New Acquisitions

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Floorlength red dress with gold pattern, high collar, and rose at bosom.
Jacques Doucet dress / Silk / c.1880, France / Museum purchase, 2019.1.3

The descendant of silk merchants and
manufacturers of lingerie, Jacques Doucet became one of the most famous couturiers of the Belle Epoque. Like Worth, he employed more than 500 people and had an illustrious clientele of
European royalty and famous actresses. An art connoisseur and collector, with a particular love of the 18th century, he was also one of the founding members of the Société de l’Histoire du Costume.

This dress was on view in the 2019 exhibition Paris, Capital of Fashion.

Mannequin in a grey man's suit with shortpants and satchel bag
Thom Browne man's ensemble / Grey wool, white cotton, black leather, grey cotton and nylon blend, and sterling silver / 2018, USA / Gift of Thom Browne, 2019.5.1

Thom Browne is best known for his “shrunken” grey suits that play with proportions. By pairing a tight fitting jacket with shorts, Browne challenges the “masculinity” of the suit and infuses it with the look of adolescent school uniforms. The inclusion of an oversized handbag further bends gender lines. LeBron James wore a version of this suit during the 2018 NBA playoffs.

This suit was on view in the 2019-2020 exhibition Power Mode: The Force of Fashion.

mannequin in at patterned floral and polka dot ensemble that includes a scarf covering the head
Richard Quinn ensemble / Polyester, polyester and spandex blend, and silk / Fall 2018, England / Museum purchase, 2019.6.1

Richard Quinn, recipient of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, is known for audacious prints. His fall 2018 collections featured models engulfed in head-to-toe florals with voluminous silhouettes. Vogue addressed the theme of concealment prevalent in numerous 2018 collections, citing the #MeToo movement, “Instagram vainglory,” and gender assumptions.

This ensemble was on view in the 2019 exhibition Minimalism/Maximalism

hard cream-colored clutch covered in red lace with a molded rose knuckle handle
Jacques Fath evening dress / Red taffeta / Circa 1953, France / Museum purchase, 2019.1.1

Roses have special meaning to Alexander McQueen's successor, Sarah Burton, who recalls the annual rose festivals of her childhood in the north of England. Here, the softness of silk satin and lace is contrasted by a knuckle-duster handle in cold, hard metal.

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

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]