Valerie Steele is a fashion historian and the chief curator of the Museum at FIT. She stopped by Big Think last week to talk about the “F” word– fashion, that is. We recapped New York Fashion Week— which designers stood out in her mind, why Tory Burch is getting such praise these days– and she delved into the major issue of fashion week: its timing. In the age of internet and instant gratification, how can we showcase clothing lines in the fall when the styles won’t hit stores for another six months?
Steele dissected staple items of the moment (hats, boots, jeans), explaining what’s in and out— the color black included. Steele, having authored a book titled, “In the Corset: A Cultural History,” is an authority on the female body as it relates to fashion. She brought us up to speed on the relationship between women and fashion, and how Michelle Obama might be changing everything. Also, will ultra-skinny models always reign supreme? How do European and American women embrace fashion differently? In the end, Steele surmises that there’s not one person or entity (not even Anna Wintour?!) who dictates the looks of the moment. It’s a relationship more complex than one would ever think.