Global Fashion and Nightlife

Nkhensani Nkosi, Stoned Cherrie - Summer 2005  Johannesburg - FIT Exhibit

Nkhensani Nkosi, Stoned Cherrie – Summer 2005 Johannesburg – FIT Exhibit

Caught the two exhibits at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the only museum in New York City devoted entirely to fashion.  “Global Fashion Capitals”   is an acknowledgment that fashion capitals are not confined to Europe and the US, but are to be found on other continents.  The show features 40 designs from 16 burgeoning fashion cities, including Lagos, Seoul, Beijing, Mumbai, Moscow, Sao Paulo and Mexico City.

You’ll find garments by the top names from London, Milan, Rome and Paris: Mary Quant, Christopher Kane, Pucci, Valentino, Paul Poirot and Worth, among others.  New York is represented by its fair share of big names like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Alexander Wang, but there is also a lovely evening dress from 1948 by Nettie Rosenstein.  Issey Mayake and Comme des Garcons are featured in the Tokyo section.

The show is organized geographically, so you can see designers from the established capitals right by works from newer fashion hubs like Madrid, Johannesburg, Stockholm and Berlin.  Its a great way to get a feel for what’s happening in fashion around the globe – and there’s nothing like seeing the clothes close up.  The exhibit closes November 14th.

Corset and skirt by Mr. Pearl at the Susanne Bartsch exhibit at FIT

Corset and skirt by Mr. Pearl at the Susanne Bartsch exhibit at FIT

Also at the FIT Museum is an exhibit on “The World of Susanne Bartsch,”  one of the more outrageous underground fashion figures who made her mark in NYC.  Hailing from Switzerland, Susanne became part of the vibrant music and fashion scene that defined London in the 70’s.  In 1980, she moved to the Big Apple, opened a boutique in Soho, and began organizing fashion shows and charity events, becoming heralded as the “Queen of the Night.”  The show, with close to 100 glittery, glitzy, highly imaginative nightlife costumes, makes it clear that Susanne knew how to make an entrance, and how to utilize clothing to transform herself.  The show runs until December 5th.

The Museum at FIT is free!

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