The Council of Fashion Designers of America’s aptly titled new book, IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA, is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of this legendary organization. Inside its pages, members of the CFDA such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and Carolina Herrera recount not only some of their personal contributions to the industry of fashion – both what they hold most dear and what they are most famous for – but they also reflect on the concept of fashion as a whole – what it means, how it lives, breaths and adapts, while always remaining current.
I was lucky enough to attend the opening of the FIT exhibit, for which the book is a companion. After seeing these images and inspiring statements through so many stages of the editorial process, to see the exhibit it had all been leading up to was tantamount to a real life 3-D movie.
After walking in to the open reception area, where dapper young men were passing out champagne, I made my way into a stairwell where the word IMPACT greeted me in bold lettering. I passed through a set of doors and into an almost cave-like darkness, where a message from Deputy Director, Patricia Mears, and Senior Curator, Fred Dennis, spoke both about the CFDA and its significance, as well as the exhibit that lay waiting for me beyond the next set of doors.
As I walked through, my eyes moved to every edge of the cavernous room, then up to the ceiling and back down to the floor. There, all around me, stood manikins clad in some of the most iconic, outlandish, memorable and unique designs of the last five decades. In a word, it was a marvel. If you have the inclination to see how color and shape can be re-imagined in the most remarkable ways, then this exhibit is a must see.
IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA, Special Exhibitions Gallery at The Museum at FIT, is open from February 10 through April 17, 2012. Click here for more details >>
The new book, IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA (Abrams Books, 2012), is available where books are sold.
Samantha Weiner is an editorial assistant for ABRAMS.