The Danish author Hans Christian Andersen was born on 2nd April 211 years ago. Famed for having written some of the most famous children's stories – including The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl and The Ugly Duckling – it seems only fitting to take a look at the current exhibition at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Fairy Tale Fashion. Here is an extract from Joanne Dolan Ingersoll's review of the exhibition in the upcoming Delicate issue of Selvedge... One enduring definition of fashion is the rapidly changing nature of it – whereas the fairy tale genre is implicitly long lasting, eternal, timeless and archetypal. However it is this tension and analytical twist that gives this exhibition its strength. MFIT continues to acquire the most extraordinary collection of contemporary fashion: this installation offers a great theme to showcase its collections from major couture houses from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as designers who are new to the pages of fashion history. They are all seamlessly integrated into this fairy tale narrative. The result turns today’s popular idea of fashion on its head. We see how fashion defies frivolity and superficiality despite changes in styles or silhouette, and how concepts such as innocence, beauty, betrayal, honour, honesty, and metamorphosis can be eternally expressed through sartorial means. Fashion and storytelling have a great deal in common as this exhibition cleverly demonstrates. A writer constructs a story around characters and plot using words, but the sartorial message communicates without words. It creates an impression inscribed into our cultural memory lasting decades, even centuries.
Fairy Tale FashionThe Fashion Institute of Technology
15 January – 16 April, 2016