The banner announces the exhibition line on 27th Street in Manhattan, however, few visitors to the FIT Museum may be prepared for what awaits them in “Charming: A Rose in Fashion.”
“Charming: A Rose in Fashion” is the first exhibition after the institution’s closure. The exhibition will be open for free on August 6th and will last until November 12.
The wall-to-floor sign in the lobby is decorated with rose stems and surrounds a huge depiction of one of more than 130 objects on display over three centuries-V. Buso stilettos-and vines entwined around the entrance to the exhibition The narrow staircase implies its visual grandeur and immersiveness, but to appreciate the academic ambitions of its unusual organization, one needs to walk in.
The exhibition is divided into two galleries. First of all, a structure reminiscent of a closed pavilion, displaying rose-themed hats from various international milliners and fashion design companies on the long stem-shaped stands, creating a thriving under artificial light Indoor garden. According to the museum, the gallery also includes more than 75 original photographic portraits of people wearing roses from the 1850s to the 1920s. The exhibition’s webpage states that “studio and amateur photography are becoming more and more accessible.”
The main gallery takes the inspiration of the flower of the same name to a new level in the cultivation environment. The walls are decorated with soft roses, the background music pays homage to them, and the sidewalk is bounded by garden trellises. The most striking aspect of the gallery is the unusual way of displaying objects. They are not arranged in chronological order. Instead, the parts dedicated to specific colors-red, pale pink and white, black and the rest “mixed”-and their corresponding cultural symbolic meanings are explained in detail through many information plaques in the exhibition .
To a certain extent, the spirit of the exhibition itself is like a rose. If the objects displayed in amazing diversity are flowers, then the information materials surrounding them like stems provide important functions by revealing the historical background of their existence and the intentions of the designer who created them.
One of the first signs to appear in the exhibition reveals how it uses the symbol of the rose as a lens to examine and criticize society. The logo describes the inequality in the artificial flower making industry that was prominent in major fashion cities from the 1860s to the early 1960s. In Paris, this is a professional trade through apprenticeships, but in New York and London, the same products are almost universally manufactured by adults and children under sweatshop conditions. These products are affected by toxic dyes, heating fumes, and insufficient light.
The current era may be different, but the economic and environmental development problems in the mass production of consumer clothing still exist.
Each color-coded part of the second gallery is based on the brain goals of the first gallery. The museum’s website states that the first two parts are traditionally related to different aspects of femininity. Red is related to “love, passion and devotion”, while white and pale pink symbolize the “mature ceremony-from birth to marriage” and “loss of virginity and death”.
In an industry that traditionally regards women as the main consumers but whose upper class is dominated by white men, the performance of femininity is fascinating. The museum has decided to newly acquire the work of Ninomiya Noir Kei Ninomiya, whose elaborate clothes have been compared to a large number of flowers, adding a new perspective to the dialogue. The Ninomiya laser-cut material is intricately hung on the artificial leather strap à la Mad Max, adding a bold and sexy edge. The museum’s website says “reject any fragile concepts that may be related to flowers or women.”
The red part also participated in a different type of sociopolitical commentary, including a Prabal Gurung dress with a belt, asking “Who will become an American?” From his spring 2020 fashion show. Considering that Gurung accepted the challenge before the Met Gala’s 2021 “In America” theme was announced, it seems fair that his work appeared on the red carpet and is currently on display in the exhibition “In” at the Anna Wintour Costume Center. . United States: Fashion Dictionary. ”
The black part interestingly mixes classical elegance and delicious Gothic ensemble, while the mixed part reaffirms the exhibition’s focus on gender by showing roses of male fashion and neutral design.
New York independent designer Neil Grotzinger exhibited works that showed his rejection of toxic masculinity and erotic subversion, the use of female code materials and deliberate political use of transparency. The museum’s website states that his collection “explores the concepts of masculinity, queerness, power, and sexiness”.
Gender roles, like artificial roses, boast the illusion of nature, hiding the effort and purpose behind their construction and maintenance. However, as the rights of ordinary transgender and non-gender people continue to be attacked, mainstream fashion’s sudden interest in hermaphrodite is ultimately a retrogressive, “weird” voyeuristic fascination, or a sign of dreams. Observe that a marginalized person can safely and happily express that his world is approaching reality.
Finally, thanks to the participation of three accomplished fashion historians, “Intoxicating: The Rose in Fashion” accepted an academic review of fashion: MFIT Director and Chief Curator Valerie Steel and London School of Fashion Professor Amy de Co-curator of la Haye and Coron Hill, curator of MFIT. The live exhibition is accompanied by a virtual seminar held on April 30. It consists of five lectures, which can be watched on MFIT’s YouTube channel, and a book of the same name by de la Haye published by Yale University Press.
New Yorkers should not deprive themselves of the opportunity to witness, especially Baruch students, MFIT is only a 15-minute walk from campus.
Post time: Oct-13-2021