Claude Montana’s Skirt Suite was published in 1980s, while hot pink became fashionable again. It was made by silk and wool in hot pink color. The designer perceived hot pink in terms of third generation feminism, and she designed the suite to depict the image of a powerful woman who looked like an imitation man.
The suite conveys both the masculine and feminine side of a female office worker. On one hand, a professional suite is a symbol of independency, punctuality and efficiency, and these adjectives are usually applied to describe male workers in 1980s while less females participated in office roles. On the garment, the cropping and tailoring were straight and simple, and there were few decorations, and the silver buttons and zipper had modest designs. On the other hand, bright pink – the main color of the suite – was applied to female more often, and the shiny texture of the fabric made the garment appealing compared to traditional colors (black, grey). The buttons were cubes rather than rounds, and this detail made the suite more feminine. Therefore, its interpretation aligned with the designer’s intention.
The FIT exhibition “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color” focused on different ways of pink color portraying feminine identities in different locations and times. The curators might choose to place this suite in this exhibition to demonstrate characteristics of modern young females who contributed to the society not as housewives but as a strong work force.
In the exhibition, the suite was placed between vintage elegant long dresses and modernized garments, which indicated the time period the suite located in. Related to the weekly reading “Taking us into 2000” by Laura Snelgrove, the garment relived the spirit of females at that time; through bifurcation of occasion, a firm distinction was created between the two categories of before/after, vintage/modern, classical/stylized, and past/future.
Note: I cannot find the actual image on FIT website, and I did not photographed the suite. Therefore I used screenshot and applied the image on the post.