Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Isabel Toledo: Design With The Hermaphrodite In Mind

(L) Hermaphrodite Dress, circa 2005, garnet silk taffeta.
(R) Cocoon Sleeve Gown, spring/summer 1998, taupe silk taffeta.

The inaugural outfit is currently on display at the Museum at FIT as part of an exhibit that grew out of The Fashion Institute of Technology's Couture Council Award, which Isabel received last year. "Isabel Toledo: Fashion From the Inside Out," running through Sept. 26, is billed as a mid-career retrospective.

"Her artistic contribution will matter in fashion history," says curator Valerie Steele.

Isabel's favorite piece is the Packing Dress from 1988 that has since been born again in many incarnations. It's essentially two circular pieces of fabric that mysteriously, yet simply, come together with blurred lines. Imagine a garment that mimics the point where the ocean and sand come together at the beach, that spot where one can no longer define where one ends and the other begins.

There's also her Hermaphrodite Dress, which is gathered every which way with tubular piping separating tufts of fabric. "At first, everyone said it was ugly," Isabel recalls, "but I thought it was very sensual. You have to look at it not as a front and a back, but that it's a dress that goes from its front to its back."

Story Continues...

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand why Michelle Obama would choose this designer to create garments for her.

    Is she a ____________?