Saturday, November 30, 2013 , Posted by LATINO EVENTS Y TESPIS MAGAZINE at 3:11 PM

A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk, the new exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum is a fascinating eye opener experience. A must. Featuring around 100 ensembles, from 18th-century menswear styles associated with an emerging gay subculture to 21st-century high fashion, this is the first museum exhibition dedicated to explore in depth the essential contributions to fashion made by LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer) individuals (many of them Latin@s!) over the past 300 years. And let me tell you, their influence has been and continues to be crucial. The exhibit closes on January 4 so you still have some time to visit! Keep on reading for more information or visit the site to learn more > QUEER FASHION HISTORY.

Jean Paul Gaultier, orange shirred velvet dress with cone bust and back lacing, 1984, France. The Museum at FIT. Photo courtesy of The Museum at FIT.
From Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, many of the greatest fashion designers of the past century have been gay. Organized in roughly chronological order, the exhibition explores the history of modern fashion through the lens of gay and lesbian life and culture, addressing subjects including androgyny, dandyism, idealizing and transgressive aesthetic styles, and the influence of subcultural and street styles, including drag, leather, and uniforms.
The exhibition will trace how the gay vernacular styles changed after Stonewall, becoming increasingly “butch.” Lesbian style also evolved, moving from the “butch-femme” paradigm toward an androgynous, anti-fashion look, which was, in turn, followed by various diversified styles that often referenced subcultures like punk. 
Man's ensemble: nylon flight jacket, t-shirt and jeans, c.1978, USA. Gift of Tony Santore, In Memory of Jack Fenstermacher, 88.134.28. Photo courtesy of The Museum at FIT.
The AIDS crisis marks a pivotal mid-point in the exhibition. Clothing by a number of designers who died of AIDS, including Perry Ellis, Halston, and Bill Robinson, will be featured, as will a wide range of activist T-shirts for ACT UP, Queer Nation, the Lesbian and Gay Rights March in Washington and the iconic Read My Lips. Emphasizing that gay rights are human rights, the exhibition concludes with a section on gay wedding fashions as the sartorial expression of the issue of marriage equality.

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