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FIT Museum Relaunches its Online Collections

This suit, by designer Charles James, is one of the items featured in the MFIT Online Collections.

Designer: Charles James
Medium: Red silk with gold metallic threads
Date: 1955
Country: USA
Credit: Gift of Jill Anson Szarkowski

Digital databases of museum collections can be so helpful for everything from scholarly fashion research to pure inspiration for your own sewing projects. The Museum at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City recently relaunched its online collections database after spending months on its redesign and adding garments and accessories from its own fashion archives. The new MFIT Online Collections e-museum lets visitors search and view multiple images and descriptions of garments, shoes, handbags, hats, and jewelry. So far, the database includes 600 objects, which is more than double its previous size.

Visitors can search the database by keyword or browse the collection by designer name or fashion decade, beginning with the 18th century and continuing through the 2000s. Other categories include menswear and accessories. The museum’s plan is to continue adding objects and images to the database each month, expanding access to its archive. After registering an account on the e-museum site, users can create personal image sets for quick reference at later dates or to share with others by saving objects using the MyCollections feature.

MFIT’s collection includes garments created by such fashion luminaries as Adrian, Charles James, Madeline Vionnet, Jacques Fath, Chanel, Paul Poiret, Yves St. Laurent, Galanos, Emilio Pucci, Commes des Garcons, Calvin Klein, Azzedine Alaia, Halston, Vivienne Westwood, Dries Van Noten, Prada, and Stella McCartney, among many others. Visit the new MFIT Online Collections and discover some of the gems in the museum’s archive.

Have you ever visited the Museum at FIT’s galleries? Do you like to browse online museum collections databases? What do you think of MFIT’s newly refurbished e-museum?


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  1. User avater
    sewingdenise | | #1

    This sounds great. I enjoy looking at vintage clothing and studying the details. I'm so glad you shared this story with us.

  2. 416 | | #2

    I have not visited the Museum at FIT's galleries but I do like to visit museums. They have so many unusual and interesting details on the clothing created by designers. I like to browse the e-museum by eras, designers and individual garments and accessories. The e-museum is full of inspirations and ideas. I have saved the e-museum database so I can browse again when FIT puts more fashions online. Thank you for introducing me to the FIT Museum, now I can browse the newly refurnished museum at my leisure.

  3. Ikebana152 | | #3

    I live in NYC so access to the museum at FIT is easy. It's not a large space as museums go which is a plus. You can get close to the garments, see lots of detail and best of all the exhibits are free. Their collection of garments is varied and not limited to just the big houses like Dior or Chanel. The exhibits are well curated. Making the collections available on line is a gift. I browse the collections at the Met with my I-pad and am glad to have another museum to "walk through". Now if the Kyoto Costume Institute opened their archives I would probably never leave the house...

  4. JDNow | | #4

    Wow! The FIT online collection database is amazing. I just spent way too much time ( internet hazard ) looking at some beautiful creations. Definitely bookmarked it to return at later date.
    I visited FIT museum a few years ago and it is always inspiring to see details in construction and textiles. I live near LA and visit the museum at FIDM regularly.
    I've blogged about exhibits on WeSew.blogspot.com

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