For someone that couldn't think of anything greater than seeing amazing fashion in person, I've realized that it's a shame i don't make it over to the museum at FIT very often. It's a fairly modest space compared to The Met or Cooper Hewitt.?The Gothic Show, much publicized and the reason for my visit, for example lurked behind very un-grand doors and the kind of stairwell young women think twice about going down alone at night. They certainly do a lot with a little though.
The exhibit begins with an appropriately darkened room that features a great Givenchy wispy, tattered dreams dress and the collections few non contemporary pieces: two black Victorian mourning gowns. A red and black intricately folded gown by Yoshiki Hishinuma (an exciting new name for me) and the red dress from Bram Stocker's Dracula designed by Eiko Ishioka were other favorites. On the opposite wall, an impressive and desirable case of exquisite jewelry includes a chain purse from 1900 with a golden bat and outstanding pieces from Mark Walsh and Leslie Chin for Rodarte.
The room's nice but it doesn't prepare you for the grandeur of the main exhibit, an overwhelming display of incredible works. One wall features a trick mirror, where slowly a collection of the cheaper side of things (think high end Hot Topic) stuff lies another wall holds a huge lovely backdrop, another a projected full moon with black clouds drifting before it. The center area is surrounded by a cemetery gate. It's whimsical and witty.
The show went way beyond my expectations. Among the many, many inspiring pieces there is a sleek, beautiful black velvet Derek Lamb gown with a white ruffle peekaboo bottom, enough McQueen and Mugler to keep me satisfied and excited, some unreal creations by Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy (again) including a billowing tulle dress that (if I could have whatever I wanted in the world) I would have done up in white and get married to Jim all over again in it.
The real treat, though in a room filled with them was seeing John Galliano's work up close. From a pouffy red frock inspired by the French Revolution, to a spectacular black coat dripping with sparkling skulls at the hem, to the wild and fun cinco de mayo dress with sequins over dress and puffy bone shirt, his pieces stunned me. No photos ever do his work justice and these are worth the trip alone.
Fortunately for all of us they are accompanied by dozens of extraordinary pieces. The show is up until February 21, and unlike most museums, they are open until 8 on weeknights for us working folk.