Really_! If you have a feeling for fashion, its beauty, complexity and panache, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, is another must see exhibition @ The Museum at F.I.T. located at 227 West 27th Street and Seventh Avenue, the show runs from September 7, 2018–January 5, 2019 Admission is free.
The Museum at F.I.T. has a remarkable collection from which it draws as well as an impeccable reputation which enables it to arrange loans for its historic exhibitions. One enters a kind of magical place in the Museum galleries, darkened and vaulted spaces, with constructed platforms and mesh partitions that enhance an experience of the phenomenal fashion. Gowns and suits are posed and lighted in soft pools of light. An extraordinary assembly of historic and contemporary garments feature that catalytic and provocative color PINK, which men and boys wore as much as women and girls, the latter were often clothed in blue to associate them with Mother Mary. By the early twentieth century there was a kind of gelling of the practice of dressing girls in pink and boys in blue in America and Europe.
Sculptural works by Comme des Garçon, influenced by 17th century panniered gowns and feudal Japanese armour are among the spectacular works on display. Relating across the main space are a divine gown with large scale pink bow and jewels by Yves St. Laurent, and two evening gowns by Elsa Schiaparelli who launched “Shocking” perfume in 1937 but who began to design and show lines of clothing using an intense bright violet pink. One of the great creative geniuses of her time, the early twentieth century on, Schiap as she was called, designed the first tennis culottes and was the primary collaborator with artists, Oppenheim, Cocteau and Dali. [https://www.schiaparelli.com/en] It is difficult not to try to describe the marvelous garments in this exhibition, but in the end words fail where experience is the answer. The exhibition includes one of three pink pussy hats in the collection and an Act Up Tshirt “SILENCE = DEATH” with the pink triangle symbol, updated from the sign gay prisoners were forced to wear in WWll death camps.
Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color is accompanied by a multi-author book of the same title, published by Thames & Hudson on September 4, 2018. This exceptional array of works of fashion-art must be seen in person to be fully enjoyed, and there is a fine web presence @ http://exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/pink/
L. Brandon Krall is an Artist-Filmmaker-Curator-Writer