Trend-ology at FIT

Trend-ology at FIT HISTORY 101

The Museum at FIT presents the history and sources of trend following with its latest exhibit, Trend-ology

Curated by Ariele Elia and Emma McClendon, The Museum at FIT presents its latest exhibition – Trend-ology – to kick-start the New Year. Guiding visitors through 250 years’ worth of history, Trend-ology examines the diverse sources from which fashion trends have emerged and venues by which they have been subsequently shared.

Opening with a contemporary perspective of trend-following, the first room highlights recent collaborations between designers and “fast fashion,” such as the 2012 H&M x Maison Martin Margiela collection, along with Fall 2013 WGSN reports and video interviews with various influencers, including Refinery29’s Connie Wang. Perhaps most poignant is Wang’s statement about fast fashion and new media; she articulates that without fast fashion, there would be very little to write about, especially in this digital age where media consumption is far more frequent than the traditional monthly magazine.

After this brief observation of the present, the displays in the next room take us back to the mid-eighteenth century with yellow garments from European courts. 1912 reprints of the French publication La Galerie des Modes appear alongside the clothing, depicting the latest fashions of the late 1800s.

While the nineteenth century is briefly covered with the prefacing of the industrial revolution, the twentieth century is given a more in-depth look. In turn, it becomes apparent that over half of the exhibition is dedicated to the tastes and styles of the 1900s. The displays become more identifiable as they are now more clearly segmented by decade, as opposed to century (with textile examples). The explored themes are broken down into the following: 1920s’ knitwear, 1930s’ glamour, 1950s’ and the “New Look,” 1960s’ exoticism, 1970s’ partying, and 1990s’ “logomania.”

Where most of the themes find themselves highlighted then forgotten, the theme of the Orient becomes a recurring one, especially with the selections made for this exhibition. Not limiting the meaning of the Orient to the Far East, references to and inspiration deriving from Asia, as a whole, span over two centuries.

Overall, the exhibition serves well to inform and highlight major trends of the past three centuries, especially given the confines of the small gallery space. With that said, though, there is a feeling of disconnect between the first room, which deals with the present-day field of new media, fast fashion, and content, and the rest of the exhibition, which takes on a more historical approach of explicating what was worn during a particular time period.

The exhibition runs until April 30, 2014.

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