Dec 13, 2019
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FIT opens 'Power Mode: The Force of Fashion' exhibition

Dec 13, 2019

The Fashion Institute of Technology is examining the power of fashion in its newest exhibition, located at The Museum at FIT’s Fashion and Textile History Gallery.


Opened on December 10, ‘Power Mode: The Force of Fashion’ explores the role fashion plays in establishing, reinforcing, and challenging power dynamics within society, FIT said via the FIT newsroom. 

The exhibition includes men’s and women’s clothing dating from the 18th century to the present, organized thematically around five categories of “sartorial power”: ‘military,’ which explores military uniforms and their movement into the fashion world; ‘status,’ which looks at status-setting dressing from ermine capes to logo bags; ‘suits,’ which examines the history of the suit; ‘rebellion,’ which looks as the subversive power of resistance dressing; and ‘sex,’ which analyzes fashions associated with sex and sexuality. 

Each section breaks down how each design and garment has been able to communicate 'power', and how the meaning has evolved over time.

The exhibition will also explore how elements of each of the five categories have been used by fashion designers to play with power dynamics. Featured items include pieces from Chanel, Burberry, Vetements, Yves Saint Laurent, Pyer Moss, Thom Browne and Off-White, among others. 

“The way we outfit ourselves can play an outsized role in conveying power to others—whether it be the pink ‘pussy hats’ at the 2017 Women’s March or the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coordinated Thom Browne suits during the 2018 NBA playoffs,” FIT said.

“However, power is not easily defined. It is political position and economic status, but also military strength, sexual authority, rebellion, and protest.”

‘Power Mode’ is free and open to the public, and will run through May 9, 2020. 

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