A Museum for Costume Design School Students

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

May 5, 2006

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As a student of clothing design, particularly of costume design, you've likely made a trip to the Metropolitan's Costume Institute in New York. If you haven't, you are in for a treat. Here's some of what you've been missing as well as a few exhibits on the horizon.

Unlike traditional museums, the Costume Institute doesn't have a permanent collection on display. The museum chalks it up to "the sensitive nature of the works" (according to its website). But don't worry, the museum holds regular exhibits of clothing designs of the greatest designers in history.

In 2005, the Institute ran an exhibit in honor of design legend Coco Chanel, showcasing her famous designs and exploring the themes and trends in her work that endure today.

Attendees of costume design school can also catch shows about cultural influences on design. One recent exhibit explored the skirt in men's fashion, going back as far as ancient Greece to examine a style that is nearly exclusively worn by women today. As you'd expect, close attention was paid to the kilt, as its association with masculinity has endured along with its use in certain cultural contexts.

But enough about the past, clothing design students and fashion devotees have another exhibit to look forward to, the opening of a show focusing on British fashion titled "AngloMania." The holdings on display will highlight English fashion from the 70s through 2006, what the Costume Institute considers the most experimental years of fashion.

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While attending exhibits at the Costume Institute can only enrich your understanding of the history of design, you still need the classroom--either a formal one or your own, if you're particularly industrious--to learn about creating clothes from the conceptualization stage to stitching them together. That's what costume design school is for. Find out about schools in your area and get started on a clothing design career today.


About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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