The Innovation That Changed Fashion Forever

by MR Magazine Staff

What makes fashion modern? Is it the fabric? The cut? The way it tells you all you need to know about the wearer? I began thinking about this question last year when Paola Antonelli, senior curator of design and architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, recruited me to contribute to “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” The exhibition, which opens on Oct. 1, is only the second the ­museum has devoted to fashion, following a 1944 predecessor put on by the maverick architect Bernard Rudofsky. Occupying the sixth floor of the museum, the show collects 111 items that have shaped life over the past century. There’s a mix of pop classics (Levi’s 501s, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars), enduring cultural artifacts (the kippah, the keffiyeh), and high-style objects (Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking jacket, the Birkin bag). The project gives garments and accessories their due as a subject of aesthetic and sociological interest, worthy of serious consideration. With any luck, it will also inspire the visitor to consider the under­appreciated zipper—a thing as common as ­concrete—as a device crucial to the rhythm of ­contemporary life. Read more at Bloomberg.