FIT Museum: A Queer History Of Fashion

September 13, 2013 through January 4, 2014



“This is about honoring the gay and lesbian designers of the past and present”

– Fred Dennis, Co-Curator


The fall season in New York swings into high gear right after Labor Day, with everything from gallery openings, charitable events, and museum exhibitions.  And this year is no exception.

And while everyone is scurrying to the Metropolitan Museum Interwoven Globe textile exhibition (I’m waiting till later in the month to see it with out-of-town friends), I decided to check out the Queer History of Fashion show at FIT….


CJ Dellatore Halson at FITIconic Halston Halter Dress


The show is groundbreaking because it’s the first ever museum exhibition to explore in-depth the contributions to fashion made by the LGBTQ community.  Fred Dennis, the exhibits co-curator goes on to say;

“For many years, gays and lesbians were hidden from history.  By acknowledging the historic influence of gay, lesbian, and bisexual designers, and by emphasizing the important role that fashion and style have played within the LGBTQ community, we see how central gay culture has been to the creation fo modern fashion.  This in turn transforms our entire understanding of fashion history”


Highlights from the show are a curious collection of gender-bending outfits from the 19th century, including several pieces that belonged to Oscar Wilde (whose contribution to queer fashion is chronicled in the show), and 5 outfits that were worn by Marlene Dietrich (including the famous tuxedo she wore in the film ‘Morocco’ in 1930).

Some of the other designers represented in the show are Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Cristobal Balenciaga, Perry Ellis, Halston, and Jean Paul Gaulthier.  And to stay on-point, the show closes with a selection of wedding fashions now that equality is here.

I know I’m regularly given to superlatives, but this show is a MUST SEE!

CJ Dellatore Gaulthier at FITGaultier Cone-Bra Dress



The Museum At FIT

27th Street and 7th Avenue, New York City    212-217-4558

Tues – Fri Noon – 8pm 
Saturday 10am – 5pm 
Closed Sundays, Mondays, and legal holidays.

Admission is free.


By CJ Dellatore