Power Mode: The Force of Fashion explores the multiple roles fashion plays in establishing, reinforcing, and challenging power dynamics within society.
Published in tandem with The Museum at FIT exhibition of the same title, this book is divided thematically into five chapters that focus on the impact of military uniforms, suits, status dressing, resistance, and sex on the power of fashion. It takes an object-based approach to investigate how certain garments have come to be culturally associated with power, as well as how their meanings have evolved over time. It also examines how fashion designers have interpreted these stylistic archetypes—both to convey and to subvert power. Texts by exhibition curator Emma McClendon are joined by object-based essays from renowned fashion scholars Valerie Steele, Christopher Breward, Jennifer Craik, and Peter McNeil, as well as Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Robin Givhan. The book also includes an essay by Kimberly M. Jenkins on the intersection of race, fashion, and power. This collection of texts offers readers a variety of perspectives to help form a theoretical framework for considering the power dynamics inherent in fashion objects.
New York, The Museum at FIT 10 December 2019 – 9 May 2020