House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937). Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1962). Evening dress (detail), summer 1961. Black silk gazar, polychrome silk flowers, silk and cotton leaves
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A Fashion-Forward Gift: The Sandy Schreier Collection at The Met

A pioneering collector has promised The Met 165 extraordinary works of 20th-century couture and more—highlights of which are on display in the exhibition “In Pursuit of Fashion”

Moschino Cheap and Chic (Italian, founded 1988). Franco Moschino (Italian, 1950–1994). “Art Is Love” dress, spring/summer 1993. Ivory, red, blue, yellow, and black silk crepe embroidered with black silk cord

 

Through decades of pioneering acquisitions, the scholar and fashion expert Sandy Schreier has assembled one of the finest private collections in the United States.

From left: Jean Dessès (French, born Egypt, 1904–1970). Evening dress, autumn/winter 1953–54. Yellow silk chiffon | Zandra Rhodes (British, born 1940). Ensemble, spring/summer 1976. Polychrome-printed blue silk chiffon embroidered with blue floral sequins; blue silk jersey | Stephen Sprouse (American, 1953–2004). Dress, autumn/winter 1983–84. Black-and-pink printed silk crepe embroidered with clear sequins

 

In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, The Costume Institute’s fall 2019 exhibition, celebrates Schreier’s extraordinary promised gift to the Museum of some 165 works of 20th-century fashion. This gift represents a vital component of The Met’s 2020 Collections Initiative, in honor of the Museum’s 150th anniversary.

Christian Francis Roth (American, born 1969). “Breakfast” suit, spring/summer 1990. Black linen plain weave with yellow and white fried-egg appliqué

 

“I always saw myself as a fashion savior,” says Schreier. “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.” The collection features exquisite early 20th-century pieces by such forward-thinking couturiers as Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, Maria Monaci Gallenga, and Gilbert Adrian, alongside creations by more recent fashion avant-gardists including Zandra Rhodes, Karl Lagerfeld, and Stephen Sprouse.

Left: Monica Monaci Gallenga (Italian, 1880–1944). Tea gown, 1920s. Black and blue-green silk velvet printed with metallic pigment, black silk cord, and polychrome glass beads. Right: Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (Spanish, 1871–1949). Coat, 1920s-30s. Brown and gree silk velvet on silk-cotton ground printed with metallic pigment. “Delphos” dress, 1920s–30s. Pleated green silk charmeuse, navy silk cord, and brown-and-white glass beads

 

Comprising fashion ensembles, accessories, illustrations, and more—starting with a 1908 pochoir album, Les Robes de Paul Poiret, up through a 2004 Phillip Treacy butterfly hat—the Schreier gift will form a key part of The Costume Institute’s holdings, and enhance The Met collection as a center for the study of fashion history. “I am elated that these pieces will now live on as my legacy at The Met,” Schreier says, “where they can be conserved and shared with the public, designers, and scholars for eternity.”

Clockwise from left: Isaac Mizrahi (American, born 1961). Hat, autumn/winter 2009–10. | Philip Treacy (British, born Ireland, 1966). Hat, spring 2003 haute couture. | Moschino Couture (Italian, founded 1983). Franco Moschino (Italian, 1950–1994). Gloves, 1980s. Brown leather wth appliqué of red patent leather nails

 

Discover the catalogue for In Pursuit of Fashion, as well as postcard packs featuring select ensembles from the Schreier collection, at store.metmuseum.org.

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