SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Celebrates the 10th BIRTHDAY of its Famed 10022-SHOE Salon

It’s been 10 years since Saks revolutionized the shoe industry with a shoe floor so big it needed its own zip code; the luxury retailer marks this incredible milestone with more than 75 exclusive styles, windows featuring custom designer birthday cakes, exclusive made-to-order programs, and moredownload (2)

On August 17, Saks Fifth Avenue will celebrate the 10th birthday of its famed 10022-SHOE salon. A pioneer in the footwear industry, Saks Fifth Avenue was among the first retailers to place a greater focus on shoes by creating a shoe department so big, the U.S. Postal Service granted the floor its own ZIP code―10022-SHOE. And now, 10 years later, 10022-SHOE is home to 110 designer brands―a number that has more than doubled since its inception in 2007; holds as many as 200,000 pairs of shoes; and has been expanded into 25 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Brands such as Jimmy Choo, CHANEL, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Saint Laurent, and Gucci, among others, have been with 10022-SHOE since the very beginning and will honor its 10th birthday at Saks with exclusive styles, made-to-order programs, custom birthday cake window designs, and more.

Saks Fifth Avenue

(Photo Courtesy of PRNewsfoto/Saks Fifth Avenue)

Throughout the past 10 years, Saks Fifth Avenue has held a constant and dominating presence in the shoe industry, selling on average 850,000 pairs of shoes per year, which equates to approximately 8.5 million over the course of its 10 year history―that’s enough “shoe footage” to travel up and down the Empire State Building close to 2,000 times!

Coupled with its impressive selection, 10022-SHOE has played host to many launches, exhibitions and firsts:

  • In 2008, 10022-SHOE was chosen to host the 70th anniversary exhibition of ruby slippers honoring the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz,” which included styles by designers including Oscar de la Renta, Stuart Weitzman and Roger Vivier, as well as Judy Garland‘s original ruby slippers designed by Adrian Greenberg of MGM studios;
  • From 2008 to 2015, designers such as Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura, Paul Andrew and Nicholas Kirkwood, among many others, made special appearances at 10022-SHOE locations across the country;
  • In early 2015, 10022-SHOE paid tribute to Disney’s live-action film inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella,” by collaborating, in partnership with Disney Consumer Products, with nine luxury designers―including Paul Andrew, Tabitha Simmons, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jimmy Choo and Salvatore Ferragamo―to create their own interpretations of Cinderella‘s famed glass slipper;
  • Later in 2015, 10022-SHOE made history with the launch of Manolo Blahnik’s first U.S. shop-in-shop in the United States; and
  • In 2016, Saks opened its first store dedicated solely to shoes—10022-SHOE Greenwich—located in the heart of Greenwich, CT.

The strength and growth of 10022-SHOE over the past 10 years is a testament to Saks’ commitment to the footwear category as well as our customers’ desire for the depth and breadth of our designer and emerging designer shoe assortment,” stated Tracy Margolies, Chief Merchant, Saks Fifth Avenue. “10022-SHOE is a landmark for shoe lovers in New York City and around the world for one-of-a-kind merchandise and experiences that they cannot find anywhere else―a core principle of Saks’ identity.”

Beginning this month, Saks Fifth Avenue is celebrating 10022-SHOE‘s 10th birthday with:

  • More than 75 exclusive shoe styles from powerhouse brands such as Aquazzura, Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, Valentino Garavani and Gianvito Rossi;
  • 12 exclusive made-to-order programs, including programs by Prada, Alexandre Birman, Manolo Blahnik, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roger Vivier and Jimmy Choo; and
  • 16 designer Happy Birthday 10022-SHOE cakes featured in the New York flagship store’s windows designed by brands such as Valentino Garavani, Gianvito Rossi, Gucci and Prada.

From Thursday, Aug. 17 until Sunday, Aug. 20, Saks will showcase a visual installation in its New York flagship, entitled “10 Galleries: A Decade of Shoes.” Each of the 10 installations will play off the 10022-SHOE exclusive items and trends and invite customers to discover, interact with, and celebrate all things shoes.

Notable footwear designers share memories about Saks Fifth Avenue and 10022-SHOE:

Designer Christian Louboutin speaks about his fondest memory of Saks’ 10022-SHOE: “Doing a personal appearance on the shoe level when it was first opened where women told me intimate stories about themselves and their shoes. It made me understand the desire of the American customer, their differences in their approach, and their taste for luxury.”

Designer Manolo Blahnik speaks about his fondest memory of Saks’ 10022-SHOE: “I think when we first launched our boutique in 2015―we had a book signing and dinner. It was an honour to meet so many women who loved my shoes … I love it [Saks]! It has always been one of my favourite stores, so beautiful and feminine!

Designer Sandra Choi of Jimmy Choo―a brand which first launched at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1997―recalls her favorite memory, designing the commemorative 2007 10022-SHOE stamp: “The custom Jimmy Choo stamp I designed for the inauguration of the shoe floor 10 years ago. It was designed to reflect the unique zip code that was created to mark the opening. It featured a sketch I drew of a signature pump, it was such a fun and original idea.”

Designer Nicholas Kirkwood speaks to his exclusive 10022-SHOE birthday style: “I wanted to create something completely different to celebrate the 10022-SHOE 10th birthday, but also something special, and I loved the idea of the interplay between masculinity and femininity so it was from there that I designed the Combat boot.”

Designer Paul Andrew speaks about his partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue: “Saks has been a signifier of style and sophistication since they opened their doors for the first time in 1924. When I launched my own brand in 2013, my very first order came from Saks. It was a surreal moment—and Saks will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason.”

Designer Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura speaks fondly about Saks Fifth Avenue: “Saks is such an iconic shopping hub, especially the historic Fifth Avenue flagship, and it’s just amazing to be carried there and all over the United States … Saks was the first department store to buy AQUAZZURA in the U.S. and as one of our key partners, they have continued to believe in me and my designs ever since. Over the years the working relationship has blossomed into a friendship.

Check out Saks’ 10 top shoe trends in the upcoming Saks Fifth Avenue Shoe Book, which will be available in stores and on saks.com August 16. Visitors can view their local stores’ 10022-SHOE celebratory activities on the Store & Locations page on Saks.com. Saks Fifth Avenue also welcomes viewers to connect via its social channels, and to follow #10022SHOE for insider access.

Jacqueline de Ribes: The Essence of True Glamour and Style at The Met’s Costume Institute

Style is what makes you different; it’s your own stamp, a message about yourself.” – Countess Jacqueline de Ribes.

The Costume Institute’s Fall 2015 exhibition, Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the 20th century.

Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior, 1959 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Roloff Beny, Roloff Beny Estate

Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior, 1959. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Roloff Beny, Roloff Beny Estate

A close study of de Ribes’s life of creative expression yields illuminating insights into her strategies of style,” said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, who organized the exhibition. “Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art. When she established her own fashion house, her friend Yves Saint Laurent gave his blessing to the venture as a welcome projection of her elegance.”

The press preview for Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, was a somber affair. The guest of honor and the exhibition’s subject, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, was not in attendance for obvious reasons. The Costume Institute released the following statement:

Following the tragic events in Paris, Jacqueline de Ribes has canceled her trip to New York for the opening of Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. She would like to express her gratitude to all her friends at the Met with whom she has collaborated for so many months, and hopes that they will understand her decision.

Comtesse de Ribes also knows how much Americans share the deep sadness felt in France, which confirms the enduring bond between the two countries. She hopes the exhibition will represent the joy associated with the freedom of creation.

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1983 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Victor Skrebneski, Skrebneski Photograph © 1983

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1983
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Victor Skrebneski, Skrebneski
Photograph © 1983

As reported by Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times, the planned dinner on Wednesday, hosted by the House of Dior, in honor of the exhibition was downgraded to a cocktail reception in business dress.

While I was looking forward to seeing the Countess in person (having read so much about her in magazines and newspapers since the early 1980’s), I must also say that, even without her there, the exhibition fully represented her far-reaching talents, self-assuredness and strong belief in her own sense of what works for her and how her public life (and charitable works) changed the world around her. In a time when “style icons” are anointed based on the work of their Svengali-like stylists who tell them what to wear (usually obscenely expensive designer dresses borrowed for the night, including the jewelery AND the shoes), where to wear them (most often than not to red-carpet events) and how to wear them, the Countess is the REAL DEAL. Most everyone else is a pale imitation.

Jacqueline de Ribes, 1955 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Richard Avedon, ©The Richard Avedon Foundation

Jacqueline de Ribes, 1955, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Richard Avedon,
©The Richard Avedon Foundation

Elegance. It’s an attitude. A frame of mind. An intuition, a refusal, a rigor, a research, a knowledge. The attitude of elegance is also a way of behaving.

Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (born 1929 in Paris to aristocratic parents) is seen by many as the ultimate personification of Parisian elegance. She was, with the American and Italian beauties Gloria Vanderbilt and Marella Agnelli, among the small flock of “Swans” photographed by Richard Avedon and written about by Truman Capote in 1959.

Married at age 19 to the late Édouard, Vicomte de Ribes (he became the Count de Ribes upon the death of his father in 1981), the traditions of her in-laws precluded her from becoming a career woman. However, as an independent spirit, she channeled her creativity into a series of ventures linked by fashion, theater, and style. In 1956, de Ribes was nominated for Eleanor Lambert’s Best-Dressed List. At the time, she had only a handful of couture dresses, as most of her wardrobe was comprised of her own designs, which she made herself or with a dressmaker. Four more nominations followed, and resulted in her induction into the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1962.

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1986 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Francesco Scavullo, The Francesco Scavullo Foundation and The Estate of Francesco Scavullo

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1986
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Francesco
Scavullo, The Francesco Scavullo Foundation and The Estate of Francesco
Scavullo

When I was a small child, there were two women I admired. One was a friend of my mother’s who was an ambassadress. The other was Coco Chanel. It seems I always wanted to be a designer.”

Photographed by the world’s leading talents including Slim Aarons, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Robert Doisneau, Horst, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Irving Penn, Francesco Scavullo, Victor Skrebneski, and Juergen Teller, her image came to define an effortless elegance and a sophisticated glamour, something you cannot say about so many of the women today that defines the term, “modern style icons.” As Carolina Herrera recently remarked in a newspaper interview (and I am paraphrasing here), “How can someone be a style icon when they are not wearing any clothes?” in reference to the trio of music and Hollywood stars who attended the recent Met Ball in “dresses” that left almost nothing to the imagination. And Mrs. Herrera is right. If you want to see what a TRUE style icon is, run, don’t walk, to The Met to see Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style.

You must remember that you’re never going to be sexy for everyone. You are sexy for someone and for someone else you are not. Being totally nude is not sexy. The art of being sexy is to suggest. To let people have fantasy.”

Gallery View, Evening Wear © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View, Evening Wear
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The thematic exhibition features approximately 60 ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy dress balls, which she often made by cutting up and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create unexpected, thematic, and conceptually nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the epitome of international style.

A muse to haute couture designers, they placed at her disposal their drapers, cutters, and fitters in acknowledgment of their esteem for her taste and originality. Ultimately, she used this talent and experience to create her own successful design business, which she directed from 1982 to 1995.

Gallery View, Evening Wear © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View, Evening Wear
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

My mirror, my only truthful advisor.”

While the exhibition explores her taste and style methodology, extensive documentation from her personal archives illustrates the range and depth of her professional life, including her roles as theatrical impresario, television producer, interior designer, and director and organizer of international charity events. Continue reading

Costume Institute’s Fall Exhibition to Focus on Fashion Icon Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style

The Costume Institute’s Fall 2015 exhibition, Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, will focus on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the 20th century. The exhibition will be on view in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center from November 19, 2015 through February 21, 2016.  

A close study of de Ribes’s life of creative expression yields illuminating insights into her strategies of style,” said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, who is organizing the exhibition. “Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art. When she established her own fashion house, her friend Yves Saint Laurent gave his blessing to the venture as a welcome projection of her elegance.”

Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (born 1929 in Paris to aristocratic parents) is seen by many as the ultimate personification of Parisian elegance. She was, with the American and Italian beauties Gloria Vanderbilt and Marella Agnelli, among the small flock of “Swans” photographed by Richard Avedon and written about by Truman Capote in 1959. 

Married at age 19 to Édouard, Vicomte de Ribes (he became the Count de Ribes upon the death of his father in 1981), the traditions of her in-laws precluded her from becoming a career woman. An independent spirit, she channeled her creativity into a series of ventures linked by fashion, theater, and style. In 1956, de Ribes was nominated for Eleanor Lambert’s Best-Dressed List. At the time, she had only a handful of couture dresses, as most of her wardrobe was comprised of her own designs, which she made herself or with a dressmaker.  Four more nominations followed, and resulted in her induction into the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1962.  

Photographed by the world’s leading talents including Slim Aarons, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Robert Doisneau, Horst, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Irving Penn, Francesco Scavullo, Victor Skrebneski, and Juergen Teller, her image came to define an effortless elegance and a sophisticated glamour.

In 1999, Jean Paul Gaultier dedicated his haute couture collection to her with the title “Divine Jacqueline,” and in 2010, she received the Légion d’Honneur from then French President Nicolas Sarkozy for her philanthropic and cultural contributions to France.

The thematic exhibition will feature approximately 60 ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from 1959 to the present. Also included will be her creations for fancy dress balls, which she often made by cutting up and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create unexpected, thematic, and conceptually nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs and ephemera, will tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the epitome of international style.  

A muse to haute couture designers, they placed at her disposal their drapers, cutters, and fitters in acknowledgment of their esteem for her taste and originality. Ultimately, she used this talent and experience to create her own successful design business, which she directed from 1982 to 1995.  

While the exhibition will focus on her taste and style methodology, extensive documentation from her personal archives will illustrate the range and depth of her professional life, including her roles as theatrical impresario, television producer, interior designer, architect, and director and organizer of international charity events.

Designers in the exhibition will include Giorgio Armani, Pierre Balmain, Bill Blass, Marc Bohan for House of Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Jacqueline de Ribes, John Galliano, Madame Grès (Alix Barton), Valentino Garavani, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Norma Kamali, Guy Laroche, Ralph Lauren, Ralph Rucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Fernando Sanchez for Révillon Frères, and Emanuel Ungaro.

Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style will run November 19, 2015–February 21, 2016 at the Anna Wintour Costume Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

 

China: Through the Looking Glass Exhibition Extended through September 7 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View: Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong Evening dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), autumn/winter 1998–99 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View:  Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong
Evening dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior
(French, founded 1947), autumn/winter 1998–99 haute couture; Courtesy of
Christian Dior Couture
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

China: Through the Looking Glass at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been extended by three weeks through Labor Day, September 7. The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute in collaboration with the Department of Asian Art, opened to the public on May 7, and has drawn more than 350,000 visitors in its first eight weeks.  To date, the exhibition’s attendance is pacing close to that of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), which was the most visited Costume Institute exhibition ever, as well as the Met’s eighth most popular.

Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong Ensemble, Paul Smith (British, born 1946), autumn/winter 2011-12; Courtesy of Paul Smith Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Astor Forecourt, Anna May Wong
Ensemble, Paul Smith (British, born 1946), autumn/winter 2011-12; Courtesy of
Paul Smith
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Export Silk Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Export Silk
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie Dress, 18th century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Fédération de la Soirie, 1950 (50.168.2a,b) Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie
Dress, 18th century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Fédération de la
Soirie, 1950 (50.168.2a,b)
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Charlotte C. Weber Galleries, Ancient China Dress, House of Givenchy (French, founded 1952), autumn/winter 1997-98 haute couture; Courtesy of Givenchy Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese Galleries, Charlotte C. Weber Galleries, Ancient China
Dress, House of Givenchy (French, founded 1952), autumn/winter 1997-98 haute
couture; Courtesy of Givenchy
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The exhibition, made possible by Yahoo, explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. High fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery. The exhibition, which was originally set to close on August 16, is curated by Andrew Bolton. Wong Kar Wai is artistic director and Nathan Crowley served as production designer.

This is The Costume Institute’s first collaboration with another curatorial department since AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion in 2006, a partnership with the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. China: Through the Looking Glass features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to- wear alongside masterpieces of Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are shaped by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which we understand the richness of Chinese history.

Jar with Dragon (Chinese), early 15th-century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1937 (37.191.1) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Plato

Jar with Dragon (Chinese), early 15th-century; The Metropolitan Museum of
Art, Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1937 (37.191.1)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Plato

Festival robe worn by Emperor Qianlong, second half of 18th-century; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1935 (35.84.8) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Festival robe worn by Emperor Qianlong, second half of 18th-century; The
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1935 (35.84.8)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Ralph Lauren (American, born 1939), autumn/winter 2011–12; Courtesy of Ralph Lauren Collection Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Ralph Lauren (American, born 1939), autumn/winter 2011–12;
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren Collection
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Jean Paul Gaultier (French, born 1952), autumn/winter 2001-2 haute couture; Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Jean Paul Gaultier (French, born 1952), autumn/winter 2001-2
haute couture; Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

13."Quiproquo" cocktail dress, Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), 1951; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1953 (C.I.53.40.38a-d) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon 14.Film Still from In the Mood for Love, 2000; Courtesy of Block 2 Pictures Inc. Photo: Courtesy

13.”Quiproquo” cocktail dress, Christian Dior (French, 1905–1957) for House of
Dior (French, founded 1947), 1951; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of
Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1953 (C.I.53.40.38a-d)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon
14.Film Still from In the Mood for Love, 2000; Courtesy of Block 2 Pictures Inc.
Photo: Courtesy

Dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), spring/summer 2003 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Dress, John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French,
founded 1947), spring/summer 2003 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior
Couture
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Encompassing approximately 30,000 square feet in 16 separate galleries in the Museum’s Chinese and Egyptian Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, it is The Costume Institute’s largest special exhibition ever, and also one of the Museum’s largest. With gallery space three times the size of a typical Costume Institute major spring show, China has accommodated large numbers of visitors without lines.

Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China
Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evening dress, Tom Ford (American, born 1961) for Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961), autumn/winter 2004–5; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Yves Saint Laurent, 2005 (2005.325.1) Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Tom Ford (American, born 1961) for Yves Saint Laurent, Paris
(French, founded 1961), autumn/winter 2004–5; The Metropolitan Museum
of Art, Gift of Yves Saint Laurent, 2005 (2005.325.1)
Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

The Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery presents a series of “mirrored reflections” focusing on Imperial China; the Republic of China, especially Shanghai in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s; and the People’s Republic of China. These reflections, as well as others in the exhibition, are illustrated with scenes from films by such groundbreaking Chinese directors as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Ang Lee, and Wong Kar Wai. Distinct vignettes are devoted to “women of style,” including Hu Die (known as Butterfly Wu), Oei Huilan (the former Madame Wellington Koo), and Soong Mei-Ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek).

Directly above the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the Chinese Galleries on the second floor showcase fashion from the 1700s to the present, juxtaposed with decorative arts from Imperial China, including jade, bronze, lacquer, and blue-and-white porcelain, mostly drawn from the Met’s collection. The Astor Court features a thematic vignette dedicated to Chinese opera, focusing on John Galliano’s Spring 2003 Christian Dior Haute Couture Collection.

Designers in the exhibition include Cristobal Balenciaga, Travis Banton, Bulgari, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Callot Soeurs, Cartier, Roberto Cavalli, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino Garavani, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Picciolo for Valentino, Craig Green, Guo Pei, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin, Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Alexander McQueen for Givenchy, Edward Molyneux, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Dries van Noten, Jean Patou, Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Smith, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vivienne Tam, Giambattista Valli, Vivienne Westwood, Jason Wu, and Laurence Xu.

This exhibition is one of the most ambitious ever mounted by the Met, and I want as many people as possible to be able see it,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met. “It is a show that represents an extraordinary collaboration across the Museum, resulting in a fantastic exploration of China’s impact on creativity over centuries.”

Museum Members will have early morning private access to the galleries from Wednesday, July 22, to Sunday, July 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., before the Museum opens to the public.

The Museum at FIT Explores “Global Fashion Capitals”

Fashion & Textile History Gallery, June 2 – November 14, 2015
All photographs © The Museum at FIT
The globalization of fashion has given rise to new fashion cities that now annually host hundreds of fashion weeks around the world. Each city’s cultural identity and particular economic, political, and social circumstances combine to elevate its designers to international attention. Global Fashion Capitals explores the history of the established fashion capitals, Paris, New York, Milan, and London, and the emergence of 16 new fashion cities (including Tokyo, Antwerp, Stockholm, Berlin, St. Petersburg/Moscow, Madrid, Sydney/Melbourne, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Istanbul and Mumbai).
A fashion capital is a city which has a major influence on international fashion trends and in which the design, production and retailing of fashion products – plus events such as fashion weeks, awards and trade fairs – generate significant economic output. The cities considered the Big Four fashion capitals of the world are: London, Paris, Milan and New York.
Fashion capitals usually have a broad mix of business, financial, entertainment, cultural and leisure activities and are internationally recognised for having a unique and strong identity. It has also been noted that the status of a fashion capital has become increasingly linked to a city’s domestic and international profile. Fashion capitals are also likely be part of a wider design scene, with design schools, fashion magazines and a local market of affluent consumers.
The exhibition (at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Seventh Avenue at 27 Street, New York City 10001-5992) opens with a digital style map that geographically locates the fashion capitals and showcases their latest runway and street style photographs. Global Fashion Capitals continues city-by-city, starting with Paris, the birthplace of haute couture, represented by designs from Charles Frederick Worth, Gabrielle Chanel, Christian Dior, and the emerging couturier, Bouchra Jarrar.

Fashion has always existed at the crossroads of art and consumerism and never more so than in today’s society. The way we perceive our desires, bodies, and eras shapes fashion every season, as it shapes us. Paris fashion is at the center of it all. The French were the first to make an industry out of fashion, not just dress-making, and they have been exporting their style since the 17th century which is frankly before most of the world had even realized what fashion was. It all kicked off in the 17th century when the association of France with fashion and style was initiated by, surprise surprise, Louis XIV’s court.

The House of Worth, Cape, Circa 1890. Paris. Gift of the Estate of Elizabeth Arden. 69.160.9 Hip-length cape in cream lace with wide neckline border of black silk velvet; trimmed with black silk chenille bobble tassels

The House of Worth, Cape, Circa 1890. Paris. Gift of the Estate of Elizabeth Arden. 69.160.9
Hip-length cape in cream lace with wide neckline border of black silk velvet; trimmed with black silk chenille bobble tassels

The House of Worth, Cape, Circa 1890. Paris. Gift of the Estate of Elizabeth Arden. 69.160.9 Hip-length cape in cream lace with wide neckline border of black silk velvet; trimmed with black silk chenille bobble tassels

The House of Worth, Cape, Circa 1890. Paris. Gift of the Estate of Elizabeth Arden. 69.160.9
Hip-length cape in cream lace with wide neckline border of black silk velvet; trimmed with black silk chenille bobble tassels

The Sun King made it his business to be at the center of all that was beautiful in the world so the luxury goods industry in France became a royal commodity. The creation of the fashion press in the 1670s catapulted French fashion into the spotlight and the notions of different fashion “seasons” and the changing of styles became available to a bigger audience. Louis XIV himself was responsible for starting the trend for outrageous wigs of curled hair. The king was going bald so he over-compensated and the rest of the court followed suit.

Balenciaga , Cocktail dress , 1959, Paris. Gift of Kay Kerr Uebel. 75.170.1_20050512_01 Short evening dress in chartreuse ribbed silk with black chinÈ r; with bateau neckline; bubble skirt on hip yoke; and attached black satin ribbon tie; separate coordinating black satin ribbon sash

Balenciaga , Cocktail dress , 1959, Paris. Gift of Kay Kerr Uebel. 75.170.1_20050512_01
Short evening dress in chartreuse ribbed silk with black chinÈ r; with bateau neckline; bubble skirt on hip yoke; and attached black satin ribbon tie; separate coordinating black satin ribbon sash

In fact, he moved the needle towards extravagant fashion even more so because of his wigs. The French Royal court turned into a farcical game of one-upmanship where fashion was concerned – Whose wig is the tallest? Whose skirt is the widest and most covered in tiny bows? In Paris fashion big was the rage. This was most evident in the french movie, Ridicule, the 1996 French film set in the 18th century at the decadent court of Versailles, where social status can rise and fall based on one’s ability to mete out witty insults and avoid ridicule oneself, as well as one’s ability to be the most preening peacock in the room. The story also examines the social injustices of late 18th century France, in showing the corruption and callousness of the aristocrats.

The rebels were, of course, very quick to change all this and went very fast towards the opposite direction — what before had been of a baroque, almost decadent, excess, now everything was simple — as per the ideas of the era and also because hygiene had improved wonders by now and people had to buy more fabric to have at least one piece of clothing to wear while they cleaned the other one. And then the 1800s came and department stores were opened, giving a boost to Paris fashion. Instead of courtiers, France now had the bourgeoisie and, as the driving force that made the economy move from hand to hand (as in, they could actually move money around), French fashion found its way into society.

It wasn’t long until the couturier (designer) was born. It is, of course, as usually with designers, a controversial statement, but a man from England named Charles Frederick Worth is more or less accepted into the popular vernacular as the man who totally dominated the industry. He was the first to be considered a designer and not just a dressmaker – he invented the fashion show and the fashion label as a status symbol. He went on to become so successful and respected, in fact, that he earned the final say on whatever their customers were going to wear, regardless of their opinion. He also came up with the idea of actually sketching the design before producing an expensive sample garment. He was hailed as a genius for that.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the French fashion industry exploded (Vogue was founded in 1892) and Jacques Doucet and Madeline Vionnet founded fashion houses. They were influenced by Art Nouveau and Orientalist trends and so finally women were “liberated” from corsets and heavy petticoats and instead wore their whimsical designs with flowing bias-cut dresses. In 1925 a little known designer called Coco Chanel first came into prominence and revolutionized Paris fashion and then the world’s.

In 1947, the world’s attention was on Paris once more as Christian Dior unveiled his “New Look” – the clinched in waists contrasted with majestic busts and full skirts delighted the post-war clientele in its femininity. Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Balmain both opened fashion houses soon after and Paris was the center of the world again.

The 1960s saw the Parisian youth becoming disillusioned with French fashion, (apparently too elegant and elaborate) favoring instead the casual style seen in London. In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent put Paris in the spotlight again with his a prêt-à-porter (“ready to wear”) line which made fashion accessible to the masses. In fact, even though Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin pushed fashion towards the future, creating bold shapes they always had to stay under YSL’s shadow. He was undoubtedly king of the latter part of the century. He pioneered the tuxedo suit for women, seducing everyone with his androgynous style and Left Bank beatnik chic.***

The New York section begins with a circa 1938 iridescent evening gown by Nettie Rosenstein and ends with Alexander Wang’s sporty spring/summer 2015 neon orange dress. New York also includes styles by Claire McCardell, Halston, and Ralph Lauren.
Nettie Rosenstein, Evening dress, Circa 1938, New York, Gift of Gloria Carr de Veynac. 76.32.1

Nettie Rosenstein, Evening dress, Circa 1938, New York, Gift of Gloria Carr de Veynac. 76.32.1

Claire McCardell, Dress, 1954, New York . Gift of Sally Kirkland. 76.33.34_20080425_01 Sleeveless dress in beige muslin with black windowpane check; fitted midriff panel; calf-length flared skirt; wide wrap & tie sash

Claire McCardell, Dress, 1954, New York . Gift of Sally Kirkland. 76.33.34_20080425_01
Sleeveless dress in beige muslin with black windowpane check; fitted midriff panel; calf-length flared skirt; wide wrap & tie sash

Milan claimed its place as Italy’s fashion capital during the 1970s. Milan has established a long history within the fields of fashion, textiles and design in general. Throughout the late 19th century, the Lombard capital was a major production centre, benefitting from its status as one of the country’s salient economic and industrial powerhouses. Milanese fashion, despite taking inspiration from the leading Parisian couture of the time, developed its own approach, which was by nature devoted to sobriety, simplicity and the quality of the fabric. Throughout the 20th century, the city expanded its role as a fashion centre, with a number of rising designers contributing to Milan’s image as a stylistic capital. Following this development, Milan emerged in the 1970s and 1980s as one of the world’s pre-eminent trendsetters, maintaining this stint well into the 1990s and 2000s and culminating with its entrenchment as one of the “big four” global fashion capitals. As of today, Milan is especially renowned for its role within the prêt-à-porter category of fashion.

Milan’s fashion history has evolved greatly throughout the years. Milan began as a center of fashion in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as in Venice and Florence, the making of luxury goods was an industry of such importance that in the 16th century the city gave its name to the English word “milaner” or “millaner”, meaning fine wares like jewellery, cloth, hats and luxury apparel. By the 19th century, a later variant, “millinery”, had come to mean one who made or sold hats.

In the mid-19th century cheaper silk began to be imported from Asia and the pest phylloxera damaged silk and wine production. More land was subsequently given over to industrialisation. Textile production was followed by metal and mechanical and furniture manufacture. In 1865, the first major department store in the country opened in Milan by the Bocconi brothers (which was called Alle Città d’Italia and later in 1921 became La Rinascente). This was regarded as a novelty at the time with regards to retailing in Italy. Though, traditionally, artisans would sell the items they made directly or to small stores, the opening of these new department stores modernized the distributions of clothes in the city.

In the 1880s and late 19th century, the Milanese style was partially inspired by French fashion, which at the time was still dominant in terms of influence, yet adapted according to local tastes; this included a generally somber and simple style, which was moderate in terms of decoration and ornamentation, and put an emphasis on the quality of tailoring and the different fabrics and textiles. The general Milanese interest in styling was reflected in the number of fashion magazines which circulated in the city at the time, as well as the fact that the people were ready to follow trends; nevertheless, the Milanese style was relatively traditional. The city had several tailors and seamstresses which in 1881 amounted to 249 and in 1886 to 383 (which were listed in guides).

In this period, the city was one of the biggest industrial powerhouses in Italy, and had a diversified fashion and clothing economy which was mainly based on small workshops rather than large companies (highlighted in an 1881 census). The importance of this industry continued in the city into the early 20th century, where 42,711 out of 175,871 workers were in the clothing sector in 1911.
However, in the 1970s, Milan’s fashion image became more glamorous, and as Florentine designs were deemed to be “very formal and expensive”, the city became a more popular shopping destination, with numerous boutiques which sold both elegant and everyday clothes. Milanese designs were known for their practicality and simple elegance, and became more popular and affordable than Florentine and Parisian designs. The city became one of the main capitals for ready-to-wear female and male fashion in the 1970s.  Milan started to become an internationally successful and famous fashion capital towards the late-1980s and early 1990s.
Milan has been home to numerous fashion designers, including Giorgio Armani, Valentino Garavani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferrè,Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, Miuccia Prada, Mariuccia Mandelli alias Krizia, Antonio Marras, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Franco Moschino, Gimmo Etro, Mila Schön, Nicola Trussardi, Ottavio Missoni, Donatella Versace, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Giuseppe Zanotti in addition to Fausto Puglisi, Francesco Scognamiglio, Alessandra Facchinetti, Gabriele Colangelo, Simonetta Ravizza, Stella Jean and Marco De Vincenzo, just to name a few younger designers.
Prada , Ensemble , Fall 2007, Milan, Gift of Prada, 2007.20.1 Coat with black textured wool blazer fringed with plastic strips, stitched to orange fleece skirt with rust pile hem band; red silk ribknit toeless stockings; black satin shoes with hardware buckle, high curved heel and back covered in taupe satin

Prada , Ensemble , Fall 2007, Milan, Gift of Prada, 2007.20.1
Coat with black textured wool blazer fringed with plastic strips, stitched to orange fleece skirt with rust pile hem band; red silk ribknit toeless stockings; black satin shoes with hardware buckle, high curved heel and back covered in taupe satin

Most of the major Italian fashion houses and labels are based in Milan, even though many of them were founded in other cities. They include: Armani, Bottega Veneta, Canali, Costume National, Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared2, Etro, Iceberg, Les Copains, Marni, Missoni, Miu Miu, Moncler, Frankie Morello, Moschino, MSGM, N°21, Prada, Fausto Puglisi, Tod’s, Trussardi, Valentino, Versace, Giuseppe Zanotti, Zagliani, Ermenegildo Zegna, and the eyewear company Luxottica.
Christopher Kane, Dress, Fall 2014, London, Museum Purchase, 2015.15.1

Christopher Kane, Dress, Fall 2014, London, Museum Purchase, 2015.15.1

Christopher Kane, Dress, Fall 2014, London, Museum Purchase, 2015.15.1

Christopher Kane, Dress, Fall 2014, London, Museum Purchase, 2015.15.1

London captured international attention with “youthquake” fashions during the 1960s. Provocative designers such as Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen established London as a creative fashion hub during the decades since.

 

When selecting which emerging fashion capitals to include in the exhibition, the curators considered a number of indicators to show that a city’s fashion scene is growing. All the featured cities are home to forward-thinking designers who have achieved domestic success and attracted international interest. They also hold fashion weeks attended by international press and fashion buyers.

 

 

Several factors drive the development of a city’s fashion scene—politics, economics, and government support among them. For example, Johannesburg fashion blossomed during the post-apartheid era, led by designers such as Nkhensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie. Current events in Ukraine have ignited the creativity of designers such as Anton Belinskiy, who staged a photoshoot amid Kiev’s street protests.
China’s economic growth over the last decade created consumer demand for international fashion, developing into support for successful domestic designers, such as Shanghai’s Masha Ma. Nigeria’s economy, the largest in Africa, supports Lagos’ developing fashion industry and the growing international reach of brands like Maki Oh and Lisa Folwaiyo. The governments of Copenhagen and Seoul actively fund and promote their fashion industries.
On October 13, 2015, The Museum at FIT, in conjunction with CUNY Graduate Center, will host a one day symposium on the topic of global fashion capitals. The morning session will take place on the FIT campus and will consist of a student fair, where visitors can interact with members of the international fashion community. The morning will also include a fashion show featuring five designers from emerging fashion capitals and a panel discussion moderated by MFIT curators Ariele Elia and Elizabeth Way. The afternoon session will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center, details to follow.
Global Fashion Capitals is organized by Ariele Elia, assistant curator of costume and textiles, and Elizabeth Way, curatorial assistant, The Museum at FIT.

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