This spring The Museum at FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology, compiles a vast collection of garments from every era of fashion to tell the classic fairy tales of everyone’s childhood. “Fairy Tale Fashion” exhibits dresses and capes from the best collections and the best designers.
Wandering through Sleeping Beauty’s quarters, one finds a glass coffin-like bed with a sparkling black gown with silver accents lying across the red cushion. Above, a figure draped in a black cape looks down upon the bed, as if Maleficent herself was about to put a curse on Sleeping Beauty. In the same scene, a mannequin with a colorful red Rodarte gown from the Fall 2008 collection watches over a poisoned rhinestone apple.
The next tale is told through a gold accented Alexander McQueen gown from the Fall 2007 runway. The long swooping gold accents on the velvet gown emulate Rapunzel’s flowing hair being let down from her tower. Across from Rapunzel’s flowing gown sits a Dolce and Gabbana evening gown, adorned with intricate floral details and a large black bow.
Venturing into the darkness of Red Riding Hood’s forest, her giant red cape is seen in the corner. The face under the hood is hidden by the shadow of the enveloping hood. This extremely modern design, 2015, from Commes de Garcons is a contemporary take on Little Red Riding Hood’s story, emulating the classic red but underscoring the darkness of the tale with its ominous dark hooded figure underneath the cloak.
In contrast to the blood red of Riding Hood, a common figure, the snow queen, is portrayed through a J. Mendel white fur cloak. The fur lines the hood and envelops the front of the garment, yet another beautiful piece that tells a classic fairy tale in the most unique way.
Although The Met holds beautiful garments in its Costume Institute and is one of the best curated collections in the entire world, The Museum at FIT brings together the wonderment of childhood fairy tales and fantasies with intricate and artistic real life garments.