FSAD Exhibits Spotlight, Spring 2021

Fashion in Transit

Fashion in Transit explores the relationship between what we wear and how we move. Organized according to forms of fashioned moment - swimming, sliding, walking, riding, rolling, flying, and orbiting - this exhibit illustrates the ways that garments and accessories have long been influenced by various modes of transportation, and in some cases, have been the very element that enabled those activities to take place.

Images from Fashion in Transit

Standards for a New Womanhood: Gender, Race, and Expertise

In her 1981 essay, “The Legacies of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood,” Angela Y. Davis explained that the 19th century cults of true womanhood and domesticity expressed an ideal of femininity that did not extend to Black women and enshrined whiteness at the beginning of movements for women’s independence. This exhibit asks how gender, race, and expertise intersect in the new profession of home economics by focusing on how this discipline re-fashioned women’s bodies around the year 1916.

images from Standards for a New Womanhood  Exhibition

Green Armor: Wrap, Protect, Cover, Perform

GREEN ARMOR is a fashion exhibition that explores and celebrates the power of the color green as a form of armor throughout fashion history. Green has a longstanding relationship with the human body: it signals illness but also alerts the body when it is safe to “go,” enhanced today by our collective Cornell COVID-19 dashboard that reminds us green is the “new normal.” We represent different facets of green armor through the following themes: The Troupers, The Emissaries, The Dancers, The Viewers and The Playwrights (In Three Acts).

Green Armor: Poster and exhibition case

Flights of Fancy: Fashion and Function in Circus Performance

The relationship between circus and fashion is one of ebb and flow, inspiration and aspiration: the iconic imagery of circus dress symbolism has long influenced design houses and couture displays, providing visual references that translate from the ring to the runway. This exhibition explores the circus as fashion inspiration by highlighting examples of past and present performers, designed spaces, and the symbolism of circus as fantasy. Step right up! The show is about to begin.

Exhibition poster and circus costumes from Flight of Fancy exhibition

A Fashionista's Guide to the Galaxy: The Journey Begins

This exhibition is a journey to discover and explore science fiction and its fashion. Through a comprehensive look at the genre of science fiction we have curated an exhibition that dives into the many realms of this tiered genre. With a little perseverance, patience, and creativity, three student curators came together to deliver a fashion exhibition like no other. Prepare to discover multiple aspects of fashion's relationship with science fiction, from your favorite superheroes to popular culture references.

A Fashionista's Guide to the Galaxy poster and exhibition

Trash: Rethink and Reclaim

In this exhibition we use trash as a lens to rethink the social constructions of waste, marginalization, and consumption and how we might reclaim these stories through repair, preservation, and re-narrativization. Trash is not just something produced by individuals that is automatically gross, offensive, disgusting or harmful. It’s all part of a wider sociocultural, political, ecological, and economic system.

Poster and exhibition from Trash: Rethink and Reclaim

In Search of Costumes from Many Lands

This fashion exhibition critically examines the collecting practices of Professor Beulah Blackmore and Mrs. Ruth Sharp who contributed to the development of two ethnological dress collections on Cornell’s campus: the "Ethnic Collection" within the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection and the "Hmong Clothing and Textile Collection" within the Department of Anthropology Collections.

Items from In Search of Costumes from Many Lands

Concealing and Revealing: The Legacies of American Swimwear

This digital fashion exhibition considers the nuanced social, cultural, and economic implications of swimsuits throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Bathing costumes from the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection are put in conversation with historical advertisements, photos, and articles that provide context. The exhibit challenges us to think about how the body, garment production, leisure, gender norms, and intersectionality are both concealed and revealed through swimwear.

Images from The Legacies of American Swimwear exhibition

Chinese Traditional Dress

The 10,000-item Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection holds many hidden treasures from several centuries of fashion. An exhibit, “Chinese Traditional Dress and Its Influence (1840-1960),” originally put some of its best Chinese pieces on display in the Elizabeth Schmeck Brown Gallery of the Human Ecology Building in 2013. Now the gallery will be open for viewing digitally, as well.

Insert image for Chinese Traditional Dress Exhibition