Great news — Director of the Fashion Institute of Technology has decided to put her energy into exhibiting a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender fashion designers in a 2014 exhibit, “Queer Style: From the Closet to the Catwalk”. It’s going to be an important event in New York. I intend to be there. Those of you dedicated to this topic know that our communities have put on our own grassroots exhibits or displays like this for years — as did our LGBTQ ancestors …as long as we’ve been wearing clothing, creating styles, living the life, and sharing our ideas. (Isn’t a closet an exhibition?!). I curated back in 2005, “Wear Me OUT: Honoring What We’ve Fought to Wear” at the ONE National Institute in Los Angeles – the exhibit was well-attended and featured the work of about 27 — 2D, 3D fashion, art, and installation artists. But a well-funded, large-scale exhibit in New York City is a new direction: very exciting.
Director Valerie Steele’s experience with subversive content is seasoned — she has not only written a darn good book gender and the corset (amongst many others), but she has, over the years, proven herself to be an articulate spokesperson for the erotic and gendered power of clothing while sitting on tame academic panels and/or museum settings.
We are a year and half away from this exhibit — and as news spreads I’m sure the pressure will be on: will the exhibit properly represents what we values and L G B T Q’s? Will it tell “our” history and histories? What do you want from an exhibit such as this one? SAY IT!