The Museum At FIT’s 2022 Exhibit Will Highlight ’90s Fashion

The early years seem to make their way into today’s popular museums in light of the wave of nostalgia in fashion, also tracing back to the early 2000s exhibition held in Brooklyn in 2017. Starting Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the Museum of FIT finally presents a 90s-focused fashion show titled Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the ninetiesS.

Staged by author and curator Colleen Hill, the exhibition highlights iconic brands and designers who have established the sartorial codes of a decade that marked both the end of a century and a millennium. With concepts ranging from minimalism to revitalizing luxury designer homes, the Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties showcases the 1990s as a time full of hope for the future and yet fraught with anxiety.

The exhibition will feature eight key trends that helped define the decade, focusing on themes that spurred excitement and change. Visitors can expect to see some of the most emblematic fashion pieces and designers of this era, including Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford of Gucci and so much more.

“The curator of acclaimed exhibitions such as Fairy Tale Fashion, Colleen Hill has outdone herself with this brilliant and timely exhibition on 90s fashions, back in vogue for a new generation,” said the director and chief curator of the Museum of FIT . Valerie Steele in an official statement.

If you’re planning on visiting the next exhibit, we’ve got you covered. We have gathered everything you need to know about Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties at The Museum at FIT in New York City, including what to expect and more.

Which is Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties show?

By Colleen Hill of FIT, Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties will present eight trends that helped define the 1990s, with the term “restlessness” characterizing some of the exhibition’s themes, such as “retro revival, technology, environmentalism and reuse and the global wardrobe”.

The introductory gallery of the exhibition will highlight the connections between fashion and pop culture, from the growing presence of fashion on television to the ever-growing fame of supermodels during that period. Visitors will be able to see videos from the 90s fashion shows and clips from movies and shows such as in the dark (1995) and Sex and city (1998) during the presentation.

The main gallery will showcase more than 85 garments and accessories that undoubtedly shaped the style of the 90s, with most of the items selected from the permanent collection of the Museum of FIT. Some features of this decade will include themes such as retro revival, minimalism, grunge, deconstruction and avant-garde, and the revival of luxury. There will also be a section that explores globalization, technology and environmentalism in 90s fashion.

The exhibit is also accompanied by a book of the same title which was written by Hill and will be available for purchase at major book retailers.

What’s on display at the Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties show?

Many of today’s established designers, along with some of the world’s most famous fashion houses, including Tom Ford from Gucci and Alexander McQueen from Givenchy, will be in attendance at the Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties exposure. The works of John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier will also be in the museum’s spotlight.

Another part of the exhibition will also explore deconstruction, the fashion term coined to describe the work of Martin Margiela and led by several Japanese designers, including Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo in the 1980s. Expect to see Margiela’s famous Tabi shoes, Kawakubo’s avant-garde ensembles and more on display.

Minimalism has also become popular, with the work of Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and other designers pioneering the distinctive aesthetic with their chic yet simple base pieces. Of course, a 90s exhibition wouldn’t be complete without grunge, another key style associated with the vibrant music scene of the decade, which eventually infiltrated the fashion industry, thanks to designers Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui.

Environmentalism and waste reduction were other concepts that designers felt strongly even in the 1990s, and visitors will have the chance to see some of the sustainability-focused practices of the era by designers such as Lamine Kouyaté, whose garments have been assembled. with discarded or unwanted materials. Visitors can also get a glimpse of the attitudes and styles arising from globalization during this period, which expanded significantly in the 1990s, especially in Europe and the United States. Some designers, such as Chinese fashion designer Vivienne Tam, were important for this era as they were inspired by their own heritage.

In addition to the range of designer clothes and trends on display, visitors will also be able to admire illustrations of 10 key styles from the exhibition by artist Ruben Toledo, made especially for the museum.

Maison Martin Margiela, “Tabi” boots, spring 1990. Gift from Richard Martin. Photo © The Museum at FIT.
GRUNGE: Anna Sui, suit: olive green silk, rainbow striped acrylic sweater, cotton, leather and rubber, spring / summer 1993, USA. The Museum at FIT, 93.70.1, gift of Anna Sui.
SHOWS: Versace, evening dress: black synthetic crepe and metal, spring / summer 1994, Italy. The Museum at FIT, 2018.43.1, purchase of the museum.
RETURN OF LUXURY: Gucci (Tom Ford), evening dress and belt: matt white jersey and gold metal, autumn / winter 1996, Italy. The Museum at FIT, 97.30.1, gift from Gucci.
RETRO REVIVALS: Vivienne Westwood, corset bodice: printed stretch blend and gold lycra, “Portrait” collection, fall / winter 1990, England. The Museum at FIT, 2019.64.1, museum purchase.
GLOBAL WARDROBE: Vivienne Tam, “Mao” dress, multicolor printed stretch nylon, 1995, United States. The Museum at the FIT, 95.82.6, gift of Vivienne Tam.
TECHNOLOGY: Jean Paul Gaultier, jumpsuit, multicolor printed stretch nylon and spandex fabric, autumn / winter 1995, France. The Museum at the FIT, 96.66.1, purchase of the museum.
MINIMALISM: Prada, backpack: black nylon and leather, circa 1993, Italy. The Museum at FIT, 2017.1.1, anonymous donor. Images courtesy of FIT

When and how can I see the Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties show?

Starting from January 19th until April 27th 2022, the Reinvention and restlessness: fashion in the nineties the exhibit will be open at the Museum at FIT in New York City on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon to 8 p.m. EST, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. The exhibition is free to enter, with the mandate that all visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, wear a face mask while in the museum. Current protocols for COVID-19 are available at

DECONSTRUCTION AND THE AVANT-GARDE: Comme des Garçons, suit: navy blue wool, burgundy wool, gray wool and beige cotton canvas, autumn / winter 1998, Japan. The Museum at FIT, 2003.60.2, purchase of the museum.
MODELS: Azzedine Alaïa, suit: python green python, spring / summer 1991, France. The Museum at FIT, 2008.65.7, gift of Veronica Webb.
DECONSTRUCTION AND THE AVANT-GARDE: Maria Cornejo, suit: red mohair wool, 1999, United States. The Museum at FIT, 2010.55.1, gift of Zero + Maria Cornejo.
RETRO REVIVALS: Yoshiki Hishinuma, evening dress: red and black shibori dyed polyester and black polyester, autumn / winter 1996, Japan. The Museum at FIT, 2007.33.1, gift of Yoshiki Hishinuma.
ENVIRONMENTALISM AND REUSE: XULY. Bët (Lamine Kouyaté), suit: knit dress, coat and blouse, multicolored recycled sweaters, brown printed wool and red nylon, autumn / winter 1994, France. The Museum at FIT, 95.7.1, gift from XULY. Wager.
MINIMALISM: Helmut Lang, dress: black and olive green wool sweater, 1996, United States. The Museum at FIT, 2003.90.4, gift of Dorothy Lieberman, MD.
RETURN OF LUXURY: Céline (Michael Kors), evening dress: off-white raw silk jersey, chiffon, beads and sequins, autumn / winter 1998, France. The Museum at FIT, 2004.59.2, gift of Céline.
TECHNOLOGY: Pleats Please (Issey Miyake), dress: multicolor printed polyester, autumn / winter 1996, Japan. The Museum at FIT, 97.44.1, gift from Issey Miyake, Pleats Please Issey Miyake, Quest Artist Series # 1, Yasumasa Morimura On Please Pleats.Images courtesy of FIT

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