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FITís Dr. Valerie Steele To Discuss The Connection Between Fashion And Art

Sydney A. Braat

Dr. Steele has been chief curator at FIT since 1997 and has since organized over 20 exhibitions. (Photo: Michael Kanakis)

Is fashion art? The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill is hosting FIT Museum Director Dr. Valerie Steele who will investigate this very question on Friday, July 21 at 6 p.m. Dr. Steele is a fashion historian and author, as well as chief curator and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She will draw from a wide range of images from haute couture garments and catwalk shows to classical and avant-garde art. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

"As an admirer of Dr. Valerie Steele's work, I am thrilled that she is a part of our summer series to discuss how fashion and art echo each other in today's world," said Corinne Erni, Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish Art Museum. "Fashion is a creative process that conveys an attitude and makes a statement. It has both personal and social connotations, which is very similar to artmaking, and we are excited to hear the highly anticipated presentation."

Dr. Steele will discuss how fashion, particularly haute couture, has often been regarded as art. There are several opinions of fashion designers, curators, and critics on fashion as art. Dr. Steele will dive deeply into that discussion, giving the audience a thought-provoking and memorable experience. She will pose the grand question: "What role does the public play in deciding if fashion is art?"

Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian dress, displayed in the Paris Re-fashioned, 1957-1968 exhibition. (Photo: Museum at FIT)

Dr. Steele has been chief curator at FIT since 1997 and has since organized over 20 exhibitions including The Corset: Fashioning the Body, London Fashion, Gothic: Dark Glamour, Shoe Obsession, Daphne Guinness, A Queer History of Fashion, and Dance and Fashion. She has a Ph.D. from Yale University and has established an academic perspective on fashion.

Tickets are $12 and free for members, children, and students. Museum admission is included in the ticket price.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call 631-283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.

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