Remote Fashion at MoMA, New York

By Dr Lyanne Holcombe lecturer in critical studies in fashion and textiles.

For today’s news feature we look into the world of online fashion context and how this can inspire us to think beyond observations. What I find inspiring when I search the great array of national and international museums is the choice and depth of what we can discover about clothing history, style and context.

I love the layout of the pages and whilst looking up the Items: Is Fashion Modern exhibition (which ran from Oct 2017 to Jan 2018) I was astounded by the amount of information on offer. New York is a renowned fashion world city and whilst we sit in our homes we can explore what’s happening as a kind of urban platform for the past, present and future! With some real pioneering stuff on offer I began by searching past exhibitions and thinking about how this could fuel new ideas for my research. What got me interested in this site were the current fashion aspect and how cutting edge this museum seems to be for the fashion industry and contextual history. I usually go straight for the archive and find myself amazed by the images on display, although it is always good to explore various exhibitions to see what can be found.

I obtain a lot from reading the introduction, which clarifies what’s interesting and useful. Fashion Curator’s make design fascinating, therefore it useful to read the book that accompanies any exhibition. In particular Paola Antonelli has a wide realm of experience and describes the intention of the show:

Items will invite some designers, engineers, and manufacturers to respond to some of these indispensable items with pioneering materials, approaches, and techniques—extending this conversation into the near and distant futures, and connecting the history of these garments with their present recombination and use. Driven first and foremost by objects, not designers, the exhibition considers the many relationships between fashion and functionality, culture, aesthetics, politics, labor, identity, economy, and technology.

If you are looking for ideas, this is a great exhibition to reflect back on. The website offers a list of designers and the catalogue provides ‘an A to Z of the 111 garments and accessories that have influenced the world in the past 100 years, from icons of fashion to humble masterpieces of design.’

Check out the website and What’s On to see visuals, images and interviews with people who talk about wearing Martin Margiela Tabi Boots or the photographer Godlis on his late 1950’s anti-fashion Biker Jacket.