From the aesthetics of transportation mechanisms themselves to the clothing and accessories worn by bodies in motion, fashion affects and is affected by the transit swarm. At a
From the aesthetics of transportation mechanisms themselves to the clothing and accessories worn by bodies in motion, fashion affects and is affected by the transit swarm. At a basic level, clothing functions as a form of transportation: shoes for walking, wingsuits for flying, soft robotic exoskeletons that facilitate particular movements for people living with disabilities, among others.
Modes of transportation have also impacted dress and brought about new fashion items, like dusters for early car travel, aviator scarves for pilots, athletic wear for running, skiing, swimming, hiking, and transit workers’ uniforms publicly. Modes of transportation have influenced trends more broadly: many fashion historians, for example, credit the bicycle with transforming women’s fashion from long, heavy, full skirts in the 19th century to the adoption of bifurcated trousers in the 20th century. Last but certainly not least, the ability to obtain clothing and textiles is reliant upon transportation infrastructure, which shapes distribution networks for the apparel supply chain and global, transnational fashion flows.
Fashion in Transit is a collaboration between the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection, the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy, the Society for the Humanities, the Kheel Center for Labor-Management and Documentation Archives, Cornell Tech, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. This exhibition is funded by the Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) as part of the 2020 Cornell Biennial.
The CCA’s Biennial theme is “Swarm,” and we interpret this concept through the interplay between fashion and transportation. The swarm of fashioned human bodies across, around, above, and through physical space takes many forms: on foot, horseback, sled, wheelchair, boat, railway, car, bus, subway, airplane, spacecraft, and many more. We have chosen to thematically organize the exhibition through verbs; ‘sliding,’ ‘walking,’ ‘swimming,’ ‘orbiting,’ ‘riding,’ ‘rolling,’ ‘flying,’ and ‘visualizing transit.’ This digital exhibition is “in transit” and will shift and change in conversation with a physical installation that will open in March 2021.
All Day (Thursday)