Items: Is Fashion Modern? - the exhibition catalogue from MoMA available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Items: Is Fashion Modern?

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'The Modern’s second-ever fashion exhibition (through Jan. 28) proposes a global canon of 111 emblematic widely used items including saris, pearls, hijabs and yoga pants. Its catalog is a compact mine of information, rather like a handbook, arranged A to Z with in-depth entries and a pleasing combination of matte and glossy pages.' - New York Times

A fascinating book exploring the present, past, and future of 111 "indispensable" fashion items

Items: Is Fashion Modern? presents 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a profound impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries and is the exhibition catalogue for the first fashion show to be mounted by MoMA since 1944.

Arranged A-Z encyclopedia-style, it includes designs as iconic as Levi’s 501 jeans, the pearl necklace and Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking, and as ancient and rich as the sari, the Breton shirt, the kippah and the keffiyeh.

An essay by curator Paola Antonelli opens the volume, highlighting the Museum’s unique perspective on fashion and exploring the latter's role in the changing international landscape of design. The 111 texts that follow trace the history of each item in relation to cultural forces past and present, touching on labour, marketing, technology, religion, politics, aesthetics and popular culture, among many others. These concise essays are richly illustrated with a lively mix of archival images, fashion photography, film stills and documentary shots.

Punctuating the book are newly commissioned portfolios by five international contemporary photographers—Omar Victor Diop, Bobby Doherty, Catherine Losing, Monika Mogi and Kristin-Lee Moolman. Each photographer was assigned to represent the objects in one alphabetically ordered section of the book, and their diverse responses bring a vibrant creative energy to the project.

One of the New York Times' art books of the year (2017).

  • Author: Paola Antonelli
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Date published:  October 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1633450363

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