The Museum of Arts and Design opens 'Counter-Couture' exhibit celebrating 1960s fashion

The Museum of Arts and Design in New York City on Thursday opened the Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in American Counter Culture exhibit as part of The Art and Craft of Getting Dressed series.


Installation view of Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture. - Museum of Arts and Design/Jenna Bascom
 
Counter-Couture highlights handmade fashions from the 1960s and 1970s that is often referred to as the Hippie movement. The handmade garments, jewelry and accessories on display speak of a time where counterculture overtook conformism led by youths that rejected the Vietnam War and stood up for civil rights and racial and gender equality. The colorful ensembles on display in the exhibit feature intricate details, including tie-dye and cut-and-sew, embroidering, quilting, and patchwork, as well as hand drawn imagery such as stars, hearts and flowers.
 
Organized by Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington, and curated by Guest Curator Michael Cepress, Counter-Couture opens at a very fitting time where fashion designers are using their collections and platforms to call for equality. Activism was a resounding theme at New York Fashion Week in February with many designers announcing their stances in favor of Planned Parenthood or using their collections to denounce oppression and bigotry.
 
Many will think of 1960s and 1970s musicians such as Jimi Hendrix at the Counter-Couture exhibit, and they certainly will think of Alessandro Michele’s work for Gucci. Michele has described his father as a “hippie” in past interviews, and he called his aesthetic a “hippie renaissance” in a Harper’s Bazaar interview.
 
The Art and Craft of Getting Dressed series is three exhibitions that embrace craftsmanship, cultural commentary, and critical thinking in fashion practices. Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in American Counter Culture is one of the three exhibits from the series that will be open through the spring and it will run until August 20.

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