The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents T, a major survey exploring the history of men’s fashionable dress from the 18th to the early 21st century. Re- examining the frequent association of “fashion” with “femininity,” the five thematic sections of the exhibition’s 300-year survey—Revolution/Evolution, East/West, Uniformity, Body Consciousness, and The Splendid Man—reveal that early fashion trends were informed by what men were wearing, as much as they were by women’s dress. In the 18th century, the male aristocrat wore a three-piece suit conspicuous in make and style and equally as lavish as the opulent dress of his female counterpart; the 19th-century dandy made famous a more refined brand of expensive elegance; the 20th-century mod relished in colorful and modern styles; and the 21st century man—in an ultra-chic suit by day and a flowered tuxedo by night—redefines today’s concept of masculinity.
Reigning Men makes illuminating connections between history and high fashion, tracing cultural influences over the centuries, examining how elements of the uniform have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and revealing how cinching and padding the body was, and is, not exclusive to women.
The exhibition, featuring 200 looks drawn mostly from LACMA’s renowned permanent collection of costume and textiles, celebrates a rich history of restraint and resplendence in menswear.
The exhibition runs April 10 – August 21 2016. For museum hours and additional details www.lacma.org LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90036. Phone 323.857.6000
(Photo Credits) Left: Macaroni Ensemble: Suit, Italy, c. 1770, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Costume Council Fund Waistcoat, France, c. 1770, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Suzanne Saperstein and Michael and Ellen Michelson, with additional funding from the Costume Council, the Edgerton Foundation, Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer, Maureen H. Shapiro, Grace Tsao, and Lenore and Richard Wayne
Sword with Sheath, France, late 18th century, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Mary H. and Martin Retting, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Center: Zoot Suit, United States, 1940–42, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Ellen A. Michelson; De Luxe Hollyvogue for Lundahl Clothing Co., Necktie, c. 1945, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Stephen J. and Sandra Sotnick; The Guarantee (United States, active 20th century),
Shoes (Spectators), 1935–42, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Carl W. Barrow, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Right: Kean Etro for Etro, Ensemble, Fall/Winter 2014–15, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Etro, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA