Fashion History Retro Spective

On my visits to NYC I always try and make a stop at the FIT Museum. This time was no exception. Great value (free!) exhibitions and always full of stunning pieces of current, modern and historical fashion.

IMG_2086At the moment they have the exhibition Retro Spective on. IMG_2090

Based around the subject of fashion borrowing from the past, Retro Spective demonstrates this referencing with fashion pieces placed next to historical ‘inspirational’ style pieces.

They demonstrated the recurrence of silhouettes from distant and recent past.

I thought this was an interesting subject matter, yet I was left underwhelmed with the exhibition. In hindsight I think this was due to the lack of depth that they went into. I feel that each small area they went into could have been much larger and more in-depth. I felt it skimmed the top of what could have been explored further and a bigger exhibition for the museum or an ongoing topic for several exhibits.

Mens jacket
Walter Van Beirendock: Relics of the Future outfit

A man’s ensemble by Walter Van Beirendock was displayed from the Summer 2006 Relics of the Future collection.

This was modeled on mens 18th Century jackets. Made from Raffia this jacket is adorned with dinosaurs and insects instead of traditional plants. I thought this was a charming and unique reference to the past.

A 1944 off white matte silk jersey dress by Madam Gres featured in the exhibition. Inspired by Neoclassical revivals and the fluting of ancient columns. Plus it also references the soft drapery of classical clothing.

Norman Norell 1962 red dress



An English white silk tricot dress with pink fringe and cord, circa 1810, demonstrated that going back into history fashion has referenced the past. This dress shows the Grecian influence on this empire waist dress. Next to this was a 1962 Norman Norell red dress made from wool crepe and satin. This dress echoed the same empire line as the 1810 English white silk tricot dress.





There was a fab pair of black leather and brocade boots circa 1900. Next to these old boots were a pair of 1965 black vinyl and black and white rubber boots. Such similarities in the design touches yet the fabrics and slight design changes brought the 1965 version into the 20th Century.

1900 Boot








1965 boot
1965 Boot









Other designers with pieces featured were YSL, Paco Rabanne and Lanvin.

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