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“High Style” is Filled with Fashion Inspiration and Information

"High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection and the Metropolitan Museum of Art" by Jan Glier Reeder is filled with detailed, full-color photos of fashions and accessories from the 1760s through the 1980s.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to get to NYC to visit the current fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity) or the related exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum (American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection), you’ll want to read “High Style” by Jan Glier Reeder. Nearly every page of this 256-page comprehensive book includes a  captivating, full-color photo of one of the collection’s lavish garments or accessories.

It is the first extensive publication depicting Brooklyn Museum’s internationally renowned historic costume collection. The nearly 25,000-object collection comprises fashionable women’s and men’s garments and accessories from the 18th through the 20th century. It features sumptuous 19th-century gowns from the House of Worth, exquisite works by the great 20th-century French couturiers, iconic Surrealist-based designs of Elsa Schiaparelli, sportswear classics from pioneer American women designers, and the incomparable draped and tailored creations of Charles James, plus much more. The exquisite photos will provide you with unexpected inspiration for your personal sewing and fashion design.

In 2009, the Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art entered into a groundbreaking long-term partnership to care for Brooklyn’s collection. The objects were transferred to The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan, with Brooklyn maintaining curatorial access. The exhibits currently on display at both museums will run through August.

The book’s author, Jan Glier Reeder, is the Consulting Curator for the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection.


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  1. Stitichy | | #1

    This is a wonderful book.

    I admire the women who wore some of these outfits, especially the ones 200 or so years ago. The fabric/dresses must have weighed a ton, probably hand sewn, and how did they ever keep them clean? No perma-press polyester fibre. And what did you do in a heat wave, all corsetted up? Probably, swooned a lot.

    The gowns are truly beautiful and definitely are works of art.

  2. alb4ever | | #2

    I like the 1st 2nd and last dresses the best. They're gourgous!

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