Coco’s Closet: Fashion Forward

-Izzy Fernandes (‘20)


“Every day is a fashion show and the world is the runway.” An iconic Coco Chanel quote which many appreciate, but few actually live by. But now, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City has a new way for visitors to make sure that today’s outfit debuts on the runway of tomorrow.

Each year, millions flock to the MoMA to visit extraordinary works by a variety of modern artists, from Salvador Dali to Roy Lichtenstein. Many view a few of the pieces the museum has to offer, maybe purchase a souvenir or two, then leave the museum without a trace (save for their $25 contribution to an account somewhere). Recently, MoMA has changed this, unveiling a recent addition to a favorite exhibit where visitors are granted an opportunity to make their mark on the museum and become a part of it forever.

In simply responding to one or more of the many prompts around MoMA by texting them a description of their outfit, visitors will find their responses projected throughout the museum as a part of the exhibit Items: Is Fashion Modern?. This exhibit, which explores how fashion has evolved with society, showcases culturally impactful pieces from the past seventy years – including the Breton shirt, the Sari and the Little Black Dress.

The modification is new, however, and was devised when one of its organizers, artist Emily Spivack, went to pull photographs of what visitors wore in past decades and came up empty-handed. She vowed to make sure future organizers would not face the same problem, and decided that visitors should submit descriptions instead of images, as this would allow their clothing choices to be seen through their own eyes.

The archive can be seen online to those unable to visit the museum, and can be contributed to from now through January 28, 2018 for those wanting to secure their spots in fashion shows of the future.

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