Fashion has always found inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. From forgotten tribes in distant lands to galaxies far, far away from here, designers have reinterpreted some of the science world’s most notable and iconic discoveries. The New York Fashion Institue of Technology’s latest exhibit tracks society’s interest in the natural world which flourished during the Victorian era thanks to the pioneering works of explorers and naturalists such as Charles Darwin and the wildly popular science fiction books by Jules Verne, as well as quests to reach the poles, the peaks of the highest mountains, the depths of the oceans, and even outer space, became increasingly popular, aspirational endeavors. Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme illustrates the ways in which select items of clothing made for survival on such journeys of discovery eventually become modern wardrobe mainstays. The parka, for example, was invented by indigenous Arctic peoples; then, during the heroic era of polar navigation (1890 to 1922), it was appropriated by explorers. Eventually, the parka was redesigned for sports and the military, before finally finding its way into leading fashion magazines. Likewise tracing the progression from strictly utilitarian to fashionable, the exhibition presents an array of down-filled puffer coats perfected for extreme mountain climbingthat includes opulent, high-fashion versions created strictly for show. Experimental, high-tech materials, such as neoprene and Mylar, initially developed for deep sea and outer space exploration, have also made their way onto the world’s most exclusive runways and into this exhibition.
The exhibition opens on September 15th and runs until January 6th 2018 at The Museum at FIT