The history of humans disrupting, blurring, and seeking to transcend a traditional division between men’s and women’s clothing is now on view at the Museum of Fine Arts. “Gender Bending Fashion” is the first major museum exhibition to examine the relationship between fashion and gender.
Highlights include pieces once worn by fashion icons David Bowie, Marlene Dietrich, Janelle Monáe, and Lady Gaga — to name only a few — that served to highlight societal shifts over the past century.
“Looking back to the past can illuminate hopes for the future. Gender Bending Fashion is a project that reflects the current moment, celebrating designers and wearers who are challenging cultural norms through their work and personal sartorial choices. These trends, however, are not new,” said Michelle Finamore, Penny Vinik Curator of Fashion Arts, in a release. “This exhibition presents boundary-pushing contemporary designs alongside selections from the MFA’s rich collection of garments from the 20th century — illustrating that the conversation about fashion and gender has historic precedent and yet continues to evolve.”
The exhibition includes the work of designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Rudi Gernreich, Rad Hourani, Rei Kawakubo (for Comme des Garçons), Yves Saint Laurent, Alessandro Michele (for Gucci), Rick Owens, Walé Oyéjidé (for Ikiré Jones), Christian Siriano, Alejandro Gómez Palomo, and Alessandro Trincone. Its sections are titled Disrupt, Blur, and Transcend.
“Gender Bending Fashion” opened Friday for MFA Late Nite and will be on view to the public March 21 through Aug. 25.