Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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 at LACMA 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.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
September 17, 2006 – January 7, 2007

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
12 October 2007 – 20 January 2008

Indianapolis Museum of Art
March 16 – June 1, 2008

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