Based on a selection of 33 major exhibitions which have consistently pushed beyond the obvious popular appeal of fashion and emphasised its cultural significance, this book is an in-depth introspection into “the most fashionable museum in New York City”, ie. MFIT (the Museum of Fashion Institute of Technology).
Edited by Valerie Steele, one of the foremost fashion historians and curators, Exhibitionism highlights the most influential exhibitions held at MFIT including: Fashion and Surrealism in 1987 on the relationship between art and fashion; The Corset in 2000 which was an exploration of the most controversial garment in fashion history; A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk (2013); Fairy Tale Fashion in 2016, a study into the enchanted and emblematic objects as the glass slipper and the red riding hood; Black Fashion Designers (2017).
Each exhibition included in the book is illustrated using installation photos, images of individual garments, and texts that explain the exhibitions’ concepts, scope and influence as well as the objects it featured. Exhibitionism also includes essays about the importance of fashion education at MFIT, highlights the role of hands-on, object- based learning and the inclusivity of minority, or even marginalised, groups.
Furthermore, each author provides an engaging “behind the scenes” look at the process of exhibition making and MFIT’s historic commitment to Fashion.