The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses a collection of more than 35 000 pieces, dating as far back as the 15th century to now. The Institute curates two annual exhibitions featuring traditional regional dress, designer haute couture, costumes and accessories for women, men and children. All the clothing can’t be on public display all year round for risk of damage, but you can view photographs of the entire collection on the MET’s website.
I was browsing through the archives and found some exceptional dresses that caught my attention. The dresses below range in date from the 1910s to the 1940s. I was most struck by the intricacy of the detailing to the garments and the drape of the luxurious fabrics used by the designers. Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll be sharing some of my favourite finds from the archives of the 1950s to 1990s.
Date: 1903–4, Culture: American, Medium: silk
Date: 1908–10, Culture: probably American, Medium: linen, cotton
Designer: Madame Havet (French), Date: ca. 1922, Culture: French, Medium: silk, metal braid
Design House: Callot Soeurs (French, active 1895–1937), Date: 1920s, Culture: French
Date: 1926, Culture: French, Medium: silk
Date: 1925, Culture: French, Medium: silk
Department Store: B. Altman & Co. (American, 1865–1990), Date: early 1920s, Culture: American or European, Medium: silk
Design House: Callot Soeurs (French, active 1895–1937) Date: ca. 1925 Culture: French Medium: silk, metallic thread, glass
Design House: House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), Designer: Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, Saumur 1883–1971 Paris), Date: ca. 1930, Culture: French, Medium: silk
Design House: House of Lanvin (French, founded 1889), Designer: Jeanne Lanvin (French, 1867–1946), Date: 1939, Culture: French, Medium: silk, spangles
Images via www.metmuseum.org