During my trip to NYC I visited a museum I hadn’t tried before: The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). After stomping through the second heavy rain shower of the week, I found the museum. An unimposing but visually appealing building, modern and yet you definitely felt the Chinese references in the architecture.
This is not a huge museum, but I found that this was it’s charm. When I arrived it was virtually empty, bar a security guard and receptionist. It felt like an undiscovered gem, a world apart from the tourist hot spots like the MoMa and MET museums.
I wandered around, free to spend time taking in the cultural history and challenges the Chinese faced when first arriving and living in America.
There are also two special exhibitions on at the moment that I was particularly interested in seeing: Front Row and Shanghai Glamour.
The brochure describes:
“Front Row celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers. This exhibition showcases the aesthetics of sixteen designers – their individua visions, brands and unique relationships to cultural identity which have shaped not only New York fashion, but an American sense of style.”
I liked the layout of the Fashion Row exhibition. I much prefer being able to walk around a garment on display and almost see a 360 degree view of a piece.
Clothing is meant to be seen from all angles and at design school you’re taught and reminded of the need to consider the garment/outfit from all sides (perhaps that’s why I enjoy seeing how the pieces work as a whole).
Compared to other fashion exhibitions I have seen recently I found this exhibit very uplifting and inspiring. The mix of styles, designers, colours, techniques and great lighting made the experience very enjoyable. They also have clips of the designers speaking on video with some interesting quotes about their feelings about being a Chinese designer in NYC.
Some designers featured:
Red bridal dress, Katherine, from the Spring 2013 collection
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim
(A day ensemble- a stunning lemon cotton flare coat that fastens with two bows from S/S 2006)
(Nice striped cotton shirt featured with interesting cutting and construction – the stripes mitered into corners on the shirt)
(Creative pattern cutting – explored the Venn diagram)
(I loved the photos of marble printed onto silk charmeuse from Fall 2012 collection)