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The Museum at FIT to host ‘Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors’ exhibition

By Rachel Douglass

Nov 15, 2022

Culture

Pauline Trigère New York, circa 1968. Image: The Museum at FIT, ‘Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors’

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) has unveiled a new exhibition centred around the connections between high fashion and interior decoration, set to take place from November 30 to May 14, 2023.

‘Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors’ will feature 60 garments and accessories by 40 female designers, including Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Ann Lowe and Mary Quant.

The works will be displayed alongside photographs of interiors and a selection of large-scale drawings created exclusively for the exhibition by artist and FIT associate professor of illustration, Bil Donovan.

Elsa Schiaparelli Paris, summer 1938. Image: The Museum at FIT, ‘Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors’

Interiors will range from luxe couture salons and apartments designed by architects and interior designers, to ateliers and homes decorated by the designers themselves.

Examples like Chanel’s Paris home and Anna Sui’s New York apartment will be among those displayed, each attempting to explore the parallels of fashion and interior design.

The exhibition will begin with items dating back to the 18th century, with designs by Edwardian couturiers like Jeanne Paquin and the Callot Sisters included.

Visitors will then move on to interwar years and designs following World War II, before coming into an area focused on London’s swinging 1960s.

Attributed to Pauline Potter Fairfax for Hattie Carnegie New York, circa 1950. Image: The Museum at FIT, ‘Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors’

A few fashion designers who left the industry to become decorators are also featured, such as Barbara Hulanicki and Pauline Fairfax Potter, who was known for her French home, Château Mouton.

In a release, Patricia Mears, MFIT’s deputy director and curator of the exhibition, said: "Fashion designers have avidly incorporated interior decoration into their personal and professional lives.

“Although there have been many articles and books documenting this phenomenon, Designing Women: Fashion Creators and Their Interiors is the first exhibition to explore the connection between these intertwined disciplines."

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