FIT Museum to Showcase a Century of Iconic Fashions

By Mathew Katz on November 28, 2011 6:25am | Updated on November 28, 2011 6:48am

This coatdress by Alexander McQueen, from his time at Givenchy in the 1990s, will be on display at the Museum at FIT.
This coatdress by Alexander McQueen, from his time at Givenchy in the 1990s, will be on display at the Museum at FIT.
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Museum at FIT

CHELSEA — Gowns by Elsa Shiaparelli, an evening dress by Oscar de la Renta, a lace number by Miuccia Prada — it sounds like the private closet of the luckiest of fashionistas.

But starting next week, these prized pieces will jump off the rack and into a museum as some of the most influential and innovative works of fashion from the past 100 years go on display at the Museum at FIT beginning Tues., Nov. 29.

"The Great Designers, Part One," is the first of two exhibits featuring roughly 50 of the top pieces and accessories from the Fashion Institute of Technology museum's permanent collection of more than 50,000 daring dresses, gorgeous gowns and chic couture.

The exhibit will feature pieces from many different eras of fashion, from pre-war styles to cutting-edge modern designs. It will also show off some lesser-known works by fashion giants before they were famous, including an embroidered black silk coatdress by late designer Alexander McQueen, from when he was creative director of Givenchy in the 1990s.

The exhibit runs until May 8, 2012, and will be replaced by "The Great Designers, Part Two," a display of another 50 fashion masterpieces from the museum's collection, opening May 23, 2012.

The second exibition will also be paired with a new book, "The Great Designers: Fashions Hall of Fame from A to Z," featuring images of 500 of the museum's greatest pieces.

Admission to both exhibits is free and open to the public.

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