Items: Is Fashion Modern? presents 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a profound impact on global culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Among them are designs as well-known, transformative, and coveted as Levi’s 501 jeans and the sari and as ancient, charged, and historically rich as the pearl necklace and the keffiyeh.
The catalogue accompanies the first fashion exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art since 1944. An essay by curator Paola Antonelli highlights the Museum’s unique perspective on fashion and explores fashion’s role in the changing landscape of design. The 111 texts that follow trace the history of each item in relation to labor, marketing, technology, religion, politics, aesthetics, and popular culture. Arranged alphabetically, these essays are richly illustrated with archival images, fashion photography, film stills, and documentary shots. Punctuating the book are newly commissioned photographic portfolios that bring a vibrant creative energy to the project. Hardcover. 288 pp; 500 color illustrations.