New FIT Exhibit "A Queer History of Fashion" Will Highlight LGBTQ Community's Historical Influence On Style

It's by no means news that the LGBTQ community has had an impact on fashion. From classic designers like Yves Saint Laurent to modern brands like Marimacho, some if not most of the world's most influential and notable designers have been gay.

But this influence extends much further back than the past half-century, and a new exhibit at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology will show how the LGBTQ community has been integral to the evolution of fashion for the past 300 years.

“A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” will feature more than one hundred outfits, from clothing worn by 18th century cross-dressers, to that worn by infamous bisexual Marlene Dietrich, to the work of modern gay designers. The ensembles will be placed chronologically and will highlight the influence of gay fashionistas over time.

The exhibit's curator hopes "that seeing the overall contribution of the LGBTQ community to fashion over the years will make the next generation of designers, models, stylists and others have some sense of history and embrace diversity. We hope it will change our view of fashion history. I think it is one of the most important shows that we have ever done.”

We've noted before that the lack of diversity in fashion is pretty shameful, and while we typically think of that shortcoming as having more to do with looks than sexual orientation, any step towards diversity is a step in the right direction.

The exhibit opens Friday, and will run at FIT until January 4.

Image: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash