Glamour – Fashion

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The Fashion Institute of Technology Museum - New York City (USA): The only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion!

Location:  227 W. 27th Street  (the corner of 7th Avenue and 27th Street)

Look for FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) where today’s fashion students will be tomorrow’s top fashion designers!

Below are photos of some of the FIT’s fashion collection, spanning from the 1700’s to modern day.



If you like fashion, then you will love this museum!  It has fashion apparel from the 18th century to present day.  You will be amazed at what women, in particular, used to wear.  As women gained more rights and freedom the fashion industry changed to capture that trend.  

There is some fashion in the museum for men, but it is so outlandish that most men would never wear it.  Seeing it will definitely make you laugh!

Haute Couture (High Fashion for women)

Cocktail Dress, Fall 1953, USA (From Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC)

The rhinestones and spangles on this silk dress are meant to imitate a far-away shimmering galaxy of stars.  This beautiful dress exemplifies timeless elegance and must be seen in person.  It will always remain in fashion no matter what decade!

La Sirene Evening Gown, 1940, USA

Designer:  Charles James

Material:  Silk Crepe

This red silk evening gown stands out for its sexy styling.  It’s another example of a timeless design that would be in fashion no matter what decade!

Evening Coat, 1920, France

Designer: Yvonne May

Material:  Velvet

If a woman wanted to stand out from the crowd, then this evening coat would accomplish that.  The dazzling, descending comets on this evening coat are designed to project both a sense of motion and speed.  


Pink-Colored Haute Couture Evening Gown

This evening gown would be for a very elegant cocktail party.  It denotes both class and style.  More than likely it is made of silk.


Red Coral Jacket, 1992, USA

Designer:  Oscar de la Renta

Material:  Linen, silk, and glass

The appliqué on this jacket is meant to give the illusion of red coral.

Cheetah Coat, 1974, Italy

Designer:  Valentino

Material:  Wool and cheetah fur

Up until recently, cheetah fur was a status symbol to denote both wealth and luxury.  Thankfully that era has ended!

Red & Black Dress

This simple design makes the dress look futuristic while maintaining its elegance.

Gold Evening Gown

This gown is another example of timeless elegance.  No matter what the decade, it will always look good!

Horn of Plenty Collection, 2009, England

Designer: Alexander McQueen

Material:  Silk

The sculptured bustle and train of this luxurious red and black silk dress emulates the tail of an exotic bird.  McQueen liked to transpose the beauty of a bird to women.

Plato’s Atlantis Collection, 2010, England

Designer: Alexander McQueen

Material: Digitally printed silk, satin, and chiffon.

This well sculptured dress shows McQueen’s imaginative blend of python and crocodile patterns.

Red & Black Bird Dress

On the right is a red dress covered with black birds.  It looks like it was inspired by the famous Hitchcock movie:  “The Birds”.

Les Atlantes Collection, 1989, France

Designer: Thierry Mugler

Material: Polyester and lurex

This silver evening dress denotes glamour and fantasy, both of which are hallmarks of Mugler’s designs.  The segmented body of this dress suggests a transformation from a crustacean to a beautiful woman.

Rose Pattern Dress, 1956, USA

Material: Printed silk taffeta

This stylish red silk dress is almost identical to the 1956 design by Christian Dior, which appeared on the front cover of Elle magazine.  Roses symbolize cultivated beauty, which is what the fashion designers attempt to emulate.

Designer Fashions: Semi-Casual (for women)

Natural Dis-Tinction, Un-Natural 2009 Spring Collection, England

Designer:  Alexander McQueen

This collection was apparently inspired by the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species”.

Irere Collection, 2003, England

Designer: Alexander McQueen.

This evening dress resembles the plumage of the scarlet macaw bird from the Amazon Rain Forest.  McQueen wanted to reproduce the exact feather pattern of this beautiful and exotic bird.

Space Age Dress, 1969, France

Designer:  Pierre Cardin

Material:  Synthetic fabric

The vinyl appliqué on this dress is supposed to suggest atomic particles.  Space age fashions at the time symbolized both youth and modernity.


Python Skin Dress, 1969, USA

Designer: Hetta Bretz

Material:  Python skin and wool

It’s hard to believe that this entire dress was made from a snake!

Layered Evening Dress, 1930, France

Designer: Jeanne Lanvin

Material:  Cotton organdy and net

The design of this dress was influenced by ornamental fish from the Orient. The layers overlap to create a pattern that resembles fish scales.

Multi-Colored Brown Dress

The fashion designer used different shades of brown to make this dress more stylish.


Designer Casual Wear - Exotic Themes (for women)

Zebra Dress, 1988, USA

Designer: Patrick Kelly

Material: Printed cotton

The zebra stripes resemble a fingerprint. Apparently, each zebra has a unique stripe pattern:  no two are alike.

Jaguar Jumpsuit, 2015, Mexico

Designer: Carla Fernandez

Material:  Lurex and silk

This jumpsuit celebrates the designer’s Mexican heritage, exploring the meaning of animals in Mexican folklore.

Butterfly Dress, 1937, France

Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli

Material:  Slik crepe and plastic

The metamorphosis that takes place to create a butterfly was the philosophy behind the designer’s attempt to show beauty emerging from the mundane.

African Prints

The patterns for these outfits celebrate Africa’s unique animals.  

Layered Dress and Stole, 1955, USA

Designer: Charles James

“The Tree” Evening Dress

Material: Silk taffeta and netting

“The Petal” Evening Stole

Material: Silk, satin and velvet

Shoes & Accessories (for women)

Zebra Shoes, 1998, England

Designer: Manolo Blahnik

Material: Zebra-printed pony skin


Flower Shoes

These stiletto shoes are for women who appreciate the beauty of nature and who aren’t afraid to show it.

Gucci Shoes, 2016, Italy

Designer: Alessandro Michele

Material: Canvas and leather

The inspiration for these shoes is from 19th Century French engravings depicting nature.  

Pheasant Cape and Comb Set, 1960’s, USA

Designer: Bill Cunningham

Material:  Pheasant feathers and plastic

The use of feathers in fashion design is commonly used to convey the notion of freedom.

Ostrich Cape, 1933

Vogue magazine in 1933 made a point in telling its readers that ostrich feathers were the latest fashion trend.

Crocodile Purse

This purse was made from either a baby crocodile or caiman.  The entire animal including the head was used.  

Cocktail Hat, 1952, France

Material:  Satin and feathers

The feathers for this hat more than likely came from the Polish chicken (a show breed).  That particular bird is well known for its unique look

Feather Fan

The feathers used to make this fan come from a bird with beautiful multi-colored green feathers.

Feather Fan

The feathers used to make this fan come from a bird with elegant beige and white-colored feathers.  

Fashion & Accessories (for men)

Spider Silk Tie, 2017, USA

Designer:  Bolt Threads

Material: Synthetic spider silk

The tie hanging on the wall is the first commercially available product in the world made of synthetically produced spider silk (known for its strength and elasticity).  In 2017, 50 of these ties were released with the very first one given to Stan Lee, the creator of “Spider Man”.

Green Suit, 1972, France

Designer: Yves Saint Laurent

Material:  Velveteen

The designer thought that the bright green color was a flamboyant signal to potential mates.  More than likely the designer was thinking of the animal kingdom in which the male of the species is almost always more colorful than the female.

Rose Suit, 2017, Italy

Designer: Alessandro Michele

Material:  Silk, sequins, and silk velvet

This designer also was thinking of the animal kingdom when he made this suit.  No doubt he was thinking of Charles Darwin (the famous naturalist and biologist) who observed in bird species that the male bird is usually the most flamboyant.

Haute Couture From the Past (1700's - 1900's for men and women)

Floral Waistcoat and Jacket (for men), 1790, USA

Material: Wool and linen with silk embroidery

At the time designers used flowers (even in men’s fashions) to denote romance and seduction.

Next to the waistcoat is a beautiful red silk women’s evening gown. Both outfits would have only been worn by men and women from the upper class of society.


French Dress, 1760’s, France

Material:  Silk and cotton

From France, this dress’ style was known as “Robes å la francaise”.  It was the hallmark of elegance during the reign of Louis XV, worn by women within the French aristocracy.  Note the  beautiful and colorful bouquets of carnations and peonies. Such a dress would have been highly prized and expensive.

Silk Tassel Evening Gown, 1859, USA

Material:  Taffeta and net

The designer has used silk tassels as well as tiers of cut and uncut velvet to add style to this evening dress.

Bluish-Green Colored Evening Gown

The material to make this gown was more than likely silk.  The designer has used a trim of white silk to add contrast to this bluish-green colored gown.  

Wedding Gown, 1875, USA

Material:  Silk

This gown is trimmed with pieces of faux orange blossoms and leaves of grass (which appear to be sprouting from the dress).

Apparently, orange blossoms commonly adorned 19th Century wedding gowns, making this gown definitely in style for that period.

Lace Dress

The lace was dyed beige, possibly to give more elegance to the design.  

The extensive use of lace conveys a strong sense of femininity.  

Evening Coat, 1908, France

Designer:  Paul Poiret

Material:  Silk faille and gold thread

Both the collar and cuffs are trimmed with fringe that gives the coat an appearance of a well known bird of prey – the vulture.  More than likely such a coat was designed for a woman who wanted to project an aura of strength and authority.  Definitely a woman would be noticed wearing such an evening coat!

Photos of Outlandish Fashion - Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK