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Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion

The Costume Institute’s Fall 2016 exhibition features significant acquisitions of the past 10 years and explores how the department has honed its collecting strategy to amass masterworks of the highest aesthetic and technical quality, including iconic works by designers who have changed fashion history and advanced fashion as an art form.

The exhibition, in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, highlights approximately 60 of these masterworks from the early 18th century to the present. The Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery is organized chronologically with ensembles shown on platforms resembling oversized packing crates. The Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery features some of the ensembles donated by designers in honor of Harold Koda upon his retirement as curator in charge of the Costume Institute in January 2016.

The exhibition will include masterworks by French designers Azzedine Alaïa, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga), Jeanne Lanvin, Christian Louboutin, Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent (House of Dior), Hedi Slimane (Saint Laurent), and Madeleine Vionnet.