Tag Archives: Museum at FIT

Let’s Dance

The Museum at FIT is one of the best resources for design students here. There is almost always two exhibitions on view that can serve as inspiration for any personal or required projects. The exhibits can also be helpful for any student who is interested in learning more about fashion history.

Currently the upstairs exhibit is called Exposed: A History of Lingerie (on view until November 15). The main exhibit, which is located below the main floor, is titled Dance & Fashion (on view until January 3).

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The exhibit starts its focus on the development of the “traditional” ballet outfit and continues through  the Ballet Russes, modern and then contemporary dance.

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The "Team Vicious" steppers featured in Rick Owen's Spring 2014 runway show

The “Team Vicious” steppers featured in Rick Owen’s Spring 2014 runway show

In the main lobby, there are benches surrounding a television that plays videos of designers, costumers and choreographers collaborating on a loop. It is very interesting to see  where the lines of modern design, stage costume and the athleticism of the dancers intersect.

Prabal Gurung's design for the NYC Ballet (Fall of 2013) in the workshop. The finished garment is on display in the exhibit

Prabal Gurung’s design for the NYC Ballet (Fall of 2013) in the workshop. The finished garment is on display in the exhibit

The Museum at FIT also hosts two day symposiums every fall that bring together experts on the current exhibit. I personally love the symposiums, and although I sometimes have to miss some of the presentations because of classes, I try to stay for as many as possible. It is a completely free way to hear some of the most brilliant minds in fashion and cultural history.

A presentation during the  "Ivy Style" symposium in 2012

A presentation during the “Ivy Style” symposium in 2012

Some other resources the Museum provides are online exhibitions and (some of) their extensive archive is available to outside researchers as well as graduate AND undergraduate students. I will talk about the research opportunities in a future post, but the online exhibitions are a very valuable resource as well. It is not quite the same as seeing the exhibit in person, but the museum provides the academic information and pictures of the key garments that were on display. It is very helpful if your inspiration for a project relates to a past exhibit.

Lastly, the Museum at FIT is a strong advocate for student work. While the main exhibition spaces are reserved for scholarly shows curated by professionals who work for the museum, there is a side gallery that almost exclusively features student work. Displays of faculty work rotate with the final projects of some of the graduating students. The Museum Studies graduate program also curates their exhibitions in this space.

The Museum is open to the public and completely FREE! So be sure to stop by if you are visiting campus or if you live in the area. It is located on the corner of 27th street and 7th Avenue.

–Emily–

Forums at FIT

FIT frequently hosts forums in their auditorium spaces and they’re one of the best things FIT does for us. A lot of students don’t go to them, which I don’t really understand because they are amazing and here’s why:

  • They are free
  • They are usually only 1 to 2 hours long – the same as watching a movie on Netflix
  • Sometimes famous and influential people from their respective industries come to speak
  • Most of the time there is a chance for you to ask those people questions
  • Sometimes there is even a book signing (I mean let’s be honest, the books are usually crazy expensive, but it is a great way to get an up-close-and-personal one-on-one experience with the person, which sometimes is worth it. That’s how I met Carol Lim and Humberto Leon from Opening Ceremony)
  • Even if you have never heard of the speaker before, they can be really insightful and change they way you think
  • They are a great way to learn about things you will never have the time or chance to take a class on
  • Did I mention they are free?!

These events will usually be publicized through posters in the lobby of the Feldman Center, posters in the escalators or through an FIT email blast. (Join the Museum at FIT’s mailing list HERE to get their updates on exhibitions and talks) Opportunities like these also come from different organizations on campus like the Presidential Scholars (who sponsored the event pictured above, and which I am a part of. Find more info HERE). They are usually open to the entire FIT community and focus on topics other than fashion, which can actually be a nice reprieve for students who must spend most of their time constantly thinking about fashion. If you see one that looks interesting, promise me you won’t convince yourself out of going. Sit all the way in the back, leave early if you get bored, but at least give it a try. I’ll see you there.

–Emily–