New Acquisitions

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Paisley coat with hood
Yohji Yamamoto / Coat / Wool and silk / Fall 2020, Japan / Gift of David Moses, 2020.20.8

Yamamoto’s fall 2000 collection featured a series of warm, voluminous garments that referenced clothing worn in the Arctic. The fabric used here adds another layer to the designer’s global inspiration: the name Paisley stems from the part of Scotland where the designs were frequently produced, but those were copied from Indian imports with a motif originating in Persia.

This coat was on view in the 2022 exhibition Reinvention and Restlessness: Fashion in the Nineties

ensemble of double breasted jacket, sleeveless halter top, and wide leg pants in white cotton printed in rose and polka dot pattern
Patrick Kelly / Ensemble / Cotton and polyester / Spring 1989, France / Museum purchase, 2021.20.1

Patrick Kelly was the first American designer to join the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter, the prestigious Parisian ready-to-wear trade organization. This design is characteristic of his work. He frequently used red, black, and white color combinations; fun prints; and body-conscious silhouettes. Kelly died of AIDS in 1990 at only 36 years of age.

This ensemble was on view in the 2021 exhibition Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion

Counterfeit Louis Vuitton monogram racer style jacket
Man's jacket / Canvas and knit / c. 1990, USA (possibly) / Gift of Rebecca Pietri, 2021.10.3

European luxury logos inspired a vibrant design culture led by Dapper Dan of Harlem, but he was not the only designer to appropriate logos and apply them to contemporary silhouettes. These “bootleg” designs often beat the designer brands to new styles that combined luxury logos with modern sportswear pieces like Members Only jackets and sweatshirts.

This jacket is currently on view in the 2023 exhibition Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style

Yellow, blue, brown, green face mask with pale green cotton lining and long bow ties
Collina Strada / Mask / Cotton / 2020, USA / Gift of Melissa Marra, 2021.14.1

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks became a public health necessity. However, they were also quickly adopted by fashion. Designers turned their production to making masks. Collina Strada’s mask was made from deadstock fabrics. It includes long ties that can be styled in different ways and conveys the quirky individuality of the sustainable brand..

This mask was on view in the 2021-22 exhibition Head to Toe.

Below are the types of objects in the collections of The Museum at FIT.

Man's informal or undress cap in crimson red silk damask brocaded with stylized floral design in multicolor silk and metallic threadThe accessories collection consists of approximately 15,000 objects that date from the mid-17th century to the present day. The collection has a particularly strong emphasis on designer accessories from the second half of the 20th century.

The accessories collection is supported by the Solomon-Sloan Endowment Fund, which was established in 2005 to facilitate the acquisition, conservation, documentation and exhibition of accessories.

  • The footwear collection contains more than 4,000 pairs of shoes, boots and sandals. It includes examples by designers such as Manolo Blahnik, Roger Vivier, Herbert Levine, and Salavatore Ferragamo.
  • The millinery collection contains more than 3,000 hats by famous milliners such as Caroline Reboux, Lilly Daché, Halston and Philip Treacy. There are also many examples from designers such as Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Jacques Fath.
  • The handbag collection includes fine examples by luxury houses such as Hermés and Gucci as well as examples by Roberta di Camerino, Judith Leiber and Bonnie Cashin for Coach.
  • Other accessories include fans, gloves, belts, hosiery and costume jewelry.

Pale pink silk damask dress with fitted bodice with bowsThe Costume Collection consists of more than 50,000 objects dating from the mid-18th century to the present. The strength of the collection lies in its 20th-century holdings and, particularly, in couture and ready-to-wear women's clothing. The collections are currently being computerized to facilitate research.

  • The costume collection includes fashion by designers such as Azzedine Alaïa, Balenciaga, Chanel, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Galanos, Halston, Charles James, Norell, Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood.
  • The Halston Archives and Study Room hold designs, patterns, and related records documenting this important designer's life work.
  • The menswear collection features some 2,000 garments ranging from formal to activewear, including suits, coats, vests, and uniforms.
  • Also included are swimwear, lingerie, outerwear, and knitwear.

Texitle image of animals prancingThe Textile Collection consists of more than 30,000 textiles dating from the fifth century to the present, and includes the work of artists and designers such as Junichi Arai, Salvador Dali, Raoul Dufy, and William Morris.

  • The textile collection includes apparel and home furnishing fabrics, embroideries, and shawls.
  • The collection also includes a number of ribbon sample books.
  • The J.B. Martin Velvet Room archives handwoven and production velvets spanning a 125-year period.

Model Sandra Payson in studio in front of prints of Greek columns, leaning on a table filled with multicolor fabrics wearing a gray cape jacket, yellow gloves, and a grey hat

The Photography Archive features the work of fashion photographers Louise-Dahl Wolfe (1895-1989), who produced 86 cover images and thousands of interior shots for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and John Rawlings (1912-1970), who had over 200 Vogue and Glamour magazine covers. 

Image:  Louise Dahl-Wolfe photograph of model Sandra Payson. Featured in Harper’s Bazaar, March 1947, page 205, gift of  Louise Dahl-Wolfe,  74.84.54


For those looking for the Herman Landshoff collection, the archive has been transferred to:
Munchner Stadtmuseum
Sammlungsleiter Fotomuseum
St.-Jakobs-Pl. 1
80331 Munchen

The contact for the collection is:
Dr. Ulrich Pohlmann
Tel.: 089/233-22948
Fax.: 089/233-27969
email.: [email protected]