Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors
Explore #WomensFashionAndInteriors on Instagram!
Few creative fields exemplify the gracious art of living better than fashion and interior decoration. Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors was the first exhibition to explore and celebrate the intersection of these profoundly influential and perennially beloved disciplines.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, an increasing number of women founded important couture houses in Paris, London, and New York. At the same time, interior decoration became a viable profession thanks to female innovators on both sides of the Atlantic. Rather than espouse masculine modernism, these "great lady decorators" appropriated the refined aesthetics of eighteenth-century French interiors. Belle Époque couturières ardently embraced their updated rococo ideals of comfort and luxury. By the interwar years, other styles— from art moderne sleekness to bohemian eclecticism—became increasing popular, as female designers regularly used interior decoration to enhance their brands and enrich their personal lives.
Each fashion designer in this exhibition was represented by at least one garment or accessory, drawn solely from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection, and an interior image. From luxe, professionally-crafted couture salons and apartments to modest, self-decorated ateliers and homes, the spaces express the passion these female fashion creators have devoted to their magical interiors.
Curated by Patricia Mears, Deputy Director
Fashion & Textile Conservation of a Lucile Gown
Before a circa 1912 Lucile gown could be exhibited in Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors, it underwent extensive conservation treatment. Three short videos demonstrate how MFIT’s conservation team approached stabilizing shattered silk, replacing a disintegrating bodice, and matching existing fabric to reconstruct the neckline.
This video slider is not currently working. Please watch the videos via this link
to the YouTube playlist.
Fashion and interior decoration exemplify the gracious art of living
From luxe, professionally-crafted couture salons and apartments to modest, self-decorated ateliers and homes, the spaces express the passion these female fashion creators have devoted to their magical interiors.
In the Press
Anna Sui: Fashion Design and Interior Decoration
Explore More on our Digital Guide
Image: Lucile evening gown, blue silk taffeta, blue chiffon, mauve ribbon, gilt lace, and metallic embroidery, c. 1912, England, gift of Mrs. Cora Ginsburg, 81.131.12