Created in 1902, Julius Klinger’s book of design and ornament, La Femme dans la Décoration Moderne, is a graphic celebration of the feminine. The 30 pages of motifs contained within—which all feature women—were intended to be sources of inspiration for practitioners of … Continue reading →
Over the last few years, Material Mode has frequently referenced the symbiotic relationship between Parisian couture and American fashion during the first half of the 20th century. US-based ready-to-wear manufacturers looked to Paris to set the mode, which they … Continue reading →
One of the most seminal figures in the history of American fashion was not, in fact, a designer at all. For more than seven decades, Eleanor Lambert (1903-2003) was American fashion’s greatest champion and advocate, pulling the strings behind the … Continue reading →
While sorting though a recent donation, a small collection of exquisitely detailed sketches by one Fira Benenson came to perk my curiosity. Her name was unfamiliar to me, and as someone who spends a great deal of time immersed in … Continue reading →
Three tennis looks, created by an unidentified French designer in 1926, the year women’s professional tennis was established. Material Mode has a quibble. After attending the exhibition The Rise of Sneaker … Continue reading →
(click to enlarge) In early November 1793, amidst the most violent period of the French Revolution, the National Convention issued this decree declaring that the citizens of France were “free to wear such garments appropriate to their sex in … Continue reading →
As a fashion historian, working in a Special Collections unit which focuses almost entirely on the history of design, is both a fantastic job and a wonderful education in its own right. The objects which encompass my day-to-day routine continually … Continue reading →
Beginning in the late 1970s, FIT library director John Touhey initiated the collection of oral histories as told by prominent members of the American fashion industry. Over the course of several decades, fashion designers, department store executives, Hollywood costume … Continue reading →
While is it true during the 1920s and 1930s, that Paris couture was a rich source of design inspiration, the garment industry in the United States—particularly in the realm of manufacturing—was a robust, thriving segment of our … Continue reading →
We are getting a makeover! Currently, our collections and offices are housed a temporary space where they will reside during our renovation. We are still located on the 4th floor of the Library, just follow the signs to E427.
Due to the renovation and pending move, we are currently not accepting research appointments. We expect to be relocated into our new space by the end of February and look forward to servicing your request after this time. Please email or call for updates or inquiries.