|A Queer History of Fashion, FIT Museum|
This exhibition celebrates the influence of gay and lesbian designers on fashion and traces the origins of cross-dressing to its historical roots. This exhibit, co-curated by Valerie Steele and Fred Dennis, literally blew me away by its originality and the depth of research that underpinned its creation. Since I had expected a show that was contemporary in focus, I was surprised to learn that there is a 300 year history to consider, going back to the 18th century when cross-dressing “mollies,” foppish “macaronis,” and “men milliners” challenged gender roles. "This is about honoring the gay and lesbian designers of the past and present. By acknowledging their contributions to fashion, we want to encourage people to embrace diversity," said Dennis on the FIT Museum site. With an innovative presentation format that I had not seen in the FIT gallery before which moved the focus to the centre of the gallery away from the walls, the exhibit is also visually stunning. The show closes on January 4, 2013, but is also accessible through an exhibition website.