New York Fashion Week also heralded the opening of FIT’s (Fashion Institute of Technology) Gothic: Dark Glamour, an exhibition at the school’s museum dedicated to
Gothic inspired Fashion, which contained myriad leather, lace, and corsetry, ranging from historical costumes, to theatrical gowns, and gothic street wear, many of which bear the marks of haute couturiers, like Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
The overall art direction of Gothic: Dark Glamour is impressive, thanks to Dr. Valerie Steele, Director of the FIT museum and curator of the exhibition, which is being shown in an underground gallery beneath FIT’s main floor. Cold and cavernous, you get the feeling of being in the Paris Catacombs as you walk through the different stages of the exhibition, which is prefaced with a room of shadow box-like vignettes portraying images of gothic life, including a pair of veiled Victorian ladies in mourning dresses posed over a coffin, and Eiko Ishioka’s dress for Mina in the 1992 version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Victorian Mourning Dresses
Eiko Ishioka for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
The exhibition goes on to feature the dramatically designed backdrops of a labyrinth, ruined castle, and laboratory; the perfect settings for the many historical references to the Inquisition, the Plague, and the French Revolution. Faced with an army of grave looking mannequins wearing delicate layers of lace and chiffon, posed together against an ominous sky, and another group of science experiments gone awry, the exhibition captures beautiful images depicting death, decay, and horror; all fascinating and of course grotesquely seductive, and so quintessentially gothic.
Here are my picks, my favorite looks, from the exhibit:
Gothic: Dark Glamour PICK #1 – Kazuko Ogawa
So kawaii (Japanese movement and slang for all things of utmost cuteness), and totally right out of the Harajuku district of Japan. Love the mini babydoll interpretation; the lace, ribbon, and gathered hem make this piece absolutely adorable.
Gothic: Dark Glamour PICK #2 – Alexander McQueen’s 2001 Voss Collection
Feathers, Plumes, Gloom, and Doom. The delicate nature of the dress’ plumed skirt is offset by its bodice, a hardened shell made of shards of transparent red plastic sequins, which melt into the red, then black ostrich plumes. Side Note: If I was tall, and had a fiancé, I would want to get married in a dress just like this.
Gothic: Dark Glamour PICK #3 – John Galliano for Dior
This gown is actually cotton, but had been texturized to look like red leather. I love the volume and the asymmetry of the skirt, and the staked cross necklace is the perfect accessory for such a strong piece.
The exhibition also features photography styled by the late Isabella Blow, the fashion icon eccentric, known for her brilliant ability to spot new fashion talent, and her fancy for Phillip Treacy hats, who sadly passed away last year.
Value: Excellent. Doesn’t get better than this!
Where to see: The Museum at FIT
7th Ave. at 27th St.
Fri. September 5, 2008 – Feb. 21 2009
*Also check out FIT’s Arbiters of Style: Women at the Forefront of Fashion
This exhibition features a variety of designs worn by influential women through time, spanning back to the 18th century.
Main Floor – FIT
May 21 to November 8, 2008
Also Free Admission
Enjoy and stay posted for more picks to come soon!
- Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
- “Seduction” at the Museum at FIT
- My Latest Obsession: Banana Republic’s ‘Mad Men’ Collection
- If I Was A Rich Girl…
- Monday, 07.19 – BB Dakota Sale on PLNDR