Joel Sanders Architect

Queer Style, F.I.T. Catwalk

“A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk,” on view at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT), featured approximately 100 ensembles that traced how gay sub-cultural fashion trends and movements exerted a profound influence on high-fashion. Our exhibition design gives spatial expression to the curatorial concept through a continuous ‘runway’ linking two adjacent galleries. As viewers circulate around the runway, a timeline unfolds from the 18th-century to today.

The bi-level design establishes the reciprocal relationship between gay sub-cultural styles and high-fashion: the white top-side of the runway provides a platform for high fashion mannequins, while the purple underside of the runway displays photographs of queer underground gathering places and trend-setters. A series of fissures and folds emerging from the sub-cultural under-layer penetrate the high-fashion runway above, expressing the complex exchanges between them. Each fold or eruption corresponds to a sub-cultural trend or movement that influenced high-fashion through the decades, and is often rooted in a specific place or space in history, such as the Molly Houses of the 18th Century, or the discotheques of the 1970s.

Location New York, NY
Size 6,500 SF
Year 2013