Recently I learned of an exhibit currently running at The Museum at FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology) that seemed really interesting. I had heard of other exhibits there that sounded cool, but I’d never been. This time I was going to make the time; the exhibit is entitled Sporting Life and “explores the relationship between active sportswear and fashion over the past 150 years.” Sounds great, right?
When I told Woody about the exhibit, he seemed interested, so we went to check it out on Saturday. The museum itself is pretty small, but I wasn’t expecting anything huge. This isn’t the Guggenheim or MoMA after all! As I mentioned, the idea of the exhibit was to show how clothing designed for the intent of sports, such as swimming, horseback riding, cycling, skiing, and such, has influenced apparel design – today, everyday casual clothing is referred to as sportswear.
It was quite interesting to see the evolution in swimwear; to learn that women in France during the 1800’s could have been arrested if seen wearing a divided skirt that was meant to be worn while riding a bike, if they were wearing it while attending to other activities. A Gucci jacket stands next to a ski jacket while a Chanel dress looks quite similar to a dress worn in the early 20th Century while playing tennis. The exhibit also displayed the evolution in fabric technology, most glaringly when it came to swimwear – from the heavy cotton and wool full body suits worn in the 19th Century to a skirt from the 1930’s treated with ‘neva-wet’ and finally to the high tech swimsuits worn by professional swimmers today.
I have to say, that while the exhibit is interesting and definitely worthy, we were both a bit disappointed that it didn’t delve into some areas of sport as much as we thought it could. Running, for instance, was completely left out. Golf, which has seen a drastic change in formality of wear over the years, was only represented by an early 20th Century suit. Football and Baseball also, had very little representation. We do wish more sports had been represented to show the full spectrum of sportswear to present day, but it was apparent that a lot of time and effort went into this exhibit, and we can’t complain much as the admission is free. Overall, I’m glad we went to check it out. I did learn quite a bit about the connection of sports to every day fashion and it’s always good to take advantage of the wide breadth of knowledge and experiences in this city!
If you’re interested in checking out this exhibit yourself, here’s what you need to know:
- Exhibit running through November 5th
- Location: 7th Ave at 27th St
- Hours: Tues – Friday Noon till 8pm; Saturday 10am till 5pm; closed Sunday and Monday
- Website: www.fitnyc.edu/museum
Today’s workout -
- 3mile run
- ab exercises
- 2x15 squats