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Words Are the New Black

Exhibition Catalog

Words are the New Black: Fashion in an Age of Politics gathers works by more than a dozen fashion designers from their most recent collection that effectively expressed a political statement during their runway presentation. These designers concurrently address the world's current political climate during New York, London, Milan, and Paris fashion week.

This exhibition considers a complex form of social protest, where “clothes went beyond products, [and became] positions.” In addition to fabrics, these designers conceptually shared their message through their use of different mediums of art. From their choice of music, like Calvin Klein’s opening song “This Is Not America” by David Bowie, to their production design that transports us, like Chanel’s giant rocket assembled inside the Grand Palais in Paris, France. Together, these designers explore a range of themes influenced by politics.

The title of this exhibition is inspired by a common phrase used in the fashion industry where “the new black” is considered the hottest new thing. In a time where politics has influenced fashion more than ever before, clothes have prominently become a more effective use of visual communication. Words are the New Black: Fashion in an Age of Politics includes work from Daniel W. Fletcher, Mihara Yasuhiro, Christopher Shannon, Balenciaga, Raf Simons, Milly, Chromat, Telfar, Public School, Prabal Gurung, Tome, Calvin Klein, Mara Hoffman, Alice and Olivia, Gareth Pugh, Ashish, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Missoni, Stella Jean, Balmain, Rick Owens, Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel.

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