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Upcoming Exhibitions

Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s

Special Exhibitions Gallery

February 6 - April 18, 2015





Yves Saint Laurent and Halston were the most famous and influential fashion designers of the 1970s. Drawing inspiration from menswear, foreign cultures, and historical periods, Saint Laurent and Halston crafted a new, chic, and modern way of dressing that became synonymous with the sexy and glamorous lifestyle of the decade. While they and their designs are recognizable to fashion enthusiasts and monographic books and exhibitions on each designer abound, Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s will be the first exhibition to juxtapose and analyze their contributions to fashion at the height of their careers, as well as how they came to exemplify this singular, dynamic era in fashion history.

All of the nearly 100 objects on view within the exhibition will be drawn exclusively from the Museum at FIT’s permanent collection. With such narrow parameters—two designers and one museum collection—the exhibition is decidedly not a survey of 1970s fashion, nor is it a retrospective of each designer’s work. Instead, it is a curatorial exploration, a re-evaluation of Saint Laurent and Halston set within the larger cultural landscape of the dreamy, indolent, sexy 1970s.

Read more about the exhibition.

Image: (left) Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, pajama set, printed silk crepe, c. 1970, France, P89.55.4, museum purchase; (right) Halston, pajama set, printed crepe de Chine, c.1976, USA, 91.41.12, gift of Ms. Gayle Osman.


Lauren Bacall: The Look

Gallery FIT

March 3 – April 4, 2015





Lauren Bacall: The Look is a celebration of the film and theater star’s unique style. Bacall’s own garments take the spotlight in this exhibition which also explores Bacall’s personal relationships with several of the fashion designers who dressed her.

Lauren Bacall’s effortless style combined elegance and simplicity. Students in the Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice MA program in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies have collaborated with The Museum at FIT to present approximately 12 items from a collection of 700 that Bacall donated to the museum in 22 gifts, between 1968 and 1986. The Look will include work by designers Marc Bohan, Pierre Cardin, Norman Norell, Yves Saint Laurent, and Emanuel Ungaro, focusing on pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. A selection of pieces in the Bacall collection can be viewed in the Museum's online collections.

Read more about the exhibition.

Image: Normal Norell, evening dress and coat, cashmere, silk jersey, and sequins, circa 1958, USA, gift of Lauren Bacall, 68.143.6. 


Ricardo Seco

Global Fashion Capitals

Fashion & Textile History Gallery

June 2 – November 14, 2015





Paris, New York, Milan, and London have long been known as the fashion capitals of the world. However, the fashion industry is globalizing, and cities such as Seoul, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Mexico City are emerging as new fashion hubs. Global Fashion Capitals will explore the rise of fashion cities over the past 150 years. The exhibition will also examine the various forces that enable this growth, such as urban development, economic expansion, the establishment of fashion weeks, and the pervasiveness of the media. Global Fashion Capitals aims to broaden the understanding of what constitutes a “fashion capital” and to expand the dialogue on the globalization of the fashion industry during the 21st century.

Image: Ricardo Seco, Dreams, Spring/Summer 2015, Mexico City/New York. Photo courtesy of Laura Garza. 



Comme des Garçons

Fairy Tale Fashion

Special Exhibitions Gallery

February 1 – April 16, 2016





Cinderella is famously distinguished from her stepsisters by her delicate slippers (made of gold, glass, or fur, depending on the version and translation of the tale), but it is her lavish ball gown that first catches the prince’s eye. While “Cinderella” is probably the fairy tale most frequently associated with clothing, many others, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Furrypelts,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Wizard of Oz,” use descriptions of dress to portray their characters’ transformation, vanity, power, or privilege. These descriptions of clothing also serve to enhance the sense of wonder and fantasy that is integral to the fairy tale genre.

Fairy Tale Fashion will use some of the most extraordinary, beautiful, and luxurious examples of fashion to illustrate more than twelve fairy tales, including well-known tales such as “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Little Red Riding Hood.” In addition to offering a brief history of the fairy tales and their significance, the show will highlight their direct references to fashion. There will be more than 80 looks in Fairy Tale Fashion , including a number of recent creations from labels such as Comme des Garçons, Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Rodarte, and Undercover.

Image: Comme des Garçons, Spring 2015. Photo courtesy of Comme des Garçons. 



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Proust's Duchess

Special Exhibitions Gallery

September 2016 – January 3, 2017





The Museum at FIT is collaborating with the Palais Galliera (Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris) on Proust’s Duchess, an exhibition focusing on the wardrobe of Élizabeth, Comtesse de Greffulhe, whose beauty and elegance was one of the main inspirations for Marcel Proust’s fictional character, the Duchesse de Guermantes from his novel À la recherché du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time).

Marie Anatole Louise Élisabeth de Riquet de Caraman-Chimay, known as Elisabeth, was born on July 11, 1860. She was the eldest daughter of one of the richest men in Belgium and, at the age of eighteen, the young princess married the handsome and wealthy vicomte Henry Greffulhe. She was, however, much closer to her cousin, Robert de Montesquioiu. An Aesthete of highly refined tastes, Montesquiou had a profound influence on Greffulhe’s style of dress.

The Comtesse and Robert collaborated on many artistic “crusades” ranging from Wagner to the Ballets Russes. They helped provide a pension to the impoverished poet, Verlaine, frequented séances together, and in 1904 they organized an exhibition of the work of the Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau. She once organized a fancy dress party for charity at Versailles, which may have been the source for the story of Marie Antoinette’s ghost.

Image: Comtesse Greffulhe wears a white dress by Worth. Photograph by Nadar, September 5, 1887. 

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