Fashion lovers rejoice! There are plenty of exciting exhibitions and events to keep you busy in May. There are a few non-fashion things to look forward to as well. Have fun!
American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity May 5th -August 15, 2010, Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is the annual BIG show at the Costume Institute. This year’s exhibit “will explore developing perceptions of the modern American woman from the 1890s to the 1940s, and how they have affected the way American women are seen today. Focusing on archetypes of American femininity through dress, the exhibition will reveal how the American woman initiated style revolutions that mirrored her social, political, and sexual emancipation. Early mass-media representations of American women established the fundamental characteristics of American style – a theme that will be explored via a multimedia installation in the final gallery.”
Note: I attended the Press Preview yesterday and all I can say is WOW! I will have some photos from the show up later this week…and a full review soon after…stay tuned.
American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection May 7th –August 1, 2010, Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor, Brooklyn Museum. “To mark the new relationship between the Brooklyn Museum and the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum presents an exhibition of some of the most renowned objects from its costume collection. American High Style consists of approximately eighty-five dressed mannequins and a selection of hats, shoes, sketches, and other fashion-related material that will reintroduce the collection, long in storage, to the public. The exhibition is organized in groups representing the most important strengths of the collection. Works by the first generation of American women designers such as Bonnie Cashin, Elizabeth Hawes, and Claire McCardell are featured, as well as material created by Charles James, Norman Norell, Gilbert Adrian, and other important American designers.”
Wendell Castle “Rockin” May 6th –June 26th at Barry Freidman LTD., 515 West 26th Street. “A long record of acclaim, scholarship, and steady acquisition by public institutions gives Wendell Castle’s work indelible historic importance. His groundbreaking unification of sculpture and furniture galvanized generations of artists and designers and contributed to the acceptance of design as an art form in its own right. At every stage however, Castle has endeavored to incorporate innovations in materials and design, while deepening and, at times, re-inventing his own sculptural vocabulary. From his iconic Molar Chair (1969) to Faust (2009), Castle’s work has often reflected sociological and cultural developments in pop culture, film and music. At the age of 77, Wendell Castle is at the height of his career and creativity. The exhibition ‘Rockin’, will feature a group of 12 unique, stack-laminated wood chairs. All were created since the critical success of Castle’s 2008 exhibition at Barry Friedman, Ltd.
National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? Opens May 14th –January 9, 2011, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2 East 91st Street. While I try not to write about contemporary design, I think that this show is not to be missed for design enthusiast. Inaugurated in 2000, this is the fourth exhibition in the Triennial program. The series “seeks out and presents the most innovative designs… will explore the work of designers addressing human and environmental problems across many fields of the design practice.”
Eco-Fashion: Going Green, May 25th – November 26, 2010, the Fashion and Textile History Gallery at The Museum at FIT. This exhibition will explore “fashion’s relationship with the environment. Generally, ‘eco-fashion’ refers to the work of designers who use, produce, and/or promote sustainable, ethical, and environmentally-conscious products. Although eco-fashion is one of contemporary fashion’s most compelling practices, fashion and the environment have had a longstanding, multifaceted, and complex connection that is rarely explored. Featuring more than 100 garments, accessories, and textiles from the mid-18th century to the present, Eco-Fashion: Going Green will examine both positive and negative environmental practices over the past two centuries, providing historical context for today’s eco-fashion movement. The exhibition will emphasize how each stage of fashion production—from fiber to finished garment—has environmental consequences. As a counterpoint, the extensive range of contemporary examples in the exhibition will showcase the increasing commitment of both designers and consumers to meet these environmental challenges, in a conscious effort to minimize harmful impacts.”
Costume Design in Film: Reflecting the Period. Introduced by Harold Koda, Curator in Charge, The Costume Institute. Metropolitan Museum of Art. The six films in this series—each set in a different time period—demonstrate the pivotal role of costume design in overall cinematic production. The series, presented in conjunction with the exhibition “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity,” May 5–August 15, 2010. showcases the work of some of Hollywood’s finest wardrobe masters and mistresses, who dressed characters for settings ranging from Victorian London to a cruise ship in the 1940s.
May 21 The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). Costumes (ca. late 1800s) by Valles
Single tickets: $10
* There will be other films screened in June.
Rodarte in Conversation with Valerie Steele
Tuesday, May 4, 6-8 pm, Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, first floor, The Museum at FIT. Meet sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who founded Rodarte in Pasadena, California, in 2005. Their work is a seamless marriage of innovation and aesthetics. Rodarte received the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer Award in June 2008, the Swiss Textiles Award in November 2008, and the 2009 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.
André Leon Talley in Conversation with Valerie Steele
Thursday, May 6, 6-8 pm, Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, first floor, The Museum at FIT.One of the most influential people in fashion today, André Leon Talley is the American editor-at-large for Vogue magazine. He has worked with legendary editors Diana Vreeland and Anna Wintour and has been nominated for an Emmy. Recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he is the author of A.L.T.: A Memoir and A.L.T. 365+.
*The two events at F.I.T are already sold out but they may be online at a later date.
Wednesday, May 19, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2 East 91st Street. Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company that focuses on slow design and sustainability. They craft handmade, limited-edition products using a combination of new, organic, and recycled materials. Founder and creative director Natalie Chanin will discuss her latest book, Alabama Studio Style.
“Costume Collections: A Collaborative Model for Museums” Friday, May 21, 2010 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn Museum
This symposium examines the historic collection-sharing collaboration between the Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art and provides insight into the three-year costume collection assessment project that preceded it. The event continues at the Met on Saturday, May 22, 10–5 p.m. Co-hosted by the Brooklyn Museum and the Met’s Costume Institute. Free with Museum admission; reservations and tickets not required. For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts, on view through May 16th, Arkitekturmuseet in Stockholm.
If you are traveling in Sweden this spring, don’t miss the first major retrospective Greta Magnusson Grossman retrospective, co-curated by New York’s R 20th Century’s own Evan Snyderman. The exhibition includes architectural commissions in Sweden as well as Northern and Southern California and designs for the many companies she worked with including Barker Brothers, Ralph O. Smith and Glenn of California. The exhibition also includes exemplary pieces of furniture and lighting, prototypes and textiles, original drawings and photographs, film clips as well as a 1:1 reconstruction of an interior.
22nd Annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)
May 15th- May 18th (Trade and general public on May 18th only).
Visit North America’s premier fair of cutting-edge contemporary design. This would go nicely with a visit to the Triennial. Check out http://www.icff.com