Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection

Hammer Building, Level 2
September 17, 2006–January 7, 2007

Creating clothing, for protection, profession, or spectacle, has undergone dramatic change over the past twenty-five years. A number of designers have introduced subversive elements into the fashion system, examining and deconstructing its entrenched conventions and changing the rules about what is aesthetically pleasing and fashionable. Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection presents designers who found traditional criteria and solutions obsolete—designers who challenged the canons of the body’s fashionable silhouette, revolutionized methods of garment construction, rejected the formulaic use of materials and techniques, and exploited new technology in textile production. The recent dynamic changes in the forms and surfaces of fashionable dress will be featured in this comprehensive exhibition, which will include over 100 examples of contemporary dress drawn exclusively from LACMA’s collection. Among the contemporary designers whose work will be exhibited are Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler, and Yohji Yamamoto, with historical examples by Gilbert Adrian, Christian Dior, and Charles James.

Exhibition Images on Collections Online

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was supported by the museum's Costume Council. In-kind support was provided by Neiman Marcus. Curators: Kaye Spilker and Sharon Takeda, Costume and Textiles.

Image: Yohji Yamamoto (Japan, b. 1943), Woman's Two-Piece Suit (detail), autumn/winter 1993-94, wool gabardine with wool and goat hair canvas trim, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. H. Grant Theis, © Yohji Yamamoto.