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Nov 30, 2015
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From hip-hop to haute couture, exhibit on the history of denim at the Museum at FIT

Published
Nov 30, 2015

On Dec 1, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), NYC, launches the exhibit Denim: Fashion’s Frontier. The collection, organized by Emma McClendon, assistant curator of costume, features over 70 items from the late 19th century to the present.


Junya Watanabe dress, spring 2002, Photograph by William Palmer - The Museum at FIT


In part a response to denim’s resurgence on the runway between 2014-2015, the exhibit unpacks the history of denim and its relationship with high fashion. Items range from a pair of circa 1840 jeans predating Levi Strauss & Co. to a 21st century avant garde dress by Junya Watanabe.

The exhibition also includes an haute couture blouse by Elsa Schiaparelli made of imitation denim and an examination of the influence of hip-hop on denim with ensembles by Tommy Hilfiger, Claude Sabbah, and Levi Strauss & Co. from the 1990s. The show will be on display through May 7, 2016.

The Museum at FIT is one of a handful of specialized global fashion museums, including the Muse de la Mode, the Mode Museum, and the Museo de la Moda. Established in 1969, its mission has been to advance knowledge of fashion through exhibitions, programs and publications. Dr. Valerie Steele has been director of the Museum since 2003 and chief curator since 1997.

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