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Emily Ripley, Museum Studies: Fashion and Textile History Alum
Research Assistant, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

If I were to trace my love of my subject all the way back, it would be to Cinderella, drawing what I believed to be Cinderella ball gowns in an obsessive manner. I drew the same dress over and over again when I was 7 or 8. Somehow I was trying to make a better one each time, truer to what I saw in my head. It’s my nature—I dig. That’s why I loved this program so much. I was able to research—it’s my passion to find the truth, the same way I was trying to find the truth in my own drawing as a kid.

Working with objects in my internship at The Museum at FIT was tremendously important. I valued the program particularly because it was object-based, whereas other schools’ programs are theory-based. To be able to get close to a 17th-century comb was really thrilling to me, and the FIT museum is full of amazing objects like that. When I saw the FIT program advertised as “Museum Studies” that very much appealed to me, but I had no clue it was going to be this practical and hands-on, and I had no idea how incredible the FIT collection was. There’s such a world of difference between seeing an object in a book and being able to handle the object. The truth of the physical object is so important.

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