May 23, 2019 | By Alice Gividen
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On view at the Museum of the City of New York is Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, a retrospective celebrating the colorful career of the disco-era innovator.Previously dominated by French haute couture, fashion took a different approach in the’60s. An emerging counterculture broke free, one that rebelled against the rules of high fashion and welcomed new techniques such as hand-dyeing, surface embellishment, and bold color combinations. Spearheaded by Stephen Burrows, the vibrant designer embraced this newfound free-spiritedness of the era, creating danceable designs that flourished in New York City nightlife. Dubbed “the brightest star of American fashion” by the New York Times, Stephen Burrows rose to fame with slinky, figure-flattering silhouettes, vivid jersey color blocks, and studded leather details. His designs were spotted throughout the club scene of the East Village and Fire Island, and later even at Studio 54.
The exhibition boasts iconic looks from this legendary designer, everything from early patchwork, fringe, and leather designs to his signature fluttery “lettuce edge” hem. Also showcased is the chromatic jersey jumpsuit worn by Cher in 1970. If you’re visiting New York before the end of July, be sure to delve into the colorful world of Stephen Burrows and discover his influential role in the movement of fashion. – Sarah Ryan Hecht
“Clothes [must] be colorful, alive, fresh, sexy, feminine, and most of all, fun to wear. They must move as the body moves, be danceable, comfortable and have a great fit, and they should give the feeling of an engineered sensuality.” – Stephen Burrows
On view through July 28, 2013 at the Museum of the City of New York.
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