(Left to right) Raf Simons for Jil Sander, man’s suit, polyester, cotton, nylon, and spandex, spring 2011. The Museum at FIT. Céline, synthetic knit dress, spring 2017. The Museum at FIT, Gift of Céline.

THINK piece about P I N K @ The Museum at F.I.T.

In Fashion, The Menu, Visual Arts by L. Brandon KrallLeave a Comment

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/

18th-Century Punk

Comme des Garçons, ensemble, “18th-Century Punk” Collection, Fall/Winter 2016, Japan. © The Museum at FIT

PINK Installation

(Left to right)
Robert, silk velvet, metallic lace, and silk crepe chiffon evening gown, 1912-1914. The Museum at FIT.
Paquin, silk chiffon evening cape, 1897. The Museum at FIT.
Two-piece silk taffeta dress, circa 1857. The Museum at FIT.
Man’s black wool suit, circa 1860. © The Museum at FIT

Evening dress and Embroidered Dinner jacket ensemble by Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli, silk taffeta embroidered dinner jacket ensemble, spring 1947. Lent by Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Mme Elsa Schiaparelli, 1969.
Schiaparelli Paris, silk chiffon gown, fall 2015-2016. © The Museum at FIT

Yves Saint Laurent, evening dress, shoes, and jewelry, autumn/winter 1983.

Yves Saint Laurent, evening dress, shoes, and jewelry, autumn/winter 1983. © The Museum at FIT

Dress by Charles James, 1937

Charles James, dress, 1937, USA. © The Museum at FIT

Thierry Mugler, evening gown, 1994.

Thierry Mugler, evening gown, 1994.
© The Museum at FIT

Boys and Girls in Pink and Blue

(Left to right)
Boy’s pink cotton smock, trousers, and dickie, 1899. Girl’s blue linen dress with piecing and applique, 1930-1935. Lent by Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Evan H. Turner, 1978.
Saks Fifth Avenue, girl’s cotton dress, 1930s. The Museum at FIT.
Child’s pink silk taffeta coat with matching leather shoes, 1910. The Museum at FIT.
Child’s blue silk taffeta coat with matching leather shoes, 1910. The Museum at FIT.
Lent by Philadelphia Museum of Art. © The Museum at FIT

Sweatshirt, featuring photo of Cam’ron wearing pink fur, circa 2003, anonymous donor.

Sweatshirt, featuring photo of Cam’ron wearing pink fur, circa 2003. © The Museum at FIT

Anita Holmquist, Pussyhat, 2017, USA, Gift of Colleen Hill.

Anita Holmquist, Pussyhat, 2017. © The Museum at FIT

Tree Dress and Venus Dress

Charles James, “Tree” dress with stole and gloves, 1955. The Museum at FIT.
Christian Dior, “Venus” dress, fall 1949-1950.
© The Museum at FIT

Group of 1920s evening dresses.

Group of 1920s evening dresses. © The Museum at FIT

L. Brandon Krall is an Artist-Filmmaker-Curator-Writer

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