New Acquisitions

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Light purple wool skirt suit with pleated knee skirt
John Galliano for Givenchy / Suit / Wool / Fall 1996, France / Gift of Adnan Ege Kutay, 2020.37.1

Hubert de Givenchy showed his last collection before retirement in July 1995. One hour after the presentation, the house announced its new designer: John Galliano. The appointment was widely lauded as a means of delivering a fresh energy to the brand, which had been under the leadership of its founder since 1952.

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

Off white sleeveless dress with red, pink, and green rose print
Tracy Reese / Dress / Cupro/viscose, cotton lawn, and tulle / Summer 2020, USA / Gift of Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese, 2021.2.1

Tracy Reese’s “Hope for Flowers” line focuses on sustainable practices—from the selection of fabrics to ensuring that garments workers are paid a living wage. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Reese donates a portion of all sales to Detroit Dirt, an organic waste recovery program. Fittingly for the brand’s name and mission, many of the garments feature floral motifs..

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

Large rectangular brass nameplate belt buckle ELENA
Buckle / Brass / c. 1986, USA / Gift of Elena Romero, 2021.34.1

Personalization is a key aspect of hip hop style. Systematic oppression seeks to make marginalized young people invisible in American society, and this oppression was even more prevalent during the 1980s and 1990s. Wearing substantial jewelry that literally spells out your name or showcases aspects of your personality, culture, and aspirations is a deliberate way to demand visibility and project your desires. The trend for nameplates on earrings, belt buckles, and rings was picked up by hip hop brands who created their own versions.

This belt buckle was on view in the 2023 exhibition Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style

Yellow / brown floor length short sleeve raw edge dress a thigh high slit and coordinating off white knife pleated ruffled sleeve overblouse
Rick Owens / Set / Cotton, viscose, polyester, and spandex / Spring 2020, France / Museum purchase, 2021.40.1

This look by Rick Owens celebrates his Mexican heritage and was inspired by pre-Hispanic architecture and modern art. While born in California, Owens is a Paris-based designer.

This set is currently on view in the exhibition ¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today.

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 thread

The 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 bows

The 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 prancing

The 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 more than 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]