So, I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s ‘A Queer History of Fashion’ exhibition today. As the official website describes:
A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk features approximately 100 ensembles, from 18th-century menswear styles associated with an emerging gay subculture to 21st-century high fashion. This is the first museum exhibition to explore in depth the significant contributions to fashion made by LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer) individuals over the past 300 years
Photography wasn’t allowed, but I was able to super-sneakily snap the photo at the bottom right. I saw the words ‘France’ and ‘1790s’ and just had to!!! The sign, which accompanied the green three-piece suit on the left, read:
Man’s suit, 1790s
Colorful and decorative garments were considered perfectly “masculine” until the late 18th century, when men began to adopt darker and more sober styles. The reasons for “the great masculine renunciation” are complex, owing much to the rise of the capitalist bourgeoisie and the spread of democracy. But this paradigm shift in male fashion was almost certainly also influenced by the appearance of “fops” and “macaronis” of all social classes, whose sexual ambiguity de-legitimated colorful and decorative aristocratic menswear.
Silk velvet and silk
The Museum at FIT 2010 98.1