Dr. Valerie Steele at the Parrish Art Museum

Dr. Valerie Steele
Dr. Valerie Steele

Dr. Valerie Steele, fashion historian, author and director and chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will explore the question, “Is fashion art?” at the Parrish Art Museum on July 21 at 6 p.m.

Drawing on a wide range of images — from catwalk shows to classical and avant-garde art — Dr. Steele will also discuss who decides whether fashion is art, and follow the talk with a Q & A.

“As an admirer of Dr. Valerie Steele’s work, I am thrilled that she is a part of our summer series to discuss how fashion and art echo each other in today’s world. Fashion is a creative process that conveys an attitude and makes a statement. It has both personal and social connotations, which is very similar to art making, and we are excited to hear the highly anticipated presentation,” Curator of Special Projects, Corinne Erni said.

Dr. Steele will discuss how fashion — particularly haute couture — has often been regarded as art. There is a reevaluation of fashion as art as the rise of fashion exhibitions in current museums shows. She will address the opinions of fashion designers, curators and critics on the fashion as art debate, and ask what role the public plays in deciding if fashion is art.

Valerie Steele has organized more than 25 exhibitions at the museum at FIT including “Gothic: Dark Glamour,” “Daphne Guinness,” and “A Queer History of Fashion.” She is the author or editor of over 25 books including “Paris Fashion,” “Fetish: Fashion, Sex & Power” and “Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT.” She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.

This event is $12 and free for members, children and students. Friday nights are made possible, in part, by the support of the Corcoran Group, Bridgehampton National Bank and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder. Modern Luxury’s Beach Magazine is the media sponsor for Friday nights.

The Museum at FIT, which is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is part of the Fashion Institute of Technology, is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. The museum has a collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to today.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, please call (631) 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.