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Fashioning the 70’s

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Yves Saint Laurent and Halston have both been celebrated throughout the decades for their glamorous designs. Each with their own camp of devotees and classic staples, their brands have adapted and transcended the test of time. Although, as we look back to their beginnings, it is abundantly clear that both designers left their mark on one decade in particular; the 1970’s.

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“Fashioning the 70’s” is a special exhibit at FIT dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent and Halston, who both defined feminine glamour during the 1970’s with their respective fashions.  From February 6th 2015 – April 18th 2015, The Museum at FIT is exploring the relationship between the two designers by juxtaposing their work.  Both had similar aesthetics exemplified throughout their careers and showcased in this special exhibition.

Above: (left) Saint Laurent and Halston Pajama Sets c. 1970 and 1976 (right) Halston Evening Dress 1974

The 1970s was a time of momentous change in fashion, not only in the look of clothes but also in the way they were designed, made, distributed, and consumed. This dichotomous decade—sandwiched between the counterculture 1960s and the opulent 1980s—witnessed the demise of haute couture’s majestic reign and the simultaneous ascension of designer-led conglomerates.”

- The Museum at FIT

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Above: (left) Halston Navy printed cotton dress c. 1976 and Yves Saint Laurent printed silk chiffon dress c. 1971 (right) Yves Saint Laurent

The Museum at FIT holds the Halston archives, a complete and comprehensive record of his work, and many of the Yves Saint Laurent pieces were donated by clients, colleagues, and friends.  The exhibit showcases eighty ensembles and over a dozen accessories between the two designers.

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The exhibit is “arranged thematically in an environment designed to evoke the style of this singular, dynamic era in history.”  With the start of their careers, both designers drew on menswear for their respective collections, later exploring other similar themes such as history and exoticism. Despite the fact that both designers have been written about in countless magazines, books, articles, and scripts worldwide, they have never been compared side by side, the exhibition is the first of its kind.

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            Halston, 1977                              Yves Saint Laurent, 1976

“Fashioning the 70’s” is a rare opportunity to witness the similarities – and differences - between both Yves Saint Laurent and Halston. During a time when fashion was very much changing, the two were able to create something entirely their own.  If you’re visiting New York City or just need a plan for the weekend, this special exhibit at FIT is something you don’t want to miss.

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Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s was organized by Patricia Mears, deputy director of MFIT, and Emma McClendon, assistant curator of MFIT, with Fred Dennis, senior curator of MFIT.

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The Museum at FIT is open Tues - Fri Noon - 8pm, Saturday 10am - 5pm, and closed Sundays, Mondays, and legal holidays.

The Museum at FIT
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
New York City 10001-5992
Information: 212 217.4558
www.fitnyc.edu