
With most of the students packing up to head home for the holidays, I took the opportunity to take a visit the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Museum one evening this week. Founded in 1967 to support educational programs at FIT, the museum has grown to house three exhibition galleries, a conservation laboratory, photographic studio, workshops, classrooms and storage. Currently on display in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery is the His and Hers Exhibition, which explores the relationship between gender and fashion over the past 250 years.
THE EARLY STUFF
Visiting the His and Hers exhibit in the evening was a memorable experience. With no crowds around me, it felt like I was tucked away in a special, historical closet. With more than 100 garments on display, the fashion timeline begins with costumes from the 18th century. These costumes made for men were lavishly decorated with adornments that to us might look feminine, but in the 18th century were considered the height of fashion for the aristocratic society. During the 19th century the collection showed the difference in clothing worn in the home for both men and women.
THE 20TH CENTURY
Even though men traditionally wore dark, conservative clothes in public and women wore brightly colored dresses, there was a brightly patterned men’s dressing gown displayed next to a woman’s plain, white cotton robe. Moving onto the 20th century there was a silk checkered day dress by Louiseboulanger from the 1920’s, women’s pantsuits by Yves Saint Laurent from the 60s and 80s, men’s suits from Alan Flusser, and a pastel man’s suit created for the show, Miami Vice. Wrapping up the exhibit are clothes from labels such as Burberry Prorsum.
VISIT THE MUSEUM!
In addition to the His and Hers exhibition, also on display in the Special Exhibitions Gallery is the Japan Fashion Show, which explores how Japanese fashion has evolved in recent years. Located on Seventh Avenue and 27th Street, admission to the exhibitions are free to the public and the museum is open Tuesday through Friday noon to 8 pm and 10 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday.