On Tuesday, October 27, the Museum at FIT will stream a discussion entitled “Fashion and Political Power” as part of its fall programming. The talk features MFIT director and chief curator Dr. Valerie Steele and Pulitzer Prize–winning fashion critic Robin Givhan. Over the course of 30 minutes, their conversation will focus on the politicization of fashion, the polarizing power of face masks, RBG’s iconic collars, protest fashion, and more.
“At a time when most political discourse is at the level of sound-bites, I am grateful to hear Robin Givhan’s thoughtful and intelligent observations on fashion, politics, and power,” says Steele. Throughout the discussion, Givhan will draw on her experience as senior fashion critic at the Washington Post to explore the intersection of fashion, politics, and power within current events. “The Black Lives Matter protesters’ highly individual style reflects an evolution in how protesters use fashion,” says Givhan. “It’s less about making themselves look respectable for the culture at large and more about taking ownership of their own stories.”
Steele and Givhan will also unpack the significance of items such as the MAGA hat, PPE, the yellow outfits seen on Portland’s “Wall of Moms,” and the right wing’s appropriation of the Hawaiian shirt.