Fashion Through the Decades: Costume Institute Database Now Online

October 6, 2008 • Fashion

Costume_institute_2                        Court Dress, ca. 1750 British

Nearly all of the Costume Institute’s massive
collection of clothing can now be viewed online. It is a must-see. I just spent and hour on the site and am obsessed!

According to WWD, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art began the project in 2000. Since then they have been formatting and digitizing
information on 29,432 objects from the 31,000-piece collection. It is
available to view through the museum’s Web site under Collection
Database at

“We’re involved in working with the collection to
prepare for a rehousing of it,” said Harold Koda, curator in charge of
the Costume Institute. “We have grown so much and would like to house
everything properly, and in conjunction with that, we started to
document things that hadn’t been reviewed since they first came in in
the Forties. Once we got the information together, we thought it would
be ideal if the general public could log in and, for instance, find all
of our Christian Diors.”

The project
was made possible in part by the The John and Annamaria Phillips
Foundation, Jane Hays Butler, Paul D. Schurgot Foundation and an
anonymous donor.

Costume_institute_1 Dress (Robe à la Française), 1740s British

Costume_institute_3_2 Dress, Evening, 1884–1886 American or European

Ensemble, Evening, 1933–1935 House of Chanel

Evening Dress, 1938 French Designer: Madeleine Vionnet


"May", Dress (Ball Gown), spring/summer 1953 House of Dior

Dress, fall/winter 1965–1966 Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Ensemble, Evening, 1977 Norma Kamali, American

Photos: The Costume Institute

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