Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, A Symposium from The Museum at New York’s FIT

NEW YORK, USA: The Museum at FIT (MFIT) presents Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, its 24th academic symposium, open to the public and free of charge. The virtual program on 30 April features five dynamic half-hour sessions that explore the rose’s influential and evolving role in fashion, fragrance and history. A companion exhibition of the same title is slated to debut when MFIT reopens, contingent upon COVID-19 safety protocols.

“Roses have been incorporated into fashion in many ways—through embroidery, printing, painting, or sculpting from fabric. Although the rose is undeniably beautiful, it is also rich in context. Viewers will not only learn about fashion but also discover the rose’s status within the fragrance market and its role as a motif in history and social activism.” —Colleen Hill, co-curator of the forthcoming exhibition, Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion and curator of costume at MFIT.

As an extension of the symposium’s programming, attendees are offered the exclusive opportunity to engage in live conversation with the presenters on April 30 as follows:

  • 10 am ET: “Objects, Narratives and the Making of an Exhibition”

Speaker: Amy de la Haye, co-curator of Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion; professor of dress history and curatorship at London College of Fashion; and former curator of 20th century dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Subject: De la Haye shares her insights on conceptualizing the forthcoming companion exhibition, Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at its creation.

  • 10:30 am ET: “Ordeal by Roses”

Speaker: Jonathan Faiers, professor of fashion thinking at University of Southampton, U.K.

Subject: Faiers contextualizes the rose and its role in rebellion, activism, religious worship and political expression.

  • 11 am ET: “Rose Motifs in the Collection of The Museum at FIT”

Speakers: Colleen Hill, co-curator, Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, and curator of costume at MFIT, and Elizabeth Way, assistant curator, MFIT.

Subject: Hill and Way provide an immersive look at a selection of over 30 garments and accessories (from the museum’s permanent collection of 50,000 fashion objects), discussing varied methods of portraying the rose motif and the process of acquiring new objects for the forthcoming exhibition.

  • 11:30 am ET: Amy de la Haye and Nick Knight in Conversation

Speakers: Amy de la Haye, co-curator of Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, and Nick Knight, founder of SHOWStudio.

Subject: Knight and de la Haye will discuss how his love of roses feeds into his fashion image making as well as his “Roses from my Garden” Instagram posts and how these have been translated into monumental artworks.

  • 12 pm ET: “Capturing and Contextualizing Roses in Perfume”

Speaker: Mairi MacKenzie, research fellow and visiting lecturer at Glasgow University and research fellow in Fashion and Textiles at Glasgow School of Art.

Subject: Mackenzie will discuss mythologies inspired by the scent of the rose and detail aspects of its historical use in literature, painting, advertisements and magazines.

For those who are unable to join the live conversations, the five talks will be accessible online; they were prerecorded to enable viewers from around the world to access the content in one sitting or on separate occasions at their own pace. To register for the free symposium or access the content, please click HERE

A corresponding book by Amy de la Haye – Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion (Yale University Press, 2020), is available at bookstores and features more in-depth research from all of the symposium speakers.

The companion exhibition, Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, is slated to debut when MFIT reopens, contingent upon COVID-19 safety protocols. For exhibition updates, please register HERE for the MFIT newsletter.

The Museum at FIT (MFIT) is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, the museum has a permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. MFIT is a member of the American Alliance of Museums. Its mission is to educate and inspire diverse audiences with innovative exhibitions and programs that advance knowledge of fashion.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a part of the State University of New York, has been an internationally recognized leader in career education in design, fashion, business, and technology for 75 years. Providing an uncommon blend of practical experience and theory on a foundation of arts and sciences, FIT offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation, collaboration, and a global perspective. FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative environment for learning, exploration, and research. The college offers nearly 50 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the new creative economy. Visit fitnyc.edu.

Date: Friday, April 30, 2021

Time 10 am – 12:30 pm ET

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