As the English author Douglas Adams would say, we are stuck with hi-tech fashion when what we really want is just stuff that looks amazing. But it’s interesting to know what you wear and that’s why the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) in New York presents Fashion and Technology, a new exhibition that shows the link between fashion and technological inventions in the last 250 years.
Organized by Ariele Elia and Emma McClendon, along with Colleen Hill and Lynn Weidner, the exhibition is on view until May 8th 2013. The main subject is explored in four different ways: the production, materials, aesthetics, and function of clothes. More than 100 objects from the museum’s costume collections has been chosen and exposed in chronological order. From the 1860 afternoon dress produced with synthetic dyes to the 3D Pierre Cardin’s dress from 1968, and then the Jean Paul Gaultier jumpsuit inspired by the cyber-space. Moreover, there are several interactive components such as Twitterfeed, an iPad app by Max Mara, videos and a dedicated website.
The MFIT’s Fashion and Technology is an interesting project that reminds of TECHNOSENSUAL: when fashion meets technology, the exhibition curated by Anouk Wipprecht in Vienna, running during the last MQ Summer of Fashion festival – in the MuseumsQuartier’s ‘freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL’ space – and featuring contemporary fashion designers clothes equipped with electronic components such as sensors and LEDs, together with textiles made of futuristic and innovative materials. What’s the difference? The latter exhibition was more focused on computer-era technology, whereas the other at MFIT gives you a wider time range analysis. If you put them together, you’ll get the perfect technological history of fashion in a single book. Ops, iPad app.

Gabriele Girolamini

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street

New York (U.S.), from December 4th 2012 to May 8th 2013