Uniforms are the antithesis of high fashion. Where uniform design focuses on notions of functionality, control, and tradition, fashion promotes constant change, creativity, and subversion. Yet fashion has often drawn inspiration from uniforms of all kinds, taking functional features and transforming them into decorative elements.
Simultaneously designed to blend in and stand out, uniforms occupy a unique place in our society. We encounter uniforms everywhere, from those of soldiers and school children, to the distinctive attire of flight attendants and fast-food clerks. Likewise, the uniforms of athletes and police officers have become familiar, everyday sights. They are overt symbols of social order, but they are also considered so commonplace that they are often overlooked.
Uniformity explores the dynamic history behind a variety of uniforms, considering both their social role and their influence on high fashion. The exhibition is organized thematically to focus on four categories of uniforms: military, work, school, and sports. Uniformity includes over 70 objects from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection, many of which have never been on view before.