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August 30, 2013 9:32 am

Pride in Fashion: FIT’s “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” Exhibit

By Priscilla Jiminian, Photo Credit: Museum at FIT

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The Fashion Institute of Technology’s latest exhibit, “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” is set to open Sept. 13, featuring an in-depth look at the history of fashion and the impact the LGBTQ community has contributed to the field over the past 300 years.

The show, which will include 100 different creations from prominent designers, will take us back to the 18th century and to our present time, with cross-dressing and butch-like styles, men’s leather ensembles and even same-sex wedding dresses, a symbol of triumph in the 21st century marriage and equal rights movement in America.

The project, researched and created by FIT’s Senior Curator of Costume, Fred Dennis, and Director and Chief Curator Valerie Steele, has been under wraps and in the works for two years. Their priority with the exhibit is for visitors to grasp a good understanding of fashion’s history, “This is about honoring the gay and lesbian designers of the past and present…by acknowledging their contributions to fashion, we want to encourage people to embrace diversity” said Dennis.

Emphasized ensembles such as the “Le Smoking” tuxedo suit by Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior’s 1950 cocktail dress and 21st century high fashion creations by the late Alexander McQueen will be on display.

“A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” (free admission) will run until Jan. 4, 2014 with a book to follow its grand opening, featuring essays by important fashion and gay scholars such as Jonathan D. Katz, Shaun Cole and Elizabeth Wilson.

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