With her new exhibit, Valerie Steele is bringing the gay back into fashion (did it ever leave?). The director of the Museum at FIT is currently in the planning stages of Queer Style: From Closet to Catwalk, a new exhibit that takes a fresh look at homosexuality in fashion, or fashionable homosexuals—both of which there are plenty of.
The exhibit will focus specifically on gay designers and how gay culture and the world of fashion intersect. “I think that’s kind of one of the most important and fascinating shows I’ve ever worked on because it makes you look at the whole history of modern fashion from a new angle,” Steele told Fashionologie.
With the new exhibit, the director hopes to bring back a crucial element to understanding the historical context of the industry. “Nobody’s ever really thought consciously to put the gayness back into fashion history and say, ‘Why are there so many gay people in fashion?’ and ‘Is there a gay aesthetic?’" (Well, Eric Wilson did for the New York Times, but, whatever.) Queer Style will launch next fall, with the museum’s newest exhibit, Ivy Style, an examination of preppy and Ivy League fashions, set to premiere September 14.