I love museums but I really have to be in the mood to go. It’s so hard to go into these institutions that basically have erased your whole existence, or minimize it ie: minimal inclusion for tokenism. That’s why I tend to go on the pay what you wish for the free days. I figure they have enough rich people upholding the racist ideas of the institution. I’ll just mosey on in and go for free because I feel like my people have paid enough, be it inspiration or sheer labor or continuing to be ‘the help’.

It’s interesting, as I walk through this whole exhibition all I see is the designer’s access, access to money, access to materials, access to audience, and access to media. I wish I didn’t recognize one third to half of the designers, but access seems to buy you a piece of the audience whether they like it or not. This access is so cloudy that it’s hard to tell if this work is amazing, or if it just had so much access that it is revered. The recognition of the designers, itself just gives the whole exhibition more gravity than I’d like to.

I’ll always be inspired by color texture pattern so it goes without saying that this exhibition is inspiring but I can’t help but feel that something is missing…oh yeah, designers of color.
Ironically the exhibitions is guarded by docile looking black people dressed up like butlers.

Side note funny story. I once went out one night in Philadelphia wearing these exact shoes only to be turned away by the doorman saying that women had to wear heels and I was out of dress code. Ironic to see these exact same shoes in an exhibition in the Philadelphia Museum of art. I guess it all depends on who’s wearing them.

The gatekeepers of history and culture seem to have those little blinders on like a horses that you see carrying people around in New York on little wagons. With blinders, one has such a limited view and the casualties of the limitations include all the people that helped inspire influence and push these fashions and art. Sometimes it feels as if they are purposely placing invisibility to all these other people that exist.

Don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging. Here’s a few notable fashion related pieces that highlight the participation and role of Black culture in fashion. The Nod did an amazing episode on the Battle of Versaille, called ‘Chitlins at Bergdorfs.’ In 2015 Sacha Jenkins directed a pretty cool doc called ‘Fresh Dressed’ that focuses on urban fashion and its role in main stream. The Mz. Icar team and I decided to remix this exhibition because we will pull up a seat at any table we want to.