Queer Fashion + Four Two Nine

by Nick Fyhrie

Last Thursday I attended the opening reception of the exhibit: "A Queer History of Fashion: From the closet to the catwalk" at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum in New York.   It was a fabulous event - evident when first walking in to find three large disco balls hanging above the bar. Bill Cunningham was walking around with a huge grin as he snapped photos of a truly diverse crowd including the New York queer community. 

 

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The exhibit displays fashion dating back to the 18th century to the present , exploring the multi-faceted ways gender was appropriated through clothes. Designers include fashion icons such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint-Laurent, Halston, and Versace.

 

1920's: the femmes / garçonnes look

1920's: the femmes / garçonnes look

A Versace - Warhol colorful combination

A Versace - Warhol colorful combination

Jean Paul Gaultier's famous cone creation

Jean Paul Gaultier's famous cone creation

A Dandy number by Vivienne Westwood

A Dandy number by Vivienne Westwood

The exhibition runs until January 4, 2014. Curated by Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, with exhibition design by award-winning architect Joel Sanders.

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 At the event, I received a new publication called FOUR TWO NINE. It is a gorgeous glossy magazine out of San Francisco created by writer Kevin Seesums & Richard Klein.  At first, I thought it was just another fashion magazine and just skimmed through the pages. As I started to read one of the articles, I realized that this publication is anything but skimpy. The premier issue centers around the theme of friendship and there are truly engaging interviews between notable queer community icons including John Cameron Mitchell & Justin Vivian Bond. I loved the fashion editorial inspired by the FIT exhibit on queer fashion, photographed by Ruven Afanador. OK, let's be honest, I loved the entire magazine - It is put together so well and I look forward to the upcoming issues! And if you don't know what a hijra is, there's a fascinating article delving into the worlds of these marginal Indian families.

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