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Fashion and Race: Deconstructing Ideas, Reconstructing Identities

Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center 66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

Fashion and Race: Deconstructing Ideas, Reconstructing Identities invites you to consider the ways in which race has affected the fashion system in terms of visibility, aesthetics, and power. It features a constellation of work from students and alumni who are harnessing their creativity to transgress the limitations they have been confronted with, deconstructing the very idea of ‘race’ as they reconstruct identities of their own.

Featuring the work of four Parsons alumni, Stevens Añazco, Katiuscia Gregoire, Cecile Mouen, and Avery Youngblood, this exhibition reclaims identity by contesting the residual effects of race through the use of  fashion, photography, and illustration. It responds to the effects of the pseudoscientific methods that were refined by the 18th and 19th centuries and postulated a biological difference between human beings.  Featured artists reconsider and disarrange the antiquated rubric of who can and cannot be considered fashionable, using garment construction and zine illustration to address or correct racist notions of the Black female body and Black style. It also showcases photographers who are both harnessing and redirecting the gaze, developing images that express joy, resilience, introspection, and transcendence.

The exhibition pursues a critical reflection of race through creative practice, and is based upon the elective course ‘Fashion and Race,’ taught by Kimberly M. Jenkins.

This exhibition was made possible with support from the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Fashion, and Parsons School of Art and Design History and Theory. Additional insight, support, and resources were provided by:

Exhibition interns:

  • Fatima Coulibaly, BA Culture and Media ‘21
  • Allison Essanason, BFA Fashion ‘19
  • Karla Maria Dipuglia Perez, BFA Fashion ‘19

Graphic designer:

  • Manasi Vashi, BA Communication Design ‘20

Videographer for the exhibition narratives:

  • Jessica Hughee, MA Mass Communication/Media Studies ‘18

Resources and support:

  • David Baptiste, BFA Fashion ‘20
  • Shannon Bell Price, Parsons School of Fashion
  • Sara Idacavage, The Parsons Study Collection

Related programming:

The Gospel According to André - film screening

Monday, November 5, 7-9 p.m.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avenue

Curator and lecturer Kimberly M. Jenkins will screen the film The Gospel According to André and host André Leon Talley and director Kate Novack for a Q&A discussion. This event is made possible by the School of Fashion and is free and open to The New School community. Seating is limited, first come, first served, RSVP required.

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