Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gothic: Dark Glamour at FIT

I ran into FIT’s fashion exhibit Gothic: Dark Glamour on a whim. No one would ever accuse me of being fashionable. Ever. But, I was passing by so, why not. As it happens, it was a much better show than the one I was off to see. I can't tell Gaultier from my ass but like any good Goth related activity, it was dripping with enough pomp and atmosphere that anyone who enjoys a certain amount of theatricality would love it.

The exhibit starts on the ground floor with a stunning lone Victorian mourning dress leading you to a stairway to the (appropriately) basement level gallery. The first chamber is set up like a haunted house display. The walls are painted black and the only light comes from glassed-in dioramas of, among other things, Coppala's
Dracula costumes. Also on display were a few photographs and a jewelery case that included an awesome crow’s wing broach.

Then you enter the main gallery. Again, all is black and low lights, with lots of mirrors reflecting more blackness. Much of the work is seen through some kind of barrier -- a graveyard fence, black scrim, two-way mirrors. I’m sure its main purpose is to keep people from touching the clothing but it also adds to the goth dichotomy of seduction and danger. It compels you to lean forward to view the work while simultaneously "protecting" you from it. (And, if you are like me, it gets you yelled at by museum guards.)

The clothing itself is a wonderful mix of decay and high elegance using the usual Victorian, steam punk, horror, punk rock, and religious references. Even a little scifi -- I could easily see a
Dune costume or two coming from the exhibit.

All in all, I think the exhibit did it's job as it left me feeling life would be richer if the average person walking down the street could look so long as
I still get to wear jeans and a t-shirt.

If you have some time to explore, FIT
created an extensive website for the exhibit. It includes a on-line Gothic punk mix tape, now that's cool. And videos that will give you a decidedly more fashion related view of the show.


Piya said...

Sounds interesting. Thanks Irene. Oh and I've been yelled at by the guards at the Norman Rockwell museum, so I'm there with you.

Anonymous said...

I will check it out very interesting. Thanks

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