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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Reinvention and Restlessness: Fashion in the Nineties

Museum at FIT / New York / Art

Although the 1990s swept in on the minimalism of Calvin Klein and Jil Sander—lean silhouettes, neutral tones—in 1993 Marc Jacobs dropped a bomb on minimalism. As head designer of Perry Ellis, he opened its spring collection with Christy Turlington in a ratty flannel shirt and closed the show with Kate Moss in a graphic T-shirt and beanie. “Grunge is ghastly,” the fashion critic Suzy Menkes said, speaking for many, and Jacobs was fired from Perry Ellis. Yet later that year Anna Sui won the CFDA Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent—for mismatched, grunge-inspired designs that recalled the work of her good friend Jacobs. In 1994, Tom Ford became creative director at Gucci and began steering fashion back to glamour. Extreme luxury would be cool once more. Putting 75 looks in context—American and European—the Museum at F.I.T. makes sense of the antithetical and quick-changing trends of the 1990s. —J.D.

Museum at FIT 227 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
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