On May 9th, longtime director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology Valerie Steele will grace the Polimoda Rendez-Vous stage; an accomplished author and fashion academic, Steele will discuss the history of collecting and exhibiting fashion.
An unparalleled combination of industry and academia, Valerie Steele is a firm believer in fashion education; she holds a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, is the founder and editor of the academic magazine Fashion Theory and also happens to be one of “fashion’s brainiest women” according to The Washington Post.
Since 1997, Steele has curated myriads of exhibitions at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, including Gothic: Dark Glamour; Love & War: The Weaponized Woman; The Corset: Fashioning the Body; London Fashion; and Femme Fatale: Fashion in Fin-de-Siècle Paris. From her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show to her profiles in Forbes and The New York Times, the fashion historian is in a class of her own.
On the occasion of her Polimoda Rendez-Vous, Steele will focus on the diverse history of collecting and exhibiting: “Fashion museums think the more you know about the significance of clothes culturally, the more interesting they are. We certainly don’t neglect the aesthetic aspects of clothes. But, I feel that what sets us apart from social, economic, and even aesthetic, or art historical context is that we are not only talking about clothes as kind of art objects created by an artist designer, but also we’re talking about the various meanings that clothes have in the world, and how that changes and how we kind of create meanings around clothes.”.