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"Pursuit of Fashion: the greatest private collection about fashion now shown at the MET of New York"

This autumn the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) of New York will host “In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection”, an exhibition that will show one of the finest and most extraordinary fashion collections of the United States: American fashion historian Sandy Schreier’s.

The show will explore how Schreier amassed a trove of 20th-century French and American couture and ready-to-wear, not as a wardrobe, but as an appreciation of a form of creative expression: «Sandy Schreier’s gift—one of the largest in recent Costume Institute history—will dramatically enrich the Museum’s holdings of 20th-century fashion. We are thrilled and honored to receive these important treasures, and we look forward to presenting an exhibition that celebrates the exceptional artistry of the objects and reflects on the origins and impact of this tremendous collection», said Max Hollein, Director of The Met.

Abito Cristóbal Balenciaga summer 1954. Foto © Nicholas Alan Cope

The exhibition features approximately 80 of the 165 promised gifts, selected from Schreier’s extensive collection by the curators of the exhibition: Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu, and Jessica Regan. On view in The Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries, the show will also feature accessories and fashion illustrations. Andrew Bolton stated: «Sandy’s incredibly generous gift will strengthen our collection immeasurably through the addition of historically significant pieces of 20th-century fashion. Amassed through a deep passion for the art of fashion—as well as sheer determination—Sandy’s gift will introduce rare designs into our holdings, allowing us to tell a more nuanced story of fashion history through the achievements of its most innovative designers».

Abito da sera Vionnet PE 1931 Foto © Nicholas Alan Cope

Schreier, who has been passionate about fashion since childhood, stated: «I always saw myself as a fashion savior. My passion for fashion as an art form drove me to search for the most innovative, creative, and breathtaking objects by well-known and lesser-known talents. I am elated that these pieces will now live on as my legacy at The Met, where they can be conserved and shared with the public, designers, and scholars for eternity». Schreier collected iconic works by designers long recognised for their leading roles in shaping the direction of fashion, as well as innovative couturiers often underrepresented in museum collections, such Boué Soeurs, Madeleine & Madeleine, and Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix. Jessica Regan commented: «Sandy showed remarkable vision in preserving modern fashion at a time when few collectors appreciated it as an art form. The exceptional objects in this gift reflect the discriminating eye and extraordinary dedication of a lifelong collector».

Karl Lagerfeld per Chloè. Abito collezione summer 1984. Foto © Nicholas Alan Cope

The exhibit, which will include creations of several designers such as Cristóbal Balenciaga, Charles James, Karl Lagerfeld, and Madeleine Vionnet, will take place from November 27, 2019, to May 17, 2020, and will be a part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Met’s founding in 2020.

Words by Elena Affricani


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