Women Wearing Women: The Metropolitan Museum’s Dedication to Female Fashion Designers

The Metropolitan Museum in New York dedicates its new fashion exhibition to female designers, seeking to overcome some stereotypes and shed light on figures who have not received sufficient attention.

One of the most prominent pieces participating in the “Women Wearing Women” exhibition is a dress by the pioneering African American designer, Anne Lowe, who did not receive much attention, even though she designed Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress in 1953.

With 80 pieces by 70 fashion designers, the exhibition also provides a glimpse into the art of women’s clothing from the 20th century to the present, in addition to environmental advocacy messages from designers such as Gabriela Hearst and Hillary Taymor.

The story of many female designers began in sewing workshops to which women were usually sent, but a number of them left their mark at the beginning of the 20th century, including French designers Madeleine Vionnet, Jeanne Lanvin, and Gabrielle Chanel.

The institute delved into its collection, which includes 33,000 pieces representing seven centuries of clothing, selecting clothes designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci, and Vivienne Westwood.

The exhibition will further highlight the collection during the museum’s main fashion exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” in the spring of 2024, where it will showcase the rarest and most fragile pieces.

The comprehensive exhibition will include about 250 pieces of clothing and accessories spanning four centuries, from the vast archives of the Fashion Institute, which includes 33,000 pieces, from an embroidered jacket from the 17th century, to a dress made of seashells from the Alexander McQueen spring-summer 2001 collection.

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