New York City, NY
Featuring more than 70 garments drawn primarily from the Museum’s Costume Collection, the exhibition traces the dramatic transformation in clothing between 1960 and 1973, not only in length and silhouette, but also in materials and methods of textile manufacture. Works by designers as diverse as Mary Quant, Geoffrey Beene, and Pauline Trigère illuminate the communicative powers of fashion in the ’60s—reflecting cultural trends from Beatlemania to Pop and Op Art to infatuation with the “space race,” and social changes like the women’s liberation movement and the radicalism of the counterculture and antiwar movements. Also on display are fine and costume jewelry, shoes, handbags, design renderings, and photographs that capture the spirit of a creative and confrontational era.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, the accompanying book Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip traces the fashion arc of the 1960s and 1970s, a tumultuous and innovative era that continues to inspire how we dress today. During this period, demure silhouettes and pastels favored by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy exploded into bold prints and tie-dyed psychedelic chaos and ultimately resolved into a personal style dubbed by Vogue the “New Nonchalance.”
This book is beautifully illustrated by two hundred groundbreaking and historically significant designs by Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Rudi Gernreich, Yves Saint Laurent, André Courrèges, Norman Norell, and Bill Blass, among many others, all drawn from the renowned costume collection at MCNY.
By the mid-1960s, clothing assumed communicative powers, reflecting the momentous societal changes of the day: the emergence of a counterculture, the women’s liberation movement, the rise of African-American consciousness, and the radicalism arising from the protests of the Vietnam War. New York City, as the nation’s fashion and creative capital, became the critical flashpoint for these debates. Authoritative essays by well-known fashion historians Phyllis Magidson, Hazel Clark, Sarah Gordon, and Caroline Rennolds Milbank explore the ways in which these radical movements were expressed in fashion. Of special note is Kwame S. Brathwaite’s presentation of the Grandassa Models and “Black is Beautiful” movement, which is illustrated with photographs by his father, Kwame Brathwaite.
To add this volume to your library, click here: Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip