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New Acquisitions

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Jacques Fath This dress is currently on view in the exhibition Faking It.

Jacques Fath for Joseph Halpert
Cocktail dress
Silk satin
1952, USA
Museum purchase, 2013.19.1

Couturier Jacques Fath expanded his business in 1948 by signing a contract with American manufacturer Joseph Halpert. Soon, Fath began traveling to New York twice a year to design distinctive ready-to-wear collections especially for his American clients. The fullness of the silk satin skirt shows that luxury was not compromised in his ready-to-wear designs.


Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony (Humberto Leon and Carol Lim)
Ensemble; dress, jacket, tunic, shoes
Neoprene, leather, suede, metal
Spring 2014, USA
Gift of Opening Ceremony, 2013.54.1

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have positioned Opening Ceremony as a global trendsetter, selling a variety of products under constantly shifting themes. Initially, these themes focused on particular countries, featuring street style objects alongside creations by up-and-coming designers. Drawing inspiration from Korea,they carried this global interest into the design of their first runway collection, which included this ensemble.


Léon Bakst for the Ballets Russes This costume is currently on view in the exhibition Dance and Fashion.

Léon Bakst for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes
Costume for a Young Man, Schéhérazade
Velvet, cotton
1910, Russia
Museum purchase, 2014.1.1

Léon Bakst’s costumes and sets for Schéhérazade were pivotal in launching a vogue for Orientalist style. As Cecil Beaton recalled: “A fashion world that had been dominated by corsets, lace, feathers, and pastel shades soon found itself in a city that overnight had become a seraglio of vivid colours, harem skirts, beads, fringes, and voluptuousness . . . all of which could be traced back to Bakst.”


Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen
Ensemble: dress and corset
Silk organza, leather
Spring 2009, UK
Museum purchase, 2014.38.1

An Alexander McQueen floral printed organza cocktail dress with matching leather corset from  the  'NATURAL Dis-Tinction, Un-Natural Selection' collection, Spring-Summer, 2009. The strapless dress with integral corset is printed with grasses, butterflies and wild flowers and the skirt falls in polonaised drapes. The faux crocodile corset with white top-stitched detailing is shaped to emphasise the curve of the waist. (description and image from Kerry Taylor Auctions)


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