NEW YORK — It was a good thing that the past was on the menu at New York University’s fashion seminar held Friday and Saturday, because several participants seemed to have a problem with the present.

Designers, journalists and fashion historians presented varying viewpoints on the significance of recurring themes of vintage styles in modern design during the program, "The Presence of the Past: Reuse, Revival and Renewal in Fashion." Staged at the New York Academy of Medicine on 103rd Street, the audience consisted mainly of curators of university and small museum fashion collections from around the country. Valerie Steele, curator at the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, discussed the corset, the Met’s Harold Koda talked about Greco-Roman revivals and François Lesage talked about a career that has spanned the tenures of the original Christian Dior to John Galliano at Christian Dior.

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