String's Spring 2017 Exhibition Round Up
Dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers know access is one of the greatest benefits of living in the Big Apple. Whether you are attuned to the lullaby of Broadway and its shows, relish the smorgasbord of ethnic delicacies spread out like a buffet across the boroughs, or simply enjoy padding around a walking city in which north to south, east to west, the persona and characteristics can shift drastically in the space of a few blocks, New York is a grab-bag of adventures and opportunity.
With the weather warming up and a new year freshly underway, we thought now might be a good time to take a peek at New York’s fashion and fiber-related happenings. The following list should help both New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers alike—if you’re visiting, this is a great list to pad out your off time outside of String Yarns (because, of course, we expect to see you in store as often as possible on your visit!). Museums are a fabulous New York retreat. We aren’t just the fashion capital of the world—we have a more-than-fair number of intriguing museums as well. The exhibitions listed below provide myriad options for a fun day in the city.
Gilded New York - Museum of the City of New York, ongoing
Gilded New York celebrates New York bling at its finest. The ongoing exhibit “explores the city’s visual culture at the end of the 19th century, when its elite class flaunted their money as never before.” Think Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Gould, and more. Consolidated to a single room at the Museum of the City of New York, expect to see evening dresses by Maison Worth of Paris, ruby, sapphire, and diamond encrusted jewelry, and extravagant fabrics and furniture pieces. With approximately 100 pieces to peruse, it’s a guaranteed decadent experience. Consider it living vicariously through the original one percent.
Paris Refashioned, 1957-68 – Fashion Institute of Technology, February 10 - April 15, 2017
Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 examines the role Paris played in the world of fashion in the late 50s to late 60s. Paris’ influence on fashion in the 1960s changed the face of fashion forever. A young Yves Saint Laurent was just going to work as creative director for Christian Dior, who had only just passed away in 1957. Yves Saint Laurent introduced his groundbreaking A-line “trapeze” dresses at Christian Dior. Paris Refashioned explores the works of Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges, Givenchy, Balenciaga, and more, documenting the shift from haute couture to ready-to-wear. Expect to see fabulous pantsuits and suits, cocktail dresses, day dresses, and accessories including hats and shoes.
Force of Nature - Fashion Institute of Technology, May - November 2017
Force of Nature examines the influence of the natural world on fashion and design. With more than 75 objects from FIT’s permanent collection that date all the way back to the 18th century up to the present, Force of Nature documents examples of ecological fashion, with inspirations drawn from flora, fauna, geology, as well as philosophies that encourage a return to nature. Garments like Alexander McQueen’s Darwin-inspired dress (above) serve as potent reminders of our indissoluble relationship with the natural world.
Adrian: Hollywood and Beyond - Fashion Institute of Technology, March 7 – April 1, 2017
If you’re unfamiliar with costume design, you might not know the name Gilbert Adrian. However we’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on planet earth who doesn’t immediately recognize the iconic ruby-red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. You can thank Gilbert Adrian for designing those unmistakable slippers, which literally and figuratively transported both wearer and viewers to a magical world just beyond the rainbow. Adrian: Hollywood and Beyond showcases Adrian’s costume as well as his read-to-wear collections. Gilbert Adrian was known for his masterful fabric manipulations (draping, pleating, applique, mitering, etc), an aspect explored in depth at this FIT exhibit.
Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 4 - September 4, 2017
Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo is the focus of The Costume Institute's spring 2017 exhibition. Known for avant-garde designs that defied the feminine and challenged notions of what was fashionable, beautiful, and even wearable, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons at the Met features approximately 120 pieces from her womenswear collection for Commes des Garcons. Including garments from her first 1981 Paris runway show to her latest works, the central theme is Kawakubo’s revolutionary acceptance of a binary existence and her quest to break down the defining divisions of male and female, old and new.
Judith Leiber, Handcrafting A New York Story - Museum of Arts & Design, April 4, 2017- September 17, 2017
Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story is a fabulous trek for handbag lovers—so all of us, essentially. Leiber founded her eponymous company in 1963 at the age of forty-two, proving it’s never to late to start doing what you love. The Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story charts her handbag work from 1963 up until 2004, when she designed her last handbag. Her exploratory use of diverse materials should be especially interesting for crafters. Leiber used Swarovski crystals, recycled vintage fabrics, beads, sequins, leather, feathers, precious stones, seashells, and plastics like Lucite to craft her unique creations, which were inspired by art, indigenous crafts, travel, opera and more.
Francoise Grossen Selects, A MAD Collection POV - Museum of Arts & Design, October 2016 - March 15, 2017
We wouldn’t say we saved the best for last, but this final exhibit in our list directly relates to working with fiber. In the 1960s, Françoise Grossen explored outside the bounds of traditional weaving on a standard loom to create large-scale rope forms made of loops, knots, braids, and twists. Visitors to Francoise Grossen Selects, A MAD Collection POV will be treated to several rope sculptures as well as other woven creations made of fiber, metal, and wood.