Event Review | ‘Fashion Forward’ at Institute of Contemporary Art an entertaining evening

The Institute of Contemporary Art opened its doors on Oct. 4 to visitors ages 21 and over for its second “First Friday” event of the year. This month’s “First Friday” — which featured a “Fashion Forward” theme — included a fashion presentation with pieces from Louis Boston, a preeminent Boston-based boutique, as well as an introduction to this season’s fall trends from Boston Globe style writer Christopher Muther.

These ICA events are held, as the name implies, on the first Friday of every month and feature diverse themes and various special events throughout the evening. The “First Friday” nights give college and middle-aged Bostonians a unique opportunity to learn more about the museum’s collections after hours and to enjoy an evening out on the town in a fun and engaging environment.

The ICA offered plenty of options for attendees of the four-hour event by providing a multitude of stations organized by floor. Guests were greeted with flashing lights and pulsing music on the first floor of the ICA. Upon entering, they were invited to either make their way to the State Street Corporation Lobby — which featured a dance floor, VIP area and two bars — or to the photo booth area, where additional cocktails inspired by the museums’ current exhibitions could be purchased.

In addition to the dance floor and photo booth on the first floor, guests could explore the designer trunk show of South Boston-based design company Pilgrim Waters, which introduced its fall lineup of hand-woven and hand-silkscreened scarves in cashmere and merino, as well as a selection of interior goods located in the ICA store.

On the second floor, guests were dazzled by avant-garde pieces from the Louis boutique featured in the fashion show and were able to learn about the latest fall trends introduced at New York City fashion week. This was held in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, overlooking the water.

On the final floor, guests were welcomed to peruse the galleries at their leisure or take a gallery tour of the “Amy Sillman: One Lump or Two” exhibit, offered every 30 minutes. The collection, featuring work by American painter Amy Sillman, includes vivid abstract paintings, intimate drawings, cartoons and animations, all tracing the development of her work over the past 25 years.

Tufts students may not be familiar with the ICA, located in the South Boston Seaport District, seeing as it is quite far from the Medford/Somerville campus or even the Museum of Fine Arts, located in the Back Bay area.

The ICA was initially founded as the Boston Museum of Modern Art in 1936 with the purpose of solely exhibiting contemporary art. Formerly located on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay area, the ICA was moved to its current location on the Fan Pier in 2006. The new location allowed the ICA to showcase its permanent collection in a larger space and hold new programming, such as the “First Friday” events, in a more progressive and modern building.

For 21-and-over students interested in getting off campus and exploring the Boston art scene, this event is a must before graduation. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.icaboston.org/programs/first-fridays/ for the next “80’s Night”-themed “First Friday.” The ICA can be reached via the Courthouse or World Trade Center T stops by taking the Red Line from Davis Square to South Station and then transferring to the Silver Line.

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