“The Tuxedo Redefined: Formality, Fluidity and Femininity,” a new exhibition presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Costume Studies program, will be shown at 80 Washington Square East in New York from Jan. 11 to Feb. 5. The show explores how the tuxedo has been incorporated into women’s fashion.
Since the tuxedo was first introduced in the 19th century, it has evolved into the standard for men’s semiformal attire. “The Tuxedo Redefined” explores how women have appropriated the tradition of men’s black-tie attire, and the ways in which the garment has served as a tool for provocation that can reflect transformative notions of gender, class, and sexual identity.
The exhibit features clothing, accessories, photographs and films that demonstrate the reach of the tuxedo. For example, there’s a 1987 Chanel dress by Karl Lagerfeld, as well as fashion advertising and imagery for designer brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and After Six. There also are film clips and photographs featuring Hollywood stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Janelle Monáe.
The exhibit is co-curated by the master’s degree candidates of NYU’s Costume Studies program: Samantha Asam, Benjamin Chait, Lara Damabi, Amanda Driggs, Michael German, H. Colton MacKay, Yaritza Martinez Pule, Ayaka Sano, and Sarah Sebetich, under the direction of Melissa Huber, assistant curator at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A reception for the opening of “The Tuxedo Redefined,” will be held Jan. 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 80 Washington Square East in the Project Space. The event is free and open to the public. In addition, NYU’s Costume Studies program will hold a symposium Feb. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Einstein Auditorium at 34 Stuyvesant Street, in addition to curators’ presentations on exhibition-related themes. It will feature speaker Chloe Chapin, fashion and cultural historian and PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard University.