t-shirt MoMa

Thanks to an invitation of MoMa and especially of Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture & Design – Director, Research & Development The Museum of Modern Art, I discovered Bernard Rudofsky. I never heard about him but now I feel that I knew him since a long time. Quiet familiar with the question of Rudofsky, Are Clothes Modern? I can easily join his search saying that clothes are not actually fitted for the body, or better fitted for the society of today. Especially when Rudofsky wrote this book in 1947 I could imagine that while traveling the world and meeting so many different body shapes and tribes he asked himself if clothes were fitting to modernity and to the body in general. The new title for the 2017 exhibition in MoMa ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern’ requires an additional question related to the many questions we have concerning the today’s Fashion System. It is therefore a joy and a privileged to be part of the Advisory Council of MoMa for this exhibition.


Items: Is Fashion Modern?

December 10, 2017–April 1, 2018

Items: Is Fashion Modern? explores the present, past, and future of 99 items—garments, accessories, and accoutrements—that have had a strong impact on history and society in the 20th and 21st centuries, and continue to hold currency today. Among the 99 will be designs as well-known and transformative as the Levi’s 501s, the Casio watch, and the Little Black Dress, and as ancient and culturally charged as the kippah and the keffiyeh. Each item will be displayed in the incarnation that made it significant in the last 116 years—the stereotype—along with contextual materials that trace back to its historical archetype. In some cases, the item will also be complemented by a new commission—a prototype. Items will thus invite new generations of designers, engineers, and manufacturers to respond to some of these “indispensable items” with pioneering materials, approaches, and techniques—extending this conversation into the near and distant futures, and connecting the history of these garments with their present recombination and use. Driven first and foremost by objects, not designers, the exhibition considers the many relationships between fashion and functionality, cultural etiquettes, aesthetics, politics, labor, identities, economies, and technology.

Organized by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, and Michelle Millar Fisher, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.