Fashion and politics come in many different forms.
Consider the star-studded dress imprinted with an image of Hubert Humphrey’s face, an 1889 American flag-covered costume and the red Naughty Monkey shoes similar to the ones Sarah Palin donned for the Republican National Committee — all of which are featured in the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s new exhibition “Fashion & Politics.”
The 100-piece show, which opened Tuesday and runs through Nov. 7, highlights how fashion has often mirrored history over the past 200 years, and in doing so explores important themes such as nationalism, feminism and class.
“Fashion and politics have many layers of meaning more than the sartorial choices made by candidates, election T-shirts or campaign buttons,” said Jennifer Farley, who curated the show with Melissa Marra. “They reflect how people thought and behaved in the past during social and cultural changes.”
The design of several items on display pledged support — pure and simple — such as an Oscar de la Renta scarf emblazoned with RFK’s initials, a 1956 white cotton dress with a red “IKE” print, a Mars of Asheville’s paper dress covered with oversize stars and a “NIXON” print, and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s sequined dress with an image of President Obama’s face.
Other items touch on long-forgotten issues. An 1805 reticule bag spells out “sugar war,” an apparent reference to France and Britain’s struggle for control of the sugar-growing colonies in the Caribbean. These hand-beaded accessories were often marked with significant personal or political events. Other blasts from the past include a 1943 Vogue cover that reads, “Take a Job, Release a Man to Fight” and a 1933 handkerchief that reads, “Repeal the 18th Amendment. More Beer Less Taxes.” A cry for freedom of a different sort can be seen in a white suit circa 1914-1916, a popular look with members of the suffrage movement looking to show off their unity in parade marches.
There are also more contemporary pieces such as replicas of the Thakoon “Kimono” dress Michelle Obama wore when she went on a state visit to France with her husband this year, and a version of the Jason Wu sheath she wore for her Vogue cover. By chance, the museum also has the Isabel Toledo ensemble the First Lady wore for the inauguration in a separate exhibition dedicated to Toledo — one flight below.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye