The museum is an essential space within historiographical discourses because it facilitates, in part, the ways we collectively remember our pasts and the ways in which we create and curate our own histories. In this way, exhibitions about fashion remain a site of negotiation, veneration, and collective remembrance that contain guiding and hierarchical knowledges about taste, fashionability, and artistic mastery. Fashion exhibitions help make static the influence and approbation of certain designers and tastemakers, while often obscuring others. This perpetuates a canon of fashion history that often emblematizes institutionalizes, and disseminates white hegemony. These five exhibitions deconstruct this cycle by centering those who are often the least represented in historical and contemporary discourses about high-fashion, fine art, and fashion museology.

photograph of a Black mannequin wearing a jacket & cape of elaborately draped feathers and fabric

Nick Leuze, Photographer. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me: Michelle Elie Wears Comme des Garçons Exhibition. Courtesy of Museum Angewandte Kunst.